The NHL's Mar. 5 Trade Deadline is drawing closer and teams will be deciding on whether to buy or sell while figuring out which players can make the biggest difference and hold the greatest value.
Check out today's trade-related reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. And follow TSN.ca through Deadline Day for all the updates.
TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun writes on ESPN.com that Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray is already hearing calls for his pending unrestricted free agents.
"We're just starting to explore the market the last day or two," Murray said. "I've had some calls, and most of the calls are just generalities: 'If I can meet your demand, would you be willing to move him?' So you have teams calling, for sure, and they're asking about different players. Every team has a different need; the same names come up, obviously, as far as the forwards go. My mandate here is to get better. I don't want a five-year rebuild, that's not what I'm about. It's about getting better, and if that means trading guys and getting assets for them, then that's the way it will be."
Murray is also considering all of his options with pending UFA Ryan Miller, including the possibility of re-signing him. LeBrun adds that if Miller isn't interested in staying, Murray will move him at the trade deadline.
Sticking With The Tandem
Michael Traikos of The National Post writes that Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis admitted that he has been received several calls regarding goaltenders Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer, but has no intentions to break them up right now.
"I haven't thought that too far, but could I see a scenario where both goalies were back next season? Yes," he told the paper. "We've gone this far because of our goaltending. Jon is on a bit of a roll, but James has been really good for us.
"I would never write James Reimer off."
Jonathan Willis writes in the Edmonton Journal that while a skilled veteran forward like Ales Hemsky could be appealing to another NHL team, the Oilers have needs (size up front and blue line help) that the return on trading Hemsky trade won't address.
Willis suggests a player like Jordan Eberle or Nail Yakupov – younger players with attractive contracts right now - would be more helpful.
Time To Talk?
Newsday's Arthur Staple writes that contract talks could begin soon between the Thomas Vanek's agent and the New York Islanders. If Vanek isn't willing to re-sign a long-term deal, Staple thinks they'll dangle him at the trade deadline. Staple adds that there's been talks between the Islanders and soon-to-be UFA blueliner Andrew MacDonald. Staple says he's seeking a contract at about $5 million per season.