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NHL Rumor Roundup: Price for top targets Max Pacioretty, Rick Nash, Evander Kane remains high

Sporting News logo Sporting News 2018-02-08 Lyle Richardson
Max Pacioretty © (Getty Images) Max Pacioretty

It's NHL trade rumor season. Each week before the Feb. 26 trade deadline, Lyle Richardson's Rumor Roundup column serves as a one-stop guide to the latest rumblings around the league.

NHL playoff contenders seeking experienced scoring wingers have several quality options to choose from leading up to the Feb. 26 trade deadline. Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty, Rangers forward Rick Nash and Sabres left wing Evander Kane are the most enticing targets.

Landing them, however, cost prove costly. Recent reports indicate the asking prices are very high for those players.

TRADE TRACKER: Rumors, reported deals before the 2018 deadline

On Saturday, Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos said the Canadiens want “a first-rounder, a second rounder, a warm roster body and a top prospect” for Pacioretty. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday that the Rangers' price for Nash could consist of a first-round pick, a top prospect and a lesser player. Meanwhile, the Sabres reportedly seek an NHL roster player, a first-round draft pick, a prospect and a conditional pick for Kane.

Nash and Kane are slated to become unrestricted free agents July 1. The Sabres and Rangers are therefore under more pressure to move them than the Canadiens are with Pacioretty, who has a year remaining on his contract.

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The Sabres and Rangers could encounter difficulty finding teams willing to meet their demands. As the trade deadline nears, they could be forced to slash their pricetags. Meanwhile, Canadiens general manager Marc Bergervin can afford to wait until this summer to find a suitable return for Pacioretty.

MIXER: Rangers' reward for rebuild will come sooner as deadline sellers

Lightning could shop for a defenseman

Keep an eye on the Lightning leading up to the NHL trade deadline. Scuttlebutt around the league suggests GM Steve Yzerman could be in the market for a defenseman.

Over the weekend, the New York Post's Larry Brooks reported on mutual interest between the Lightning and Rangers regarding a possible deal for blueliner Ryan McDonagh. The Rangers are looking to retool with young players and willing to entertain offers for veterans such as McDonagh.

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Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports the Bolts have “more than a passing interest” in Sens blueliners Erik Karlsson and Cody Ceci. The Senators still hope to re-sign Karlsson this summer and won't move him at the trade deadline. They could, however, listen to a reasonable pitch for Ceci.

The Lightning are loaded with promising young talent to tempt potential deadline sellers. That could give Yzerman the edge over other playoff contenders shopping for a quality defenseman.

Predators pursuing a scorer?

Predators GM David Poile could be busy leading up to deadline day. His club fell short in the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and Poile could attempt to boost his roster for another run at the big mug this year.

It's believed Poile is in the market for a forward. While former Predators captain Mike Fisher is coming out of retirement to rejoin the roster, the Nashville GM is apparently seeking a top-six scoring forward.

Over the weekend, TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted the Predators are looking at all scoring possibilities, including Red Wings wingers Gustav Nyquist and Tomas Tatar. The Wings could listen, but they'll likely want a good young player in return.

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The Predators are also among the clubs thought to have some interest in Rangers winger Rick Nash. They could also kick the tires on the Sabres' Evander Kane.

Coyotes GM shoots down Domi rumor

The Coyotes' status as perennial also-ran ensures they're a fixture in this season's rumor mill. At various times there's been musings by several pundits over the future of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Now, it's third-year forward Max Domi's turn.

On Saturday, the New York Post's Larry Brooks reported the Coyotes have made it known the 22-year-old Domi is there for the taking. Brooks pointed out the decline in Domi's scoring since his 18-goal debut in 2015-16. Sportsnet's Chris Johnston also wondered if the youngster might benefit from a change of scenery.

Coyotes GM John Chayka dismissed Brooks' report, telling the Arizona Republic's Richard Morin he's happy with his young players. Of course, Chayka isn't going to admit that he's entertaining offers for any of his players. Still, he's been insistent that Ekman-Larsson won't be dealt this season and could feel the same about Domi.

The decline in Domi's stats this season appears to be due to a change in his role with the Coyotes. During his first two seasons, he skated at left wing on their top line. He's now employed as a second-line center and is taking on more defensive responsibilities.

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