It's the time of year when North American writers start keeping closer tabs on foreign newspapers and web sites to pick up info about European free agents. Sometimes the news isn't surprising.

When the Rangers traded RFA Michael Del Zotto for Kevin Klein, President and General Manager Glen Sather said that Blueshirts brass had preliminary talks with the team's free agents and said he "wanted to sign all of them." That would include Dan Girardi and Ryan Callahan, of course. I wrote in a Sunday column that Girardi would probably be easier to sign, and Callahan more difficult, because the dollars and the risk was higher. 

Of course, Sather and assistant GM Jeff Gorton also have to decide on restricted free agents such as Mats Zuccarello, who has been making a strong case all season to stick around next season and beyond. He surely deserves it.

Which is where we get to today's report from Norway's Nettavisen, which said Zuke's reps at Newport Sports in Toronto are working on an extension to his $1.15 million contract. Natch.

With the Feb. 8 Olympic break closing in, there are reports that some players will be moved, in fact, Colorado's P.A. Parenteau, the former Islander and Rangers, is a healthy scratch tonight, suggesting that he might be on the verge of a move, perhaps to Montreal. 

But for many teams, the March 5 trade deadline is the tipping point for UFAs and RFAs, so stay tuned.

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