In the latest edition of Leafs Links, we have the latest buzz from around the league on Jakob Chychrun, Vladislav Gavrikov, Timo Meier, Patrick Kane, and Sam Lafferty with under three weeks left until the NHL trade deadline.

Seravalli: Blackhawks have a third-round pick on the table for Sam Lafferty; a second-round pick seals the deal (SN590)

On The Fan Drive Time, Frank Seravalli discussed the latest on Jakob Chychrun, Vladislav Gavrikov, Patrick Kane, and the Leafs‘ level of interest in Timo Meier.

Seravalli on Chychrun and Gavrkov sitting out multiple games for “trade-related reasons”:

I spoke to a number of NHL GMs today who were saying, “Can you believe we get criticized for tanking potentially, and yet we have players sitting out for who knows how long and it is not an issue for anyone?” That was some of the refrain. How long is this going to last?

I have no sense with Chychrun or Gavrikov that anything is imminent. There has been lots of smoke with the LA Kings and Chychrun. There has been a lot of chatter and conversation about the Boston Bruins and Gavrikov. But I think a huge part of this is GMs using this social media world we live in as an opportunity to smoke a team or two out and say, “Hey, we are close to pulling the trigger.” I am sure there is a conversation where it’s, “Present your best offer. This is really happening.”

Seravalli on the plausibility of the Leafs acquiring Meier and flipping him in the summer:

That is where I see a real loss of leverage for the Leafs if they were to consider that. If they went into the deadline targeting Meier — which I am not sold that they are — thinking they will trade his rights this summer and recoup 15-20% on the dollar of what we spent, I would understand that as perhaps a prudent way of doing business.

You are in a spot where you have acquired a real beast — someone you can plug into your lineup and make it significantly better — and you deal with whatever happens after the fact with the sort of optionality thought process. Let’s say he is lights-out for them; well, then you trade someone else in the summer and find a way to keep him. Having options is a good thing.

If you are looking at it from a perspective of which teams might really be able to push and pull the levers there, the team that stands out to me is the Carolina Hurricanes. They have been connected to Meier in a much more real way than any of the speculation that has been out there with the Leafs.

Part of the reason is that they have $18 million coming off of their books this summer. They would be one of those teams that says, “Instead of just trading this guy’s rights in the summer, we are going to trade for him now, and worst-case scenario, we are going to give him the one-year, $10 million qualifying offer. We are going to own this guy’s rights. If push comes to shove, next year at the deadline — depending on how he and the team are playing — we could trade him then or trade him in the summer. ”

There are a million things that you could do with that, but you have to have the ability to push the button and sign him to that qualifying offer.  I don’t see the avenue through which the Leafs could do that.

Seravalli on the Coyotes’ willingness to retain on Chychrun’s contract:

They are in a spot where I think they might have to in order to really get to the realm of the return they have circled on their return for a long time. Depending on who you talk to, that is two first-round picks and a prospect or it is a first-round pick, a first-round pick equivalent — meaning, someone who was drafted in the first round — and an A-level prospect. Either way, it is looking like three pieces or somewhere in the neighbourhood of that.

If someone is willing to step up and acquire the player for that, they already would’ve done it. It would’ve been like, “The first team to put that on the table gets him.”

I think they have expressed a willingness to some teams to retain money, whether it is 25% or 50%. That really puts them into a realm where the ask goes up significantly. Teams might be willing to do that even though it is going to cost more because of the flexibility that it provides.

A lot of teams really like the $4.6 million for the next two years, but to be at $3 million or $2.3 or something in that area, that really gets everyone excited. Could you think of trying to go out on the open market this summer and trying to sign someone of Chychrun’s calibre to a two-year, $2.3 million deal? No, it is impossible.

That is the same proposition the Blackhawks have put forth with McCabe as well.

Seravalli on Patrick Kane’s status:

There has been more reservation about his hip injury than the acquisition cost. Everyone has been waiting for him to get himself in gear to say, “Yes, this is my plan, and these are the teams I am entertaining.” The clock is ticking.

He was infatuated with the Rangers. If you talk to people around the Blackhawks, he has been quietly asking about the Rangers in the weeks leading up to that [Tarasenko] trade. They didn’t act fast enough. That has been a huge wake-up call — at least from what I’ve heard from people around the league in the last few days — and has lit a fire under him to now try to figure this out, get to the bottom of it, and present a plan to the Blackhawks.

Seravalli on the price for Chicago depth forward Sam Lafferty:

He is likely in a second-round pick territory. I believe they have a third on the table from a team. They have essentially said, “First team up to give us a second, you get him.”

