SUN Hockey Pool

Phaneuf seeking decade-long deal from Flames?

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 7:19 AM ET

Some NHL insiders are speculating if the Calgary Flames offer D Dion Phaneuf a 10-year, $60-million deal, it will keep him in the fold.

Flames general manager Darryl Sutter is also facing a difficult situation with W Kristian Huselius, who has played well with W Jarome Iginla.

Huselius becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1. The talk is the Flames might threaten to deal the Swede at the trade deadline if he fails to sign a new contract.

AROUND THE BOARDS

As the Feb. 26 NHL trade deadline gets closer, Boston Bruins W Glen Murray, 34, will be a sought-after commodity for any playoff-bound team looking to add a second-line winger. Several teams -- including Vancouver, Ottawa, Nashville, Detroit, Montreal and Pittsburgh -- are believed to have made inquiries about Murray's availability ... Don't be surprised if the NHL plays on Christmas Day in 2008. While the NHLPA has always had a mandated two-day break, commissioner Gary Bettman has been closely watching the success the NBA has on Christmas. It's believed the league has approached the NHLPA about playing one game in the East and one in the West next Dec. 25 ... Three players who have moved up on scouts' lists with their stellar play at the world junior championship: F Mikkel Boedker, Denmark (Kitchener, OHL); D Luke Schenn, Canada (Kelowna, WHL); and F Colin Wilson, U.S. (Boston University). All three will likely be first-round picks when the draft is held in June in Ottawa.

OFF THE GLASS

Former Islanders C Alexei Yashin is enjoying some success with Yaroslavl Lokamotiv in the Russian Elite League, scoring 11 goals and 30 points in his first 38 games. While Yashin will be finished playing in Yaroslavl by the time the NHL playoffs start, his agent ruled out the ex-Senator returning in the spring, noting that the Isles tried to bring in Deron Quint and Todd Simpson for the playoffs last year after they spent the season in Europe, but they were ruled ineligible ... By most accounts, last week's Winter Classic in Buffalo was a success, but there are indications NHLPA officials weren't happy the NHL rushed to put in the ice at Ralph Wilson Stadium in less than a week. While NBC, which broadcast the game in the U.S., would like to make the Classic an annual event, the NHLPA will insist the league take two weeks to ensure the ice is in good shape. There is talk the next stop will be Soldier Field in Chicago.

RUMOURS DU JOUR

Sources say Senators GM Bryan Murray has talked to a few teams regarding G Ray Emery, but the market is thin. The indications are the Lightning was interested earlier in the season, but the Bolts are somewhat hamstrung by the fact the team is for sale. The Penguins could be looking for goaltending help before the trade deadline ... By dealing D Shane Hnidy to the Bruins for W Brandon Bochenski, Ducks GM Brian Burke created enough cap room to start negotiating a new deal with W Corey Perry ... The Avs, now without Fs Joe Sakic and Ryan Smyth, have turned up their search for a front-line forward. The talk is Colorado is dangling D John-Michael Liles ... Two teams have called UFA G Curtis Joseph after his splendid Spengler Cup ... The Penguins would consider trading C Jordan Staal? Nah. Doesn't make sense.


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