Photo: Kevin Hoffman - USA TODAY Sports

Custance: 8-10 teams have shown interest in Kane

Craig Custance from The Athletic joined Howard Simon on Monday before the NHL Trade Deadline

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February 20, 2018 - 11:22 am

The NHL Trade Deadline is less than a week away, coming up on Monday, Februaty 26th at 3 p.m. Teams around the NHL are looking to maybe add a piece or two to gear up for a late-season push and make a deep playoff run. Other teams are looking to sell off some assets to teams looking for some help, in return for some future pieces to help out down the road.

The Buffalo Sabres are a team that will certainly be looking to sell off some pieces before Monday's deadline. Buffalo has a number of players who have expiring contracts at the end of the season, and the team could look to flip some of those players for some future draft picks or prospects to replenish the pipeline. The Sabres could also look to trade some players with some term on their contract, but ones that are looking for a fresh start elsewhere.

The big name that is available on the open market out of Buffalo is forward, Evander Kane. The 26-year old left winger is currently in the final year of a six-year deal that he signed while with the Winnipeg Jets. In 60 games this season, Kane has scored 19 goals and 39 points, and is on pace to finish the 2017-18 season with 25 goals and 53 points, while playing a career-high total in games. Kane has yet to play more than 74 games in his nine-year career.

It has been reported that the Sabres and general manager Jason Botterill have set the market for Kane at a first round pick, a prospect, a conditional draft pick, and maybe even an additional roster player. However, there have not been any rumors of teams willing to meet that price.

Craig Custance of The Athletic joined Howard Simon on Monday to discuss the upcoming deadline and what he has been hearing from around the NHL of the potential trade market come Monday.

Here is some of what he had to say:

On Evander Kane's value on the trade market:

"Rightly or wrongly, there's this perception that this is a guy that is going to be motivated to have a big finish here with a potential contract looming. That's the kind of guy you want on your team, in terms of having that extra karat in front of him."

"When I've had conversations with people in Buffalo, there doesn't seem to be a lot of concern. I think part of it is because they felt there is enough demad there. There's not like it's was just one team that was pushing for him. We're talking 8-10 teams that have shown interest in Evander Kane."

On the trade market outside of Evander Kane:

"Even with Rick Nash on the market, there is going to be interest. Yes, there are a lot of wingers. A few of them are on the non-rental side, so a guy like Max Pacioretty is interesting but he has term left on his deal. Mike Hoffman is in that same camp. Another scoring winger, but he still has a fairly sizeable contract remaining. In terms of pure rentals, it's Rick nash, Evander Kane, and then after that, there seems to be a drop off. Then you're looking at a guy like Thomas Vanek, which people aren't too excited about at this point."

Can Botterill get the value he's asking for on the market?:

"I would be more confident is he was a centerman. You look at Martin Hanzal last year, who doesn't have the high-end upside [like] Evander Kane, but these contending teams tend to spend the premium on defensemen, like Kevin Shattenkirk last year, or centermen. I think Botterill is correct in asking for that, and he has a lot of history on his side. It's no different than doing an arbitration case. You look at the comparables, and you say this is what this kind of player has gotten through the years. It's a first round pick, an A[-level] prospect, and potentially a roster player."

On the status of trade talks around the league:

"When I talk to [general managers] around the league, they're saying the sellers aren't budging right now, nor should they be. There's no urgency at this point with the deadline a week out. We'll see if that changes on deadline day."

On the market value of Benoit Pouliot and Josh Gorges:

"It's like the domino [effect]. There's a lot of interest in the big-named players, and then those guys will get dealt, and then the teams that are out on those [players] or teams that don't want to give up first round picks... Those are going to be 24 hours before the deadline for a mid-round pick kind of deals."

Latest update on the interest of teams signing Brian Gionta:

"It sounds like that he has at least one team that is pushing hard on him, and interest from a couple of others. That's a freebee... It does sound like there is interest on that front."

02-19 Craig Custance of The Athletic with Howard Simon

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