NHL Rumors: Stamkos, Drouin and the Senators
The Ottawa Senators appear to be the front runners on Jonathan Drouin

On Jonathan Drouin …

Loui Jean of TVA Sports: TVA has learned that the Ottawa Senators are in the thick of the race to get Jonathan Drouin. The St. Louis Blues are no longer in on Drouin.

Luke Fox of Sportsnet: Renaud Lavoie said this morning that he had heard the same thing as Jean, that the Senators are now the front-runners to land Jonathan Drouin before the trade deadline.

“He’s always looking as a GM to find those players who quote-unquote ‘nobody wants anymore,’ ” Lavoie said. “Kyle Turris is a good example.”

Senators GM Bryan Murray has been saying for a while that he wants to add a forward, and he’s not interested in rentals.

“I am going to pursue something else,” Murray told Hockey Central at Noon Wednesday. “I’m not going to take a guy at the end of a contract.

“I’m not interested in getting a guy that’s a UFA at the end of the year.”

The asking price for Drouin is high.

“From my understanding, it’s costly,” Lavoie said of Yzerman’s asking price, which varies depending on the trade partner. “If they’re asking for a young D like Ceci, I’m not sure they’re not going to say yes to that.”

Platinum Seat Ghosts: Lavoie on Jonathan Drouin: “I do expect something is going to happen before the trading deadline.”

Platinum Seat Ghosts: Lavoie on the cost for Drouin: “it changes from team to team. The Lightning are asking for something different all the time.”

Grant McCagg: “Inter-divisional trades more likely today than when there were 5-6 team divisions that played each other 7-8 times. Cap also limits suitors.”

Hockey Buzz: The Blues, Ducks, Coyotes and Senators are making the biggest push for Drouin.

On Steven Stamkos …

Scott Lewis of Sportsnet: Steven Stamkos’s agent Don Meehan was on PTS on Sportsnet 590 yesterday. Meehan said talks are ongoing and have been productive.

“They’re productive. All of our discussions have been productive, they’ve been professional. Tampa understands and appreciates the fact that Steven has every right and ability to take as much time as necessary to make a decision in relation to his future. That’s really what we’re engaged in at this point in time,” Meehan told Bob McCown and John Shannon.

On if the upcoming trade deadline is factoring into discussion.

“It’s a sensitive issue. It’s a self-evident issue,” he said. “Beyond the trade deadline there’s no possibility to move the player or move the asset. He has a no-move provision in his contract.”