- Pierre LeBrun, NHL
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Two sources close to the tentative deal told ESPN.com that the Rangers were ready to ship forwards Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik to the Flames in exchange for center Olli Jokinen and rugged winger Brandon Prust. A source close to the situation said early Monday afternoon that nothing was imminent.
TSN reported Monday that the Flames hesitated on the deal because they believed they need Jokinen in the lineup Monday night for a big game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Their report went on to say the deal may or may not be resurrected after the game.
Higgins, Kotalik and Jokinen have all disappointed this season and would get fresh starts with the deal if it went through. Higgins and Jokinen are slated for unrestricted free agency July 1, while Kotalik has two more years on his contract after this season paying him $3 million in each year. Prust will also be a free agent at the end of the year.
The Rangers have been looking for a center to play with superstar winger Marian Gaborik all season long.
The Flames were busy Sunday, also completing a seven-player swap with the Toronto Maple Leafs. If the Rangers deal went through, the Flames overall Sunday would be acquiring five forwards and a defenseman.
Pierre LeBrun covers the NHL for ESPN.com.
Ales Kotalik's future with the New York Rangers is in serious doubt as trade winds swirl.