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Morning Rumors: Subban, Team Needs, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Predators, Oilers and Yakupov

  • Chris Nichols: Louis Jean said that P.K. Subban and the Canadiens will begin contract extension talks within the next two weeks. Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie on TSN Radio: “the critical question that needs to be asked: is Therein giving PK tough love or is he disrespecting him?” … “if Subban takes it as disrespect he’ll take a short deal and walk as a UFA in two years”
  • Darren Dreger on TSN (team – needs): Maple Leafs - Center, Oilers - Defenseman and Goalie, Jets - Power Forward, Ducks - Puck moving defenseman, Hurricanes - Defenseman and Goalie, Panthers - Defenseman and Forward
  • Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger on TSN Radio: “the Leafs have bodies that they’re going to have to find room for on the blueline” … “one thing the Leafs do as well or better than most teams is make sure they recognize that” … “people will laugh at that comment considering how Gardiner was treated last year”
  • James Mirtle: Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle wouldn’t say what happens to the blueline when Mark Fraser returns. Mirtle guesses that either Morgan Rielly or Jake Gardiner sits one or both games this weekend. Michael Traikos: Traikos guesses Rielly will sit as Gardiner has been playing a lot lately.
  • Elliotte Friedman of CBC: Florida’s GM Dale Tallon is trying hard to make some roster moves. He sent an email to all teams last week saying that defenseman Ryan Whitney is available. There are about 20 teams with $2 million of less in salary cap space. Friendman wonders if anyone would take a chance on Penguins Deryk Engelland and his $566,667 salary cap hit. Predators GM David Poile: Q: “After the trade embargo was lifted on Shea Weber, did you ever get an offer that made you think about doing it?” A: “No.”
  • Elliotte Friedman: Oilers Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish were at the Flyers – Hurricanes game Tuesday night.
  • Seth Rothman: At the Rangers game last night: Oilers Mark Messier, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish.
  • Denis Gorman: Scouting the Rangers-Penguins game: Ducks, Blackhawks, Jets, Coyotes, Oilers (3), Stars (2) and Lightning
  • Brian Staubit of CBS Sports: Oilers coach Dallas Eakins on Nail Yakupov and trade rumors.

    “The thing with Yak is simple. I see him trying so hard to be better defensively and to learn this defensive system that we’re trying to implement. I thought he made a couple of good plays defensively yesterday. I saw the thought process go through his head on the ice so that’s encouraging for me.

    “And then wanted also to let him know all these reports in the media where people are making up trades for him are absolutely, 100 percent untrue. This kid is not going anywhere. Guys like Joe Thornton, the kid here Stamkos; those guys struggled early in their careers and boy they turned out to be pretty good players.

    “Nail Yakupov is not being shopped, he’s not going anywhere and I wanted him to hear that from me, look me in my eyes and let him know ‘hey, we’re attached at the hip.’ We’re going to make him a better player and it’s OK to struggle. I let him know about Thornton and and Stamkos. That’s part of the process. He’s 20 years old. We’re not just going to suddenly give up on a guy because he’s going through a rough stretch. People writing their columns and their blogs; listen, they can create their excitement that way. But all of what’s out there is 100 percent untrue.”

  • Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish talked with Yakupov and his agent, Igor Larianov yesterday morning. At no time has MacTavish tried to trade Yakupov.

    “We never once mentioned that. I’ve had calls since the rumours started asking if I wanted to discuss that. But the answer has been ‘No!’

    “We are committed to him. His ice time may go up and down. But we have no plans to send him to the press box in Tampa Bay, at least the coach didn’t mention that as part of his plans when I talked to him in the morning.

    “And we have no thoughts of moving him down to the AHL,” he said of Wednesday’s speculation.

    “I told Nail that he made a commitment to us and we’ve made a commitment to him.”