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Morning Rumors: Predators, Oilers, Penguins, Canadiens, Coyotes, Sharks, Panthers, Blackhawks and the Olympics

  • The Fourth Period: The Predators have been shopping center pending UFA David Legwand and are looking for at least a first round pick for him. The Predators have been looking for young center and have shown interest in Oilers Sam Gagner. They have been dangling defenseman Ryan Ellis and forward Colin Wilson. Gagner almost landed in LA before the Olympic break. Talks could continue with the Oilers and Kings.
  • Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers radio host and analyst Bob Stauffer is saying that the Penguins and Canadiens may be interested in trading for Ales Hemsky. On his radio show on Thursday.

    I would suggest that if the Oilers were to get creative in terms of retaining a certain amount of salary that will assist in perhaps getting a better deal for some of their free agents, pending unrestricted free agents like an Ales Hemsky or a Nick Schultz. Case in point, if you were to take on half of the contract remaining for Ales Hemsky, you change the complexion of the deal greatly for a team like Phoenix that has got some financial issues. I think Pittsburgh might be in on Ales Hemsky. I don’t know if you’d get a prospect as good as Henrik Samuelsson – that’s a first round draft choice, I’m not sure you’d get that guy out of Phoenix, frankly. And I think Montreal might be in on Ales Hemsky. I will say this: the San Jose Sharks have been birddogging the Oilers a lot over about the last three weeks, so we saw a lot of the San Sharks Jose pro scouts on the road.

  • Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel: Panthers GM Dale Tallon wouldn’t comment if they would be buyers or sellers leading up to the trade deadline.

    “We’re not going to blow this team up,” Tallon said. “We got some great pieces and we got some pieces we have to change and make better as we move forward to March 5, the draft and free agency. All these moves will benefit us and make us a Stanley Cup team for many years to come.”

    Tallon has started talking to pending UFA Tim Thomas.

    “We spoke in the last week and he wants to be here,” Tallon said. “The feeling is mutual. I like his competitiveness and his overall performance, very good, so we’ll see.”

    Tallon also noted that he’s had preliminary talks with Brad Boyes and Tom Gilbert.

    “We’ve had preliminary talks with all of them and we have an interest in signing them,” Tallon said. “They had something to prove and as a result they did it.”

    Tallon on interim coach Peter Horachek, who is 19-20-3 since taking over.

    “I like what Peter has done, so we’ll talk to Peter this week and continue to have discussions, and we’ll sit down at the end of the season,” Tallon said.

  • Harvey Fialkov: Panthers GM Tallon has specific free agents in mind that that would interest them, but of course he can not say who they are.
  • George Richards: Panther GM Tallon said that he would like to talk with RFA Dmitry Kulikov about a new contract. He plans on reaching out to Kulikov’s agent.
  • Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago: Blackhawks Brandon Pirriis not sure where he fits in with the team any longer, especially after they acquired Peter Regin and made him their second line center. Pirri has heard that the Blackhawks may be shopping him.

    “I don’t know how to feel,” said the 22-year-old Pirri after the team’s morning skate in Rockford on Friday. “It’s the first time I’ve been involved in something like this where there have been rumors flying around. But at the same time, I’m not worrying about it. Just come down and help this team win.

    “It’s out of my control. It’s up to the management in Chicago to do what they feel is right. I’m just looking for that opportunity wherever it may be.”

  • Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun Times: The players love the opportunity to play for their country in the Olympics, but it may not be the case for the NHL. Gary Bettman has brought up bringing back the World Cup, and would prefer it over the Olympics as they control the location and timing of the event.
  • Jonas Siegel: Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said that he will talk with his two goalies tonight about who will be starting tomorrow against Finland.