Rumour update: Drouin, Backes, Tanguay, Cowen + more

A few bits and pieces as we inch closer to the February 29th trade deadline...

Two big names that have surfaced in the last week or so...centers David Backes and Alex Galchenyuk. In the past it would have been easy to dismiss these rumours, but the cap-constrained NHL has been forcing teams to cough up good players in order to get under the cap or prepare for the future. With the Canadian dollar slipping under 70 cents, it's no wonder NHL GMs are getting nervous.

Another player to keep an eye on as we get closer to the deadline is Colorado's Alex Tanguay. The pending-UFA veteran winger is generating some interest around the league, but the Avalanche will likely make a decision on him further down the line. The Avs currently find themselves in a fight for the final wildcard spot in the West.

Latest on Lightning winger Jonathan Drouin: The frontrunners still appear to be St. Louis, although several other teams remain in the mix. The Ducks, Predators, Wild, Canadiens and others continue to push. Some wonder if St. Louis' recent injury troubles - particularly on the blueline -  has given them pause about making this deal.

On last night's Hockey Night in Canada "Headlines" Elliotte Friedman and Damien Cox wondered if the Ducks might finally use some of the young defensive depth to get more firepower up front. Dating back to last season, Cam Fowler and prospect Shea Theodore have seen in their names in the rumour mill. You also have to wonder if the cap-conscious Ducks are feeling unable to sign pending RFA defensemen Sami Vatanen and Hampus Lindholm. Would one of these players be a piece in a deal for Drouin?

Final note: sounds like the Senators are getting close to dealing defenseman Jared Cowen. Amongst the teams that have expressed interest are the Flames and Avalanche.

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