NHL rumors: Jets, Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets and Rangers
J.T. Miller of the New York Rangers
On KHL free agent Vladimir Tkachyev …

Aivis Kalnins: Hearing that the Winnipeg Jets are one of the teams interested in Vladimir Tkachyev (Ak Bars).

Aivis Kalnins: The Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs are also believed to be interested. The Blackhawks could be looking at options if they are not able to sign Maxim Shalunov.

On the Columbus Blue Jackets …

The Fourth Period: The Blue Jackets have some salary cap space heading into the trade deadline and they could look to add a player or two. GM Jarmo Kekalainen is monitoring what could be available before the deadline.

It is believed that the Blue Jackets might be interested in adding a center. One center they could be looking at is Coyotes Martin Hanzal. If they don’t bring in a centerman, they could look to add a top-six winger.

On the New York Rangers …

Larry Brooks of the NY Post: J.T. Miller fills in for Kevin Hayes down the middle while Hayes is out for the next three weeks. This added depth that Miller brings is why the Rangers shouldn’t be looking to trade him. If the Rangers were to make a big trade to bring a ‘difference-maker on defense,’ Miller would likely have to be part of the package. If Miller isn’t included, then it might have to be Chris Kreider.

Miller is third on the Rangers in goals, behind Michael Grabner and Kreider.

There is no doubt that Kevin Shattenkirk would help out the Rangers on the backend, but …

a) it is not at all clear the Rangers are committed to giving the defenseman, who turns 28 on Sunday, the $45 million or so over seven years he will command on his next contract; and,

b) if they are, wouldn’t it make more sense to sign Shattenkirk over the summer without withdrawing from their vault of young forwards (plus) to obtain him in an expected deadline bidding war?