Canucks’ trade chip Vrbata out ‘for a bit’ with lower-body injury

Vancouver Canucks forward Radim Vrbata will be out "for a bit" with a lower-body injury, head coach Willie Desjardins said Tuesday, adding he'll likely miss a week.

Vrbata was hurt Sunday against the Colorado Avalanche. He scored his 12th goal of the season in a 5-1 Vancouver win.

On an expiring contract, earning $5 million, Vrbata's a potential trade piece for the Canucks, as the club faces an uphill climb in order to make the playoffs. Nine of his 24 points have come on the power play, and while this season's been a disappointment, the 34-year-old winger scored 31 goals in 2014-15.

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Alter: Parenteau and Boyes likely the next Maple Leafs to go

TORONTO - Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello has been busy executing a long-standing plan to ship out veteran pieces for future considerations.

Captain Dion Phaneuf was traded two weeks ago to Ottawa for some bad contracts, prospect Tobias Lindberg, and a second-round draft pick. Shawn Matthias departed Sunday, Toronto netting a fourth-round selection. Roman Polak and Nick Spaling were traded Monday for two San Jose second-round picks and Raffi Torres' contract.

With the NHL trade deadline days away, the veteran players that are left can’t help but think about their fate.

Waiting for the call

P.A. Parenteau is the most likely candidate to be traded. He scored his 15th goal last week - nearly doubling his total from last season, after which the Montreal Canadiens bought him out.

"I've been thinking about it a little bit obviously, I mean, I'd be lying if I said otherwise," Parenteau said. "It's part of the game. I've got a family and two kids and we love it in Toronto. Who knows what will happen? They haven't talked to me or said anything to me about what is going to happen. I'm taking it game by game."

Parenteau's preference would be to stay in Toronto. Recruited by head coach Mike Babcock after the two first met at Anaheim Ducks training camp, Parenteau has been buoyed by the confidence his coach has shown in him.

"When your coach leaves you out there, you want to be a difference-maker and that's what I'm trying to be," Parenteau said. "I've got the confidence of Babs. He wants me out there and it really helps my game. I (feel) as good as I have ever felt in this league."

Related: Parenteau would consider re-signing with Maple Leafs even if he's traded

Parenteau has a cap hit of $1.5 million and could likely net the Leafs another second-round draft pick, or even a late first-rounder.

Drowning in money

The Maple Leafs have a very important tool that allows them to be crafty when it comes to collecting assets - money.

In 2009, the Maple Leafs made the first-ever trade that involved taking on a contract in order to net a draft pick. Toronto acquired the contracts of goaltender Olaf Kolzig and defenseman Jamie Heward - who were both injured at the time - at the trade deadline in exchange for a fourth-round draft choice from Tampa Bay. The Maple Leafs had the resources to pay out the remainder of Kolzig and Heward's contracts, and they also had the cap space, allowing them to acquire the draft pick.

Toronto likely wouldn't have secured two second-round draft picks in Monday's trade with San Jose without taking on Torres' contract. The Maple Leafs, with ample cap space heading into the deadline, could use their seemingly endless resources to take on another bad contract as a means to accumulate more assets.

Players like Bryan Bickell come to mind. The forward, who will turn 30 in March, carries a cap hit of $4 million and is currently in the AHL. Chicago could trade him to Toronto - along with a draft pick - in order to alleviate its cap issues and make a big splash come Feb. 29.

Deadline veteran

Brad Boyes is no stranger to the NHL's trade deadline. From the time he was drafted by the Maple Leafs, he's been moved several times in February and March.

After struggling to consistently crack Babcock's lineup, Boyes has become an everyday forward given Toronto's current roster. To his credit, he's quietly riding a season-high five-game point streak, which could increase interest in his services.

"The other times, it's outside noise," Boyes said about trade speculation. "Now, with the amount of media that is here, you are kind of at the center of it. That part is different. Also the fact that this where I'm from and this is my home."

Boyes signed with Toronto after inking a tryout deal before training camp. He won a spot, and is on a movable one-year, $700,000 deal.

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Report: Senators, Chris Neil share mutual interest in contract extension

Chris Neil reportedly wants to retire as a member of the Ottawa Senators, and the team is apparently open to that possibility.

The veteran pugilist and the club are negotiating a contract extension, and while nothing is imminent, there is "mutual interest" in Neil finishing his career with the Senators, TSN's Darren Dreger reports.

Neil is a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $1.9 million this season.

The 36-year-old forward has spent his entire 14-year career with Ottawa, racking up 2,416 penalty minutes and 243 points in 953 games.

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Blackhawks GM Bowman to attend Jets game as Canadian scouting tour continues

Stan Bowman's got tickets.

