The only thing that could’ve made Dean Lombardi’s message any clearer would’ve been capital letters.
“Brayden Schenn is not going anywhere,” read the text from the Los Angeles Kings GM.
Clearly itching to stop having one of the hockey world’s most prized prospects linked to almost every trade rumour involving the Kings, Lombardi told the Calgary Sun Saturday the 19-year-old Team Canada star is off-limits.
That won’t stop Schenn from spending trade deadline day stick-handling the remote control in his parents’ Saskatoon basement Monday.
“Obviously, that’s nice to hear, I guess,” said the Blades’ stud of Lombardi’s stance.
“Obviously, it’s the first time I’ve heard it. My name is tossed all over the place because they’re looking for that dynamic player. So, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.”
The Kings are squarely positioned alongside the New York Rangers as front-runners to land Brad Richards should he be made available by Dallas. A trade for Richards or Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky was made even more possible Saturday when the Kings opened up more cap space when Marco Sturm was claimed off waivers by the Washington Capitals.
Complicating matters is the fact another one of the Kings blue chip prospects and potential trade bait, Andrei Loktionov, hurt his shoulder and is likely out for the season. With the Kings in search of a top forward, it will indeed be interesting to see if Lombardi can land a big fish while keeping Schenn.
Meanwhile, Richards skated Saturday but has not been cleared to return from his concussion. He has also not been asked to waive his no-trade clause yet.
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A Colorado Avalanche front office type has told the Calgary Sun they will not trade Paul Stastny, and that the rant by his father and Hall of Famer Peter over last week’s Chris Stewart trade will not complicate things moving forward.
Strike Adam Foote off the list of potential moves too as he has made it clear he wants to retire as an Avalanche — a wish the club says it will honour.
As reported on the Hot Stove last week, Milan Hejduk will also stay put, but the pending UFA has not started contract talks.
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Canucks GM Mike Gillis confirms he is not trading Cory Schneider or Cody Hodgson. All his injured defencemen will be back by the playoffs, so the one thing he might deal for is a third or fourth-line forward.
The club doesn’t have much cap room, and spending to the hilt makes them vulnerable to having to ice a shortened roster down the stretch as the Flames did years back.
“We need to be careful (spending-wise,) but we have lots of money for what we need,” said Gillis.
John Madden is not a fit there due to his salary.
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Flames GM Jay Feaster wouldn’t comment on whether he put in a waiver claim to grab Craig Rivet (who was snagged by Columbus today) but that’s about all the Flames are really focused on adding — a depth defenceman. Feaster doesn’t want to disrupt the team and its chemistry, which is a good thing as the club doesn’t have the draft picks or prospects to make a deal of significance anyway.
That said, it does have cap room thanks to the owners putting Alex Kotalik in the minors and prepping to do the same with Niklas Hagman.
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No real update on Sidney Crosby’s possible return from his concussion other than to say he’s still not symptom-free and is doing some light work with the Penguins’ training staff.
“We don’t know if it’s two weeks, two months or five months,” agent Pat Brisson said of his prized client’s return.
“What we do know is we have to be extremely cautious.
Edmonton Oilers GM Steve Tambellini continues to play his cards close to his vest, hanging huge price tags on Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner. Jim Vandermeer and Ladislav Smid are more likely candidates to move, as many teams are looking to add depth to their blueline … Former Flames winger Chuck Kobasew is being shopped around with hopes he’ll be able to showcase himself before becoming a UFA this summer. Kobasew, who has been used sparingly in Minnesota, is being extended the courtesy by GM Chuck Fletcher of having his agent kick tires around the league with hopes there’s a better fit elsewhere ... Waiver wire filled with former Flames: Wade Belak and Mike Commodore go unclaimed. Curtis McElhinney and Jason Jaffray on waivers now.
Eric Francis appears regularly as a panelist on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada