Mike Halford

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 17: Jamie McGinn #88 of the Buffalo Sabres celebrates his goal against the Anaheim Ducks with teammates along the bench at First Niagara Center on December 17, 2015 in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo defeated Anaheim 3-0.  (Photo by Jen Fuller/Getty Images)

Agent: No contract talks between Sabres and McGinn, who ‘loves Buffalo’

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Though he’s only been there for half a year, Jamie McGinn has really embraced playing in Buffalo.

McGinn, a pending UFA, sits fourth on the team in goals (10) and points (21), earning widespread acclaim from teammates for his net-front presence and winning board battles. He says he loves playing for the Sabres, his agent says he loves playing for the Sabres… yet, as the NHL trade deadline draws closer, McGinn’s name continues to pop up as a potential target.

Per the Buffalo News, agent Thane Campbell says there’s been no talks with GM Tim Murray about a new deal for his client.

But that hasn’t stopped Campbell from expressing McGinn’s affinity for the organization.

“He loves Buffalo,” Campbell explained. “He loves the city. He really likes the teammates. He really feels comfortable there. He feels the coaches have respect for his game, and he feels that it’s a good fit for him.”

From Murray’s perspective, hanging onto McGinn might not make sense. The 27-year-old could be a fairly hot commodity at the deadline and, given Murray’s penchant for stockpiling assets to aid in Buffalo’s rebuild, adding more draft picks could be the play.

(Don’t forget Buffalo is hosting the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.)

(But also don’t forget Buffalo already has eleven picks to make.)

In the end, this could all come down to money, as it often does.

McGinn’s making $2.95 million annually on his current deal, but this would be the first time he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency. Hitting the open market could prove too enticing, especially for a hybrid guy like McGinn who’s got some offensive talent, can play the power play, but also provides physicality.

He current sits third on the Sabres in hits, with 98.

Trade: Ducks acquire Garbutt from Chicago for Sekac

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 15:  Ryan Garbutt #28 of the Chicago Black Hawks skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on January 15, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Black Hawks defeated the Maple leafs 4-1. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Bob Murray is at it again.

Just days after flipping Carl Hagelin to Pittsburgh for David Perron and Adam Clendening, the Ducks GM has made another move — sending Jiri Sekac to Chicago in exchange for Ryan Garbutt.

Garbutt, 30, has two goals and six points for the ‘Hawks this year. A gritty, physical forward that plays with an edge — he’s a frequent customer at the NHL’s Department of Player Safety — he was part of the Patrick Sharp deal with Dallas this past offseason.

(Ironically, neither he nor the other piece the Stars sent for Sharp — Trevor Daley — are with the ‘Hawks anymore.)

Sekac, 23, is once again on the move.

After debuting with Montreal in ’14-15, he was acquired by the Ducks for Devante Smith-Pelly last season. Over the course of two years he played in 41 games for Anaheim, scoring three goals and 10 points.

Sekac is a skill guy, more perimeter-oriented, so you could chalk this trade up to Anaheim getting greasier, while the ‘Hawks add more talent up front. As for the money, Sekac makes $925,000 and is up at year’s end, while Garbutt pulls in $1.8M annually and is locked in through 2017.

(Dallas is retaining 50 percent of Garbutt’s salary, however.)

Finally, it’ll be curious to see what kind of reception Garbutt gets in Anaheim. He, of course, made waves two postseasons ago by spearing Corey Perry in the groin.

Canucks sign Zalewski, recall him from AHL Utica

VANCOUVER, BC - APRIL 13:  Yannick Weber #6 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by Michael Zalewski #40 after scoring against the Calgary Flames during the second period in NHL action on April 13, 2014 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Zalewski was credited with an assist on the play, his first career point in the NHL.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
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Jan. 20, 2016 is probably a day Mike Zalewski will never forget.

Zalewski, a 23-year-old undrafted free agent, has signed a two-way NHL contract for the remainder of the season with Vancouver — and has also been recalled from the club’s AHL affiliate in Utica, where he’s spent the last two seasons.

A former standout at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Zalewski made his big-league debut with Vancouver during the ’13-14 campaign, appearing in two games. He was unable to secure another NHL deal after that, though, and opted to sign an AHL contract with the Comets last July to stick in the organization.

The move seems to have paid off. Zalewski has eight goals and 17 points through 36 games this year, and could be in line for his season debut in the not-too-distant future.

WATCH LIVE: Blues at Red Wings on Rivalry Night

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 19: Patrik Berglund #21 of the St. Louis Blues checks Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red wings into the boards at the Scottrade Center on January 19, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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A classic Norris Division matchup goes tonight at Joe Louis when the Red Wings host the Blues for the second meeting this year between the clubs. You can catch the game on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET, or watch online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE ONLINE

In the first meeting of the year, the Red Wings scored a 4-3 OT win over the Blues at Scottrade, thanks to a Teemu Pulkkinen winner at 3-on-3. Pavel Datsyuk, Luke Glendening and Dylan Larkin also scored and Jimmy Howard made 30 saves for the Red Wings.

Howard, however, will be watching from the bench tonight as the Wings continue to ride the red-hot Petr Mrazek in goal.

For the Blues, Kyle Brodziak, Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko scored last time out, while Jake Allen made 28 saves. Not unlike Detroit, St. Louis will also have a different goalie in net tonight — Allen’s out injured, which means Brian Elliott will continue to carry the mail.

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Detroit loses Kronwall (2-4 weeks), Miller (4-6 months) to knee injuries

Stastny’s four-point night powers Blues past Pens

Bolts suspend Drouin after failing to report for AHL game (Update: Agent responds)

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From the Lightning:

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after his failure to report for tonight’s game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this evening.

The team will make no further comment at this time.

Drouin’s absence from tonight’s game made quite a bit of noise on social media, as many suggested it could be a precursor to the trade he demanded weeks ago.

He was reportedly present at this morning’s skate and, per Sportsnet, is actually at the Marlies’ arena tonight with Syracuse’s other scratches:

The 20-year-old, taken third overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, had appeared in seven games for the Crunch since his contention demotion, scoring two goals and three points — and, according to head coach Rob Zettler, had been a good teammate thus far.

“He’s been fitting in well. Off the ice, he’s been great, doing a lot of stuff with his teammates,” Zettler said on Monday, per Syracuse.com. “The best part about Jo’s game, he’s really been aware of and working hard at defending down low, because he’s playing center and he’s getting a lot of minutes playing against some good guys. He’s done a real good job of that.”

UPDATE: Drouin’s agent, Allan Walsh, has issued the following statement…

walshdrouin