Ryan O'Reilly appears no closer to a conclusion to his contract impasse with the Avalanche. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
Colorado’s Ryan O'Reilly remains the dominant name in the trade rumour mill.
The Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported sources claiming Senators GM Bryan Murray had contacted Avalanche GM Greg Sherman about O'Reilly, but found the asking price – a roster player “who can help right now,” a prospect and a draft pick – too expensive.
Renaud Lavoie of RDS.ca reported the Philadelphia Flyers were among the clubs thought to have interest in the 22-year-old, but the Avalanche apparently want center Sean Couturier as part of the return.
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi, however, cited a source claiming there's no truth to reports the Flyers have interest in O'Reilly.
CBC's Elliotte Friedman wrote he "wouldn't be surprised if the Avalanche approached the Florida Panthers."
In recent weeks, it's been speculated the Panthers will shop Stephen Weiss if they are unable to re-sign him by the trade deadline. Weiss denied his play was being affected by the rumours or his pending eligibility for unrestricted free agency, according to The Sun Sentinel.
Weiss also pointed out he has a full no-movement clause, meaning the Panthers can't trade him without his permission. GM Dale Tallon has maintained his intent is to re-sign Weiss.
Still, Friedman's speculation could start tongues wagging over a “Weiss-for-O'Reilly” swap.
Confusion reigns over the Avalanche's real asking price for O'Reilly, with reports ranging from a first round pick and a prospect, according to The Ottawa Sun, to two players, a high pick and a top prospect.
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons reported via Twitter the Avalanche haven't told teams what they're seeking in return, instead asking them to make an offer. That could explain the conflicting reports.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have received solid goaltending from their young tandem of James Reimer and Ben Scrivens, but remain in the market for an experienced netminder.
In a Feb. 18 interview with TSN Radio's Dave Naylor, Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis admitted he still sought a veteran presence in goal. While complimenting the play of Reimer (currently sidelined with an MCL injury) and Scrivens, Nonis said he'd like to bring in someone with experience to help them grow.
Nonis noted there's currently no one available at a price that makes sense for the Leafs. If that doesn't change in the near future, he said he was comfortable sticking with his tandem.
The Leafs were linked to Roberto Luongo throughout the off-season and lockout, but it doesn't appear he'll be heading to Toronto this season.
Luongo's lengthy, expensive contract and the Canucks’ hefty asking price are significant stumbling blocks. Luongo’s strong performance has also made management more reluctant to move him.
For now, Nonis has no reason to rush into a deal. Reimer and Scrivens have helped the Leafs to a 10-7-0 record and led them into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.
But if Reimer is slow to recover and Scrivens falters, it could threaten the Leafs’ playoff hopes, placing Nonis under considerable pressure to bolster his goaltending.
Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).