The Washington Times - February 27, 2012, 08:28AM

Happy trade deadline day, everyone. The clock strikes midnight at 3 p.m., though there are always trades that get announced well after. Fax machines are still involved, so it’s understandable.

Keep it here for the day’s goings on about the Washington Capitals and other teams around the NHL. If Rick Nash gets dealt, you’ll be able to read about it here.

SEE RELATED:


Without further ado:

3 p.m.

A team spokesman walked into the media room just before the deadline and told reporters that GM George McPhee would address reporters at 5 p.m. He said that he expected things to be quiet. 

So, there’s that.

2:21 p.m.

Some moves around the league: Winnipeg Jets deal defenseman Johnny Oduya to the Chicago Blackhawks for a second- and a third-round pick. The Ottawa Senators traded Brian Lee to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Matt Gilroy.

Still nothing to report on the Caps front.

1:23 p.m.

The Edmonton Oilers traded defenseman Tom Gilbert to the Minnesota Wild for defenseman Nick Schultz, who was apparently shocked by the move.

Gilbert was thought to be a calming presence on a young Edmonton team.

“Every year you try to get better in some kind of situation. You try to improve your game,” he said back in October when the Caps were in town. “From where I started to where I am now, I think that there’s a lot of things that have definitely improved. I just got to keep pushing forward and keep trying to make myself a better player.”

12:30 p.m.

All seems to be quiet around the league. Cue the tumbleweeds. And a lot of trades around the deadline, probably.

12:00 p.m.

Roman Hamrlik and Mike Knuble both said they have not asked for a trade. Vokoun confirmed that he just came off the ice because practice was ending.

The veteran goaltender confirmed he has not been asked to waive his no-movement clause and has not even thought about it.

11:10 a.m.

The Caps were in the midst of practice when goaltender Tomas Vokoun had a conversation with assistant coach Jim Johnson and stepped off the ice.

Vokoun has a full no-movement clause in his one-year, $1.5 million contract. As of 11:10 a.m. the goaltender had not been asked to waive that.

10:57 a.m.

Everyone around the league who’s supposedly on the block is skating this morning. In Arlington, Roman Hamrlik and Mike Knuble were on the ice, along with every other healthy Caps player.

Rick Nash was skating with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Jaroslav Spacek and Bryan Allen were both practicing with the Carolina Hurricanes.

Trades may be going down but were not done yet in these places.

10:45 a.m.

The Montreal Canadiens were the first team to pull the trigger on a move, dealing enigmatic winger Andrei Kostitsyn to the Nashville Predators for a 2013 second-round pick and a fifth-rounder.

Nashville could be gearing up for a big day and a Stanley Cup run. The Predators already acquired big defenseman Hal Gill and have made it clear that impending unrestricted free agent Ryan Suter and impending restricted free agent Shea Weber aren’t going anywhere.

***

The New York Islanders are set to practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex at 1 p.m. New York might be fielding offers for winger PA Parenteau, though it’s trying to re-sign Evgeni Nabokov, according to reports.

8:15 a.m.

Over the weekend, general manager George McPhee told CBC’s Elliotte Friedman that “he will not make rental deals, just ones that make long-term sense.” So think about players with at least another year left. Dennis Wideman fit that bill last season.

***

A report surfaced out of Montreal on Sunday morning that Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec was willing to move his no-trade clause. His agent, Rick Curran, denied that in an email to The Washington Times, as well as many other outlets.

The Ottawa Sun reported Monday that Plekanec was “on the table.” The 29-year-old has four years left after this one on his contract, at a cap hit of $5 million per. But Montreal, even if it sells, might choose to keep him around and build around him.

***

Mark Spector of Sportsnet in Canada reported, not surprisingly, that the Chicago Blackhawks are in need of defensemen. Ex-Caps D-man Sami Lepisto has been an option for them lately, as the season has become trouble.

***

TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Monday morning that the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have lost eight of their past nine, have offers on the table for a few of their players. If Brian Burke decides to become a seller, Mikhail Grabovski is a center who could fetch serious value.

***

Multiple reports, including Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet and Katie Strang of ESPN New York, said that the New York Rangers were backing away from a Rick Nash deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets because the price was too high. Nash, who played under Caps coach Dale Hunter while with the London Knights, has a cap hit of $7.8 million.

“Obviously with Nasher apparently available now, I played with him and I know him a little bit, and I’m kind of excited to see where he ends up,” Caps defenseman Dennis Wideman said.

Asked about possibly lobbying the front office to go get him, Wideman gave a wry smile.

“Nasher?” he said “We can’t afford Nasher.”

***

Wideman is an unrestricted free agent himself at the end of the season, along with Mike Knuble, Alexander Semin, Jeff Halpern and Tomas Vokoun.

“Do I feel vulnerable? I try not to think about it,” Wideman said last week. “Every time you start thinking about it, then it starts affecting the way you play and stuff like that. Whatever happens, happens. Whenever you think you’re not getting traded, that’s when you get traded. So I’m getting traded.”

His ice time has decreased since Mike Green returned from injury.

***

The Caps have a 10:30 a.m. practice scheduled. Knuble and Roman Hamrlik have not played in recent games, and their fates Monday seem to be under the microscope.