Friedman: Maple Leafs are a darkhorse suitor on Timo Meier (NHL Network)

On NHL Tonight, Elliotte Friedman discussed the latest on the Vladislav Gavrikov and Timo Meier sweepstakes.

Friedman on Gavrikov’s suitors:

I think the teams we are talking about here are Boston, and potentially Toronto, although I think the Maple Leafs are looking at the forward. I think LA has some interest, particularly if they don’t get Chychrun done. The hangup with LA is that I think they want him signed before they will trade for him. LA wants guys with term.

I think there are probably a few other teams out there, too. Edmonton was in on Gavrikov. I am not convinced they are still there. Those are the big three or four teams I am looking at. I always assume there are two or three other teams there I am not thinking about.

Friedman on Meier’s suitors:

There is a ton of interest in Meier. The Sharks have made it clear that if they get something they like, they’ll let you talk with his reps about an extension. I don’t believe it has happened yet. Meier has said it hasn’t happened yet, and I take him at his word.

New Jersey is very interested. I wonder about Vegas. I wonder about almost anyone who is good. Carolina has a lot of cap room and the flexibility to pull this off. That is the kind of player they like.

My darkhorse in this one: Toronto is looking for a forward, and I do think they are looking at it. I know they have called about him. The question I don’t have an answer to: Was that just exploratory, or is it a little more than that?  I do think they have interest. I just don’t know if that is who they are going to target yet.

Johnston: Blue Jackets are asking for a first, a third, and a fourth for Vladislav Gavirkov (TSN)

On the latest edition of Insider Trading, the TSN insiders discuss the latest on Meier, Kane, Toews, and the asking price for Gavrikov.

Pierre LeBrun on the suitors for Timo Meier:

Agent Claude Lemieux has not yet been given permission as of Tuesday afternoon to speak directly to teams in trade talks with Timo Meier.

For example, the New Jersey Devils — who absolutely would love to land Meier, and there have been more talks in the last 48 hours between the Devils and Sharks — would want an extension to be part of this trade. They want to sign Meier as part of this.

The Hurricanes — another team that has had talks with the Sharks in the last number of days — are more open-minded, I am told. They could make this trade without even talking to Lemieux or worrying about an extension at this point.

Of course, you also have the Toronto Maple Leafs, who — by all accounts — remain interested in Timo Meier as well.

Johnston on the timeline for a deadline decision from Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane:

It probably isn’t going to come this week. Chicago is on a trip through eastern Canada. There is a lot of hype around these two guys. It sounds like it will be 8-10 days before the March 3 deadline when they will make a decision one way or another about whether they will move their no-trade clauses, which then leaves Kyle Davidson some time potentially to make a move. It might involve a third team.

There is some sensitivity to knowing you can’t let it go on too long, but they’re not quite there yet in terms of making a decision.

Johnston on the asking price for Gavrikov:

As good as the cap hit looks on Gavrikov to the Oilers and other teams, I think there is still some sticker shock on the price. The Blue Jackets are sticking — at least to this point — to a three-draft-pick kind of return: a first, a third, and a fourth, one team was told this week.

What makes it tougher is that this player is a pending UFA. It doesn’t sound like he is inclined to want to talk to whatever team ends up acquiring him at this point in time. You’d be spending those three assets for a rental player who probably wants to become an FA this summer.

Johnston: There is legitimate interest from the Maple Leafs in Timo Meier; remains to be seen if they swing that big (TSN1050)

On TSN’s First Up, Chris Johnston discussed the latest on Max Domi and the Leafs’ level of interest in Timo Meier.

Johnston on whether the Leafs are more interested in Jake McCabe or Max Domi in Chicago:

I think Jake McCabe would probably be a better fit. He is signed a couple of years beyond this one, which is key. The Hawks have indicated that they would entertain retaining on his $4 million cap hit.

I am not even sure Max Domi is going to be dealt by Chicago. He has been a nice fit there. He has enjoyed it. I know he is willing to stay and sign another deal.  Now, a team in Chicago’s position really has to explore the trade market to see if they are getting something worthwhile to deal him. They can always trade him and sign him back July 1st, although that rarely does happen in the NHL.

Johnston on the Leafs’ interest in Timo Meier:

I do think there is legitimate interest. The issue is that there is going to be a pretty high cost for this player. The Rangers, before they traded for Tarasenko, were in on Meier. One of the reasons they moved along is that the cost was going to be significantly more than they had to give up in that deal for Tarasenko, and that was a first, a third, a player off their roster, and a prospect in that deal.

