Stuart on the move

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 9:44 AM ET

The end is near for Brad Stuart in Beantown.

The Bruins defenceman will likely be traded today as GM Peter Chiarelli won't let a key component from the Joe Thornton deal walk away for nothing.

Stuart, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, has drawn the interest of nine teams and there's a strong possibility he could be shipped to a Western Conference squad before the day is done.

Stuart, who isn't expected to re-sign with Boston in the off-season, is all but forcing the Bruins to deal him.

However, Chiarelli's asking price is steep. He wants at least a young prospect and top draft pick in return.

It's believed the Oilers, Flames, Wild, Stars, Canucks, Kings and Sharks have all shown an interest, along with the Lightning and Devils in the East.

The top candidate could be the Oilers. GM Kevin Lowe has been looking for a puck-moving defenceman all season as the club sits in ninth spot in the West, six points out of the final playoff spot.

More importantly, from a Bruins perspective, is Lowe has the young players to move (Joffrey Lupul? Raffi Torres?).

Still, the Wild and Kings are both considered serious contenders.

OFF THE GLASS:

A player who won't be going anywhere at the NHL trade deadline is Montreal D Sheldon Souray. But it looks like his stay with the Canadiens will come to end.

While the Habs can't afford to trade Souray at the Feb. 27 deadline, he's expected to head for greener pastures as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Making US$2.432 million, Souray, 30, is having an all-star season and he's going to be in line for a big raise.

However, the Habs also have to sign blueliners Andrei Markov and Craig Rivet in the off-season.

There's talk Los Angeles GM Dean Lombardi -- trying to bring some respectability back to the Kings -- already has a jersey with Souray's name stitched on the back of it ... Okay, here's the latest on Flyers C Peter Forsberg. He planned to meet with owner Ed Snider this weekend to discuss his future. Forsberg hasn't ruled out waiving his no-trade clause. The Ducks, Habs, Hurricanes, Thrashers and Canucks are among 11 teams that have all shown an interest. The good people of Philly need this saga settled one way or another ... Stars tough guy Matthew Barnaby is considering retirement. He has been struggling with vision problems and is not getting much ice time.

AROUND THE BOARDS:

The latest rumour out of Montreal is RW Sergei Samsonov and Rivet will be sent to Edmonton for C Shawn Horcoff ... Asked why he alternates his captains, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said: "So, I don't get tired of the captain." ... The Coyotes talks with LW Ladislav Nagy about a new contract have been fruitless ... Suddenly, the Sabres are listening to offers for G Martin Biron. It's believed the asking price is high: A player, prospect and first-round pick.


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