The Chicago Blackhawks general manager will be in attendance at MTS Centre in Winnipeg on Tuesday night when the Jets host the Dallas Stars, according to TSN's Sara Orlesky.

Bowman was in Montreal on Monday to watch the Canadiens lose to the Nashville Predators, as he scouts players personally ahead of the Feb. 29 trade deadline.

The most obvious speculation: Bowman's in town to watch Andrew Ladd. The Winnipeg captain said Tuesday he's yet to receive a contract offer, and with less than a week to go before the deadline, one's likely not coming. That means Tuesday's game could be Ladd's farewell in Winnipeg.

The Blackhawks are reportedly looking for a top-line left winger, and Ladd certainly fits the bill as a rental player. He also has Chicago connections, playing 184 games with the Blackhawks over three seasons, and winning a Stanley Cup with the club in 2010.

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Scott Gomez on Capitals’ radar ahead of deadline

The Washington Capitals could be looking to add a veteran presence in their quest for a Stanley Cup this season.

Head coach Barry Trotz was in Hershey to watch the Bears - Washington's AHL affiliate - over the weekend. He said Scott Gomez is "on the radar" Tuesday, according to's Katie Brown.

Gomez inked a professional tryout deal after a mutual agreement to terminate his contract with the St. Louis Blues earlier this season. He has been solid, recording four goals and 18 assists in 15 games for the Bears.

The 36-year-old had one goal and seven assists in 21 games with St. Louis.

Trotz also added that the team could look at reinforcing its depth, but "nothing crazy" is expected - not surprising considering Washington's current salary-cap situation.

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Chiarelli confirms Oilers are sellers: ‘There will be changes’

The Edmonton Oilers are officially open for business.

General manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed Tuesday that the Oilers will be sellers before Monday's trade deadline.

"We haven't been good enough, so there will be changes," Chiarelli told reporters.

He added, "We've got some players who have underachieved and may need a new venue."

The Oilers have the league's worst record at 22-32-6, and they're tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs for the NHL's worst point total (50).

Connor McDavid has enjoyed a productive rookie campaign, averaging over a point per game, but he missed 37 games earlier in the season with a broken clavicle.

Chiarelli said injuries to McDavid, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oscar Klefbom, and Andrew Ference have hurt his ability to assess the team, adding that a deal for one of the Oilers' core players isn't likely to happen soon, but could make sense in the offseason.

TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported earlier this month that the Oilers decided to be sellers at the deadline, and that forward Teddy Purcell was a candidate to be moved because of his status as a pending unrestricted free agent with a cap hit of $4.5 million.

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Blues’ Reaves facing hearing for boarding Sharks’ Tennyson

St. Louis Blues forward Ryan Reaves will have a hearing with the NHL's Department of Player Safety after boarding San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson on Monday, the league announced.

Reaves sent Tennyson face-first into the boards from behind, earning a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct on the play.

Tennyson appeared unconscious as he hit the glass, and then his head slammed into the ice violently after the collision. He's "likely concussed," head coach Pete DeBoer said Monday.

Reaves has no prior history with the DOPS, but is likely facing a suspension.

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Jets’ Ladd ‘sad’ ahead of possible last home game, still hasn’t received offer

As the Feb. 29 trade deadline draws closer, Andrew Ladd's future has become both clearer and murkier.

The Winnipeg Jets captain said Tuesday he has yet to receive a contract extension offer from the club, according to the Winnipeg Sun's Ken Wiebe, and also reiterated his desire to be a Jet for a long time.

The Jets head out on the road after Tuesday's game against the Dallas Stars, and won't play in Winnipeg until March 1. That means Ladd could be suiting up for his final game in front of Jets fans Tuesday night.

Related: 3 teams that can use Andrew Ladd

"It's kind of sad," he said, when contemplating that the end of a five-season run with the team may soon be upon him. Ladd came over to Winnipeg in 2011-12, when the Atlanta Thrashers became the Jets.

The 30-year-old has 16 goals and 17 assists this season. He's earning $4.5 million in salary, and carries a cap hit of $4.4 million.

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Blues place Elliott on long-term IR

The St. Louis Blues just can't seem to shake a season-long injury bug.

The Blues placed goaltender Brian Elliott on long-term injured reserve Tuesday due to a lower-body injury. He will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

Elliott sustained the injury Monday against the San Jose Sharks. He left the game and did not return. The ailment comes just after Jake Allen returned in a backup role following a 17-game absence.

The 30-year-old Elliott was sensational in relief of Allen, going 12-3-2. He has a 2.14 GAA and .929 save percentage this season.

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