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NHL Trade Rumors Roundup: Tim Connolly's Days In Buffalo Over?

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Two years ago at the trade deadline, Sabres forward Tim Connolly signed a two-year contract extension. Now in 2011 as the deadline approaches, that extension might spell the end of his Sabres career. He's been underwhelming since signing that contract and the natives in Buffalo have become restless with him. 

As a result, it's unlikely that the Sabres entertain him when he hits unrestricted free agency in July. If he'll walk for nothing in July, it would behoove Darcy Regier to try and get something for him now. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News speculates that several teams could use Connolly's assistance.

He's an unrestricted free agent after the season and could be the kind of third-line center and special teams player that a club like Pittsburgh, Washington or Los Angeles might be interested in as the NHL trade deadline looms next Monday.

For more on the Sabres, check in with SB Nation's Die By The Blade. On to the rest of the day's rumor news...

  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that in the wake of the Penguins' trade for James Neal and Matt Niskanen, Ray Shero is still interested in acquiring Alex Kovalev from the Ottawa Senators. 
  • Kevin Paul Dupont at the Boston Globe says that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli might want to add some depth to his blueline as the team gears up for the playoffs. He also might want to add a scoring center to help offset the loss of Marc Savard, but Chiarelli himself admits that a big deal is likely not in the cards, especially after the trade for Tomas Kaberle last week. 
  • Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times says that the Kings are still looking and that they've inquired about Edmonton's Ales Hemsky and Florida's David Booth, but that a deal doesn't seem imminent or even likely. Dean Lombardi won't part with prized prospect Brayden Schenn. Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail confirms much of Elliott's report.
  • Ville Leino of the Philadelphia Flyers personally pushed aside his own contract negotiations so that Paul Holmgren could go out and acquire Kris Versteeg, reports Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News.