What does Florida have to trade? Let’s pick over the roster

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Dale Tallon wants to make a trade. Badly.

With his team off to a disastrous 3-9-4 start, the Panthers’ general manager already felt the need to fire head coach Kevin Dineen, along with assistants Gord Murphy and Craig Ramsay. And let’s face it, with new ownership in Florida, the next guy to be fired could be Tallon.

But what does Tallon have to offer other NHL teams? We’ll ignore blue-chippers like Jonathan Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov; if any of the Panthers’ highly touted youngsters are available, obviously they’ll draw interest.

As for Florida’s veterans? Here are a few to consider:

Tomas Fleischmann: The team’s leading scorer, with 11 points in 15 games. The 29-year-old winger is signed through 2014-15 with a $4.5 million cap hit that would’ve been a lot easier to move in any other season. (Cap space isn’t exactly plentiful for most teams.) But given Rick Nash’s health concerns, might the Rangers have some interest here? Just throwing it out there.

Marcel Goc: A pending unrestricted free agent with a $1.7 million cap hit, this 30-year-old center should be movable. He’s not going to score a ton and he’s got a lengthy injury log that may be concerning, but for a team looking to bolster depth down the middle, Goc could be a target.

Jesse Winchester: Very affordable pending UFA with a cap hit of just $600,000, this 30-year-old forward has four goals and three assists in 16 games. He also doesn’t mind playing physical, with 25 hits.

Shawn Matthias: Signed through 2014-15 with a cap hit of $1.75 million, Matthias is another guy who could bolster a team’s forward depth. The 25-year-old had a career-high 14 goals last season, so there’s scoring potential in him too. Of course, the Panthers may be loathe to trade him, for those exact reasons.

Tom Gilbert: Pending UFA. Low cap hit ($900,000). Gilbert, 30, is logging 21:06 per game on the Panthers’ blue line. Teams are always looking to add extra d-men for the playoffs, though some might want to wait until closer to the spring to do that.

Those five aren’t the only ones that could be available. Far from it. Tallon should also be more than willing to talk about veterans like Kris Versteeg, Scottie Upshall, Brad Boyes, Tomas Kopecky, Sean Bergenheim, Scott Gomez, Mike Weaver, Matt Gilroy and Ryan Whitney.

Basically, if he wasn’t a high draft pick in the past few years, he’s more than likely available.

Report: Wings, Hawks, Preds in mix to sign ‘strong two-way center’ Ejdsell

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Keep an eye on Swedish forward Victor Ejdsell in the coming days.

Ejdsell, 21, caught the eye of several NHL clubs following a standout year with Bofors of the Swedish first division — including Detroit (where he visited earlier this week, per MLive.) Reports suggest that Chicago and Nashville are also interested in securing Ejdsell’s services.

It’s easy to see why.

He racked up 25 goals and 57 points in 60 games this year, and he’s got terrific size. At 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, the physical presence is there to potentially make the shift to the NHL next season.

“He’s evolved into a strong two-way center,” Detroit assistant GM Ryan Martin told MLive. “His move from wings to center helped his defensive game. He’s got good hands and offensive ability.”

Vlasic joins Canada for Worlds, extending marathon campaign

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Marc-Edouard Vlasic is putting in work this year.

On Friday, Hockey Canada announced that Vlasic — along with Mitch Marner, Brayden Schenn and Chad Johnson — has been added to the 22-player roster for the upcoming World Hockey Championship in France and Germany.

Vlasic’s season started early as a member of Canada’s World Cup of Hockey squad. He appeared in all six games, which included his tournament high TOI (24:04) in final against Team Europe.

From there, the 30-year-old rejoined the Sharks and appeared in 75 contests, averaging 21:14 per evening. He was part of a remarkably durable San Jose defense that saw Brent Burns play all 82 games, while Paul Martin, Brenden Dillon and Justin Braun appeared in 81.

In the playoffs, Vlasic was once again a busy guy. He finished second only to Burns in time on ice (23:16 per) and was often tasked with trying to shut down the Connor McDavid line. The Sharks would eventually bow out to the Oilers in six games.

And Vlasic might have even more to do this summer.

During his end-of-year media availability, Sharks GM Doug Wilson said getting Vlasic signed to an extension prior to September’s training camp was a big priority.

Vlasic’s current deal — a five-year, $21.25 million pact — expires next summer, and carries an average cap hit of $4.25M. Wilson didn’t mince words in describing how good he thinks Vlasic is.

“Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league,” he said. “Marc-Edouard is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world.”

Stepan: ‘I’ve stunk since the playoffs started’

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Derek Stepan knows he’s not playing very well, and he knows he’ll have to be better if the New York Rangers are going to make it past the Ottawa Senators.

With just one goal (an empty-netter) and one assist in seven playoff games, Stepan’s offensive production has fallen off a cliff after a respectable 55-point regular season, which included 38 assists.

“I’ve stunk since the playoffs started,” Stepan said, per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “I’ve been not very good with the puck.”

An all-situations center, Stepan is more than just an offensive type. But he’s produced in previous playoff runs, and the Rangers need him to produce now — especially against a tight-checking Sens team that boasts a 2.00 goals-against average¬†in these playoffs.

Stepan has 45 points (18G, 27A) in 92 career playoff games.

To be fair, he’s not the only Ranger who needs to get going offensively. One of the Blueshirts’ big strengths during the regular season was their balanced scoring, with all four lines contributing — and that’s not happening right now.

No Bieksa for Anaheim tonight, but Vatanen could return

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The Ducks will be without their most veteran skater on Friday as they look to even up their series with Edmonton.

Kevin Bieksa, who exited Game 1 with a lower-body injury following a collision with fellow d-man Shea Theodore, has been ruled out for tonight’s Game 2. It marks the first tilt the 35-year-old will miss this postseason.

Bieksa was enjoying a pretty good playoff prior to getting hurt. He racked up four assists in five games, while averaging just under 17 minutes per night. Ducks head coach Randy Carlyle is holding out hope Bieksa could return later in the series.

While this is a loss for the Ducks, it goes a long way in illustrating how much defensive depth they have.

While Carlyle wouldn’t confirm, all signs point to Sami Vatanen drawing in for Bieksa. Vatanen has been out since Game 1 of the Calgary series with an upper-body injury, but has resumed practicing and sounds like he’s ready to go.

“It’s always nice when a player is closer to coming back and you can potentially put them back in the lineup,” Carlyle said of Vatanen.

Anaheim dressed a blueline of Bieksa, Theodore, Cam Fowler, Josh Manson, Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Montour in Wednesday’s 5-3 defeat. If Vatanen can’t draw in for Bieksa, the club still has Korbinian Holzer in reserve.