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Rumor Roundup: Kane's return prompts trade speculation

Evander Kane is back in the lineup for the Sabres, fuelling speculation that he could be on the move to the Canucks or Wild.

Buffalo Sabres left winger Evander Kane recently returned to the lineup after missing several weeks with cracked ribs. That sparked a renewal in the trade rumors that linked the 25 year old to the Vancouver Canucks.

TSN's Bob McKenzie reports the Canucks looked into Kane's trade status this summer. With Vancouver's popgun offense contributing to their slide in the standings, Canucks GM Jim Benning is in the market for a 20-goal winger.

McKenzie speculates they could revisit their interest in Kane. A former 30-goal scorer (2011-12) who netted 20 goals last season, the young winger is also a Vancouver native. If the Canucks pursue him, it could be with the hope that playing in his hometown could help him regain his scoring touch.

The Canucks, however, aren't the only team with interest. A report out of Minnesota earlier this month stated Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Sabres GM Tim Murray discussed a deal involving Kane.

Though Kane only has a year remaining on his contract, he carries an annual salary-cap hit of $5.25 million. The Canucks, Sabres and Wild are all pressed for cap space. Any deal involving him at this point must be dollar-for-dollar.

STRUGGLING ISLANDERS IN NEED OF OFFENSE

The New York Islanders are another club in need of a scoring boost. Mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the Isles are uncomfortably close to the bottom third in league scoring. Appearing last Friday on the NHL Network, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman speculated the Islanders could be shopping for some offense.

During the off-season, the Islanders let right winger Kyle Okposo and center Frans Nielsen depart via free agency. The club still feels their absence.

The Isles have pluggers Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck skating alongside first-line center John Tavares. Free-agent signing Andrew Ladd's been a bust thus far, tallying only three points in 16 games. Center Brock Nelson netted only two points this month. Former 50-point winger Ryan Strome's last point came on Oct. 26. Promising rookie Anthony Beauvillier hasn't appeared on the score sheet on Oct. 23. 

Like so many teams, the Islanders' limited salary-cap space hampers their efforts to make significant early-season trades. They also lack trade bait to tempt rival clubs.

Several weeks ago, Isles GM Garth Snow informed his peers starting goaltender Jaroslav Halak is available. So far, no one's taken him up on the offer. It's unlikely Halak, given his inconsistency and injury history, will fetch a scoring forward.

Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).

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