Given the number of Buffalo Sabres players being mentioned in trade talks, interim coach Ted Nolan has established a running joke with captain Steve Ott.
With a laugh, Nolan says he's started to greet Ott each day by saying: "Steve, you're still here."
The question remains, for how long? And the buzz leading up to the NHL's trade deadline Wednesday hasn't been limited to Ott, who is in the final year of his contract and eligible to become a free agent this summer.
Goalie Ryan Miller, forward Matt Moulson and veteran defenseman Henrik Tallinder are also being shopped because their contracts are coming up, too.
The Sabres (17-34-8), who host San Jose on Friday, are bracing for a major shakeup under newly hired general manager Tim Murray.