I don’t know if the Leafs are going to be the one to pay the price, but they definitely like the player. That is not in question.

New Jersey seems like they are quite aggressively in there. Carolina is interested. Buffalo has made a call. There are a lot of teams. It is hard to say who is the front-runner, but I don’t know if the Leafs will end up swinging this big.

Friedman: A lot of people around the league credit the Leafs for getting a steal of a player in Matthew Knies (SN590)

On The Jeff Marek Show, Elliotte Friedman discussed the latest on Jakob Chychrun as well as Kyle Dubas’ priorities at the trade deadline.

Friedman on the latest with Chychrun and the possibility of Columbus showing interest:

We believe the front-runner for Chychrun was LA. But now that we are three days since this happened and we’ve heard there is some kind of snag or holdup, it says to me that there is room for other teams to get in here.

Columbus has been interested in Chychrun for some time. They do like him. One of the things that Columbus likes about him is the fact that he is signed for term. Columbus has tried to extend Gavrikov this year. He said no. He is going to be traded. They think they are going to a decent return similar to what they got for David Savard: a first and a third. I do think it is possible.

I am wondering if what Columbus does is trade Gavrikov, get their return, and while they’re not trading their first, they have a lot of picks and prospects. They will add to it with their Gavrikov return. They could use all of it to take a run at Chychrun.

I am not sure that is going to make Chychrun incredibly thrilled because he wants to go to a winner. But what this is going to be about is accelerating Columbus’ rebuild. I am not saying that will happen, but I do think it is something Columbus is considering.

Friedman on Dubas’ deadline intentions:

Do I think he is going to try to take a big swing? Yeah, I do. Am I guaranteeing he is going to do it? No. But I think he is going to try.

I do think, at this point in time, one of the things he has looked at is that it might be more important for them to get a forward than a D. I do think he is looking into that right now.

Friedman on how highly coveted Matthew Knies is around the league:

I think he is pretty highly respected. I don’t know how much expectation there is for him to come in right away and be a difference-maker, but a lot of people credit the Maple Leafs for getting a steal of a player. They jumped in when the kid was having a down year, took the gamble, and it looks like a winning gamble.

A lot of people think he is going to be a very good player. I just don’t know if he is going to be a good enough player right now to make a difference. He is good, but you are stepping in on a team that is trying to win a Cup. I don’t know if he is ready for that yet.

Pagnotta: Dallas, Toronto among those with some interest in Patrick Kane (TFP)

The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta discussed the latest on the market for Vladislav Gavrikov, the other teams re-engaging the Coyotes about Jakob Chychrun, and the suitors in the Patrick Kane conversations.

Pagnotta on the list of Gavrikov suitors:

A trade is not close yet, but they are talking to multiple teams about getting Gavrikov re-situated to a playoff contender. His agent Dan Milstein has permission to talk to teams about an extension. That could come along with whatever trade ends up happening here between Columbus and you name it — LA, Boston, Edmonton, Calgary, Minnesota, and Winnipeg. There are a lot of teams that have interest in this player.

Pagnotta on the other teams that are pursuing Chychrun outside of LA:

LA has been at the heart of this thing, but Boston has been creeping into the mix. This could be a scenario where we see a domino effect with defensemen getting dealt as a result of Chychrun getting dealt somewhere… As much as people believe they’re right there with LA, they’re trying to see if they can get a little bit more somewhere else.

Pagnotta on the teams interested in Patrick Kane:

Dallas has been in this since the summer. They have acknowledged their interest. I believe Patrick Kane has some level of interest in exploring that possibility with Dallas, but there are other teams in this mix as well. You look at Carolina. You look at Vegas. Both teams have a ton of space now because of LTIR. They are kind of lurking around and seeing what could potentially happen here.

We know Toronto, to a certain extent, has had an interest. Edmonton, too. I suspect he is going to narrow down that list. If the Islanders can get their act together soon, it might be something they revisit and re-examine. They have had interest in the past.

Pagnotta on the market for Luke Schenn:

Boston is in on everything, and so is Calgary. They want to make sure they have all of their bases covered so they have an understanding of what the prices are, who is in the mix, and if they need to step up. Calgary and Boston are very much in the fold in respect to Luke Schenn.

I was told that Tampa was in it, too, but they seem to be out now. They could certainly circle back in, but it seems like they are not at the forefront of this. They are focused on getting a forward up front for the time being.

Toronto is lurking around, and Edmonton. There are some other teams that are looking at this.