NHL notes: Penguins reportedly 'aggressively' pursuing Kesler

Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara...

Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center on October 17, 2013 in Buffalo, New York. (Jen Fuller/Getty Images/AFP)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:12 AM ET

Will the Pittsburgh Penguins win the Ryan Kesler sweepstakes?

According to a report, they are trying their best to do so.

Kesler, a power forward for the Vancouver Canucks who has a no-trade clause, is being "pursued aggressively" by the Penguins, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The newspaper, citing sources, said the Penguins have offered two-way forward Brandon Sutter, a pair of draft picks, and a young defenceman -- either Brian Dumoulin or Simon Despres -- in exchange for 29-year-old Kesler.

Other interested parties, according to the Tribune-Review, include the Chicago Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings.

Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero reportedly inquired about Kesler, who has 39 points in 61 games this year, back in January.

Kesler played under Penguins coach Dan Bylsma for Team USA at the Olympics.

Kesler, who is in the fourth year of a six-year, $30-million deal, is locked up through the 2015-16 season.

Shero is determined to acquire Kesler, according to the Tribune-Review. So much so that he has plans in place to continue trade talks with the Canucks in the off-season.

The NHL trade deadline is Wednesday at 3 p.m. EST.

WILD ON PROWL FOR GOALIE?

The Minnesota Wild appear to be in the hunt for a netminder.

Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has been busy working the phones in advance of Wednesday's trade deadline. The club has spoken to the Buffalo Sabres about newly-acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune

Halak, who was traded to Buffalo by the St. Louis Blues in a blockbuster deal Friday, has a 24-9-4-4 record and .917 save percentage in 40 appearances this season.

On top of the Halak inquiry, Fletcher has expressed interest in potentially picking up New Jersey Devils veteran Martin Brodeur or Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes, according to the Star Tribune.

Brodeur has publicly stated he is OK with being traded if it means he will get more playing time.

The Wild are currently without the services of their top goalies Niklas Backstrom (abdomen) and Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis).

NOLAN’S JOB SECURE

The front-office shakeup in Buffalo appears to be over.

On Sunday, general manager Tim Murray put to rest any speculation about Ted Nolan's job security. The coach and the Sabres are currently discussing a contract extension, the club's general manager said.

"We want him to be our coach going forward," Murray told the Sabres' official website.

As well, Craig Patrick will continue to serve in his current role as the team's senior hockey advisor.

In November, Nolan was hired by Pat LaFontaine, who resigned Saturday from his position as president of hockey operations. LaFontaine is off to work for the NHL.

The flurry of front-office news comes in the wake of a blockbuster trade Friday that saw franchise goalie Ryan Miller and co-captain Steve Ott go to the St. Louis Blues for Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, a prospect, and two draft picks.

BRIEFLY

New York Islanders forward Frans Nielsen has been activated off injured reserve after recovering from a broken hand. To make room for Nielsen, the Islanders sent forward Mike Halmo back to its AHL affiliate in Bridgeport ... The Buffalo Sabres traded AHLers with the Florida Panthers, shipping out forward Mark Mancari for forward Eric Selleck.


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