Leafs pursuing Nash? Burke has NYC meeting w/Howson

As reported earlier by ESPNNewYork.com, Columbus general manager Scott Howson will be in attendance for Sunday's game between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden.

Given the Rangers' interest in prized forward Rick Nash, it is expected that Howson and general manager Glen Sather will meet at some point during his visit to New York, if they haven't already.

But assuming that sit-down takes place, Sather won't be the only GM in town courting the Blue Jackets' captain.

A source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, in New York on un-related business, met with Howson in an "un-scheduled" meeting this morning.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Toronto is one of a handful of teams on Nash's "approved" list of destinations to which he'd waive his no-movement clause and accept a trade. In addition to the Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins are believed to round out that list.

Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that the Rangers, Kings, Leafs and Flyers are among teams that have held trade talks this past week with Columbus regarding Nash.

Speculation and trade talk is expected to heat up in advance of Sunday's game between Nash's Blue Jackets and the rumored front-runners. Although long-considered untouchable, Nash was reportedly made available by the beleaguered Blue Jackets early last week.

Several teams are interested in acquiring the talented winger, but Howson's asking price will be significant and Nash remains in the driver's seat. He must approve any potential trade because of his no-movement clause.

The NHL trade deadline is Monday, February 27 at 3 p.m.