*The Islanders are quickly becoming one of the surprise teams in the Eastern Conference, sitting just two points out of eighth place as NHL action begins on Sunday. Veteran defensemen Mark Streit and Lubomir Visnovsky, as well as goaltender Evgeni Nabakov, have been a big part of the Islanders push for the post-season, which would be their first since 2007. The Islanders appear to be opening up trade talks with those players, rather than throwing them on the trading block. According to Newsday's Arthur Staple, the Islanders began contract talks with Streit -- the team's captain -- last month, and have just recently done the same with Nabakov and Visnovsky. The Islanders have only 11 players and $28 million committed toward next season's cap, so the money is there if Streit, Nabakov and Visnovsky wish to stick around.
*The Hockey Night in Canada Hotstove returned Saturday night with its typical weekly scuttlebutt, though apparently there is not much to be had. CBC's Elliotte Friedman reported that a GM had told him that "prices are outrageous". The reasons cited are everyone being in the playoff race, the lowering salary cap and a weak free agent market. Friedman says that the main trade targets -- besides the obvious Jarome Iginla -- are Ryan Clowe, Steve Ott and Brendan Morrow. The "buyers" at this time include Vancouver, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers.
Speaking of the Rangers, one piece they could be looking to sell is Marian Gaborik. The star forward has struggled at times this season, and his name came up during the show, but perhaps more in a wishful thinking sort of way than a legitimate trade rumor. According to Friedman, Gaborik has a list of 10 teams he cannot be traded to. Friedman says there were talks between the Rangers and Vancouver, but they went nowhere and it was not a match. A difficulty may prove to be his one year left at $7.5 million on his contract.
*Finally, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reports that the Buffalo Sabres are about to blow things up and they're having a fire... sale. His sources suggest that the lone untouchables are Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson, Alexander Sulzer, and Marcus Foligno, while Tyler Myers' contract is thought to be untradeable. That means guys like Ryan Miller, Ville Leino, Christian Ehroff and captain Jason Pominville are all supposedly on the block.