Trade winds blowing as GM's meet in Philadelphia

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. There are trade rumors circling and they surround Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle, only this time the Maple Leafs are the ones trying to spark the interest in him. Darren Dreger from TSN in Canada has the details.

The Toronto Maple Leafs recently sent an email to NHL teams acknowledging defenceman Tomas Kaberle is available.

The email outlined Kaberle’s contract status and reminded general managers that Kaberle’s no-trade clause will lift at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft and will return in August.

The email sparked interest, with as many as five teams currently inquiring about the Leafs asking price; two of the teams are said to be keenly interested.

Toronto is seeking either a first-round draft pick, or a young player capable of immediately stepping into the Maple Leafs’ lineup.

Dreger later went on to add on Twitter that the Leafs would ideally like a winger that can score and secondary toughness in any deal for Kaberle. That sort of asking price is pretty stiff, but as we outlined earlier in talking about Paul Martin, the quality choices for a top defenseman on the free agent market are thin.

Color us surprised that the Leafs are looking to get into the first round mix for draft picks this year. After all, they coughed up what ended up being the second overall pick to Boston to get Phil Kessel, but now that they’re actively shopping Kaberle about while they can it spices the talk up a bit. As for who those two teams are that are interested, your guess is as good as ours.

As for the Bruins and that pick, perhaps they’re not content to let the Oilers decide their fate for them.

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli says that over the past couple of days, teams have inquired about his interest in trading the second overall pick in this month’s NHL draft.

Chiarelli also says he talked to Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini on Wednesday about the potential of flipping picks. Chiarelli adds they will talk again soon.

Intrigue at the NHL Draft is a beautiful thing. If I had to guess, I’d say that Peter Chiarelli has his guy in mind be it Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin and he’d rather not deal with the Oilers’ whims, but he’d have to pay up something to make it happen.

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

Ilya Mikheyev
Bob Frid/USA TODAY Sports
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports
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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.