"It's nerve-racking coming to the rink and not knowing what is going on," forward R.J. Umberger told the Dispatch. "It's a lot of extra tension."
Howson stated that no one is off-limits, although that didn't imply he would start shopping right wing Rick Nash or center Jeff Carter. The GM likely wants to retain them as the foundation upon which to rebuild.
Center Derick Brassard has been the subject of trade talks for much of the season while he was once a regular healthy scratch,but has now settled into a spot on the fourth line.
However, the 24-year-old hasn't gotten too comfortable as he could be displayed for teams looking for a depth centerman to add to their lineup.
"It kind of plays in your head all the time if your name is out there," Brassard told the paper. "But it's something you can't control. If you don't (block it out), you're waiting for it, and if it doesn't happen, you're disappointed."
Left wing Vinny Prospal is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and could fetch a decent return from playoff contenders, while center Antoine Vermette has three more years at $3.8 million per season remaining on his contract, but could attract interest from clubs seeking a good two-way center.
More Trade Deadline Info
List of Trades
| No-Trade/No-Movement Clauses
| Top 25 Available Players
| Team-by-Team Cap Info