- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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So what now for Philadelphia?
One name to keep an eye on is veteran blueliner Hal Gill in Montreal. He’s slated to be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and, from what I was told Tuesday, the Flyers covet his experience -- he’s won a Cup -- as well as his shot-blocking and penalty-killing abilities. The Habs aren’t ready to pull the plug on their season just yet, but if and when they do, expect the Flyers to inquire about him.
Another possibility for the Flyers is Nicklas Grossman in Dallas. He’s slated for unrestricted free agency July 1. The Stars have begun talks on an extension, so that’s another possibility -- that, like Gleason, he signs and stays put.
And of course, as previously reported, the Flyers did chat with the Maple Leafs about Luke Schenn a few weeks back.
Moore a hot commodity
Center Dominic Moore would be a sought-after commodity at the trade deadline given his playoff performances the past two years for Montreal and Tampa.
However, Moore’s agent Larry Kelly told ESPN.com on Tuesday that there have been contract discussions with Tampa regarding an extension.
"Yes, we have had discussions, so we’ll see what happens," Kelly said.
Slated for unrestricted free agency July 1, Moore likely would be in play closer to the Feb. 27 trade deadline if the Lightning are unable to get back into the playoff race.
Pittsburgh is among the teams believed to have interest in Moore.
Coyotes won't trade Doan
Despite the fact that the Coyotes keep saying he’s going nowhere, speculation about Shane Doan's future has not stopped.
The Phoenix captain is slated for unrestricted free agency July 1, and some have wondered whether he could become available if the Coyotes fall out of the playoff race.
Not so, GM Don Maloney reiterated Tuesday.
"Shane is the soul of this franchise; as long as we’re here and he wants to stay here, then he’ll be here," Maloney told ESPN.com. "I have no question whatsoever that if we get an ownership group in place, then we’ll get a deal done with Shane. He’s not going anywhere, unless of course he came to us and asked us otherwise. He’s still a very good player, and we want him here for a few more years."
As for the trade deadline, the Coyotes need to see where they are in the standings in a few weeks before deciding whether they’re buyers or sellers. If they’re sellers, my sense is that Ray Whitney (UFA on July 1) would be a nice piece for a contending team to look at.
If the Coyotes make a run in the next few weeks and feel like they’re buyers, Maloney said they still have room in their league-mandated budget to add a player or two.
"We still have some room available to us if we wanted to add something," Maloney said.
Dallas not star of trade deadline
A year ago at this time, Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk was a man under siege. Teams were calling about UFA-to-be Brad Richards. Nieuwendyk was trying to sign him, and the media wanted updates on an almost daily basis.
This season? Nice and quiet. Oh sure, Nieuwnendyk is doing his due diligence on the trade front, but he’s certainly not front and center on the national stage. And that’s just fine.
"That was a situation that probably was a little uncomfortable for everybody, even Brad, I’m sure," Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "So it’s nice not to have that this year for sure."
The Stars are in a five-team race for eighth in the West, starting the stretch run three points back of the last playoff spot. Too early to tell yet whether he’ll be a buyer or a seller before Feb. 27.
"I think it’s a little early yet," Nieuwendyk said. "I think all these teams will have a better idea in a few weeks depending on how things shake out. There’s a lot of tire-kicking going on, but we’ll have to see how things work out."
Future considerations for Habs
The former Habs captain would have interest in the position, a source told ESPN.com. He does have some management experience from his days at the NHL Players’ Association.
If I were owner Geoff Molson, and I’m not pretending to be, but just for kicks, the five names I’d strongly consider if and when the Canadiens decide a change is needed at the GM position: Damphousse, Tampa assistant GM Julien Brisebois, Chicago assistant GM Marc Bergevin, TV analyst Pierre McGuire and former Flames GM/current TV analyst Craig Button.
That would be my short list if I were in charge there. But of course, I’m not.
Tim Gleason was high on Philadelphia’s list of possible defensemen for purchase but that won’t happen with the Carolina Hurricanes' re-signing him Monday.