Earlier reports have the Ottawa Senators holding two of their top trade chips out of their lineup Saturday as the team have made both Tyler Ennis and Vladislav Namestnikov healthy scratches. However, one player who isn’t going to be a healthy scratch Saturday is center Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who is considered to be one of the top three trade candidates at the moment.
That could change, however, as TVA’s Renaud Lavoie reports that Pageau and the Ottawa Senators are still negotiating a contract extension and the center will continue to play for the team. After failing to lock up any of their pending free agents last year at the trade deadline as they lost Mark Stone, Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel, the team is hoping they can convince the 27-year-old to remain with the team. Pageau is having a career year with 24 goals and 40 points, both career highs. The team hopes to come to terms with the forward before being forced to move him on Monday.
- Speaking of contract extensions, the New York Rangers are also in discussions with their top trade target, Chris Kreider, about a contract extension. However, there are plenty of teams that have been discussed that might be willing to pay big to bring Kreider aboard for their playoff run, including the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reports that the Carolina Hurricanes have also expressed interest in adding Kreider. The Hurricanes, who are still battling to even get into the playoffs (they are one point out of a playoff spot at the moment), do have one of the best prospect systems in the league and have the picks and prospects to make an enticing offer if they want.
- Speaking of the Hurricanes, TSN’s Mark Masters reports that Carolina will get back forward Jordan Martinook tonight after being out since Feb. 4 with an upper-body injury. The 27-year-old has two goals and 11 points in 37 games with Carolina this season.
- New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri isn’t worried about trade rumors. The 29-year-old has been traded before and understands how the trade deadline works, according to Abby Mastrocco of northjersey.com. “It’s just a lot of noise,” Palmieri said this week at Prudential Center. “It’s not something I can control. There are plenty of Twitter GMs out there but right now, I’m staying focused on the game and the guys in this room. Until someone tells me otherwise, that’s what my focus is on.” Palmieri could fetch the Devils quite a return if they are willing to move him. He has 22 goals and 42 points in 57 games for New Jersey, but more importantly has one more year on his contract after this one, which many teams might be attracted to.
- Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel didn’t take any faceoffs during Saturday’s game and The Athletic’s John Vogl found a source who said that Eichel suffered a midsection ailment and the team didn’t want their star to bend over for faceoffs Saturday. It doesn’t look like the injury will keep him out of the lineup, however, as the 23-year-old still potted two goals Saturday against the Penguins in the 5-2 victory.