• With the March 1 trade deadline approaching, Thomas Vanek’s name is out there in trade rumors because he’s at the end of an affordable one-year deal. However, the Red Wings would like to re-sign him. Agent Steve Bartlett had dinner with Vanek on Thursday night to discuss options.
Other potential guys on the move: Colorado’s Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog; Arizona’s Martin Hanzal (who might fit the Wild’s needs), and Radim Vrbata; St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk; Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford; Dallas’ Patrick Sharp, and elder statesmen Jarome Iginla (Colorado) and Shane Doan (Arizona).
Shattenkirk’s an interesting one. The struggling Blues might give him permission to discuss extensions with other teams to raise his value before the deadline.
• Wild GM Chuck Fletcher continues to say he will not part with any of his core defensemen at the deadline. The Wild’s expected to be in the market for a bottom-six forward and perhaps a backup goalie, both to secure that spot because of Darcy Kuemper’s rocky play and the need to expose a goalie in the expansion draft who’s not named Devan Dubnyk.
• With Gerard Gallant on the open market as a coach, both the New York Islanders, now that they have fired Jack Capuano, and the Las Vegas Golden Knights have received permission to talk to the former Panthers coach. Also, it very much sounds like the NHL’s longest-tenured coach, Boston’s Claude Julien, is on the hot seat. This is very much why Vegas GM George McPhee plans to wait to hire a coach. He wants to see every option he’ll have for potential coaches.