Tomas Vokoun’s uncertain future, TJ Oshie’s recent problems could impact his contract talks, plus speculation on possible off-season moves by the Blue Jackets.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov recently reported Florida Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun’s frustration at missing the playoffs for the fourth straight season has begun to show, calling out his teammates following recent losses to the Rangers and Blackhawks. While he claims to believe in the direction GM Dale Tallon is taking the team, Vokoun’s rocky relationship with head coach Pete DeBoer plus his age (he turns 35 on July 2) could mean he’d welcome “an early Independence Day”. He agreed to waive his “no-trade” clause leading up to this season’s trade deadline provided the Panthers only speak to contenders, but Tallon claimed only one team made a late offer, which wasn’t worth considering.
YAHOO! SPORTS: Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski predicts Vokoun will depart the Panthers this summer for considerably less than the $6.3 million he’s earned this season and latches on to a contender where he shares the workload more evenly.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Vokoun enjoys living in Florida and doesn’t want to leave regardless of the Panthers situation I agree with Wyshynski’s take.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH: Jeff Gordon reports Blues forward T.J Oshie pulling a “no-show” at a recent practice (earning him a two-game suspension by management) wasn’t a smart thing to do considering he’s a restricted free agent this summer seeking a raise. Gordon suggested it could adversely impact the deal he gets from the Blues this summer, but if he learns from it and it serves as a wake-up call it could be worthwhile.
CBA.CA: Elliotte Friedman also suggest Oshie’s actions weren’t smart and could be a factor in his contract talks this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oshie will likely get a raise but probably not as much as he might’ve thought, plus it’s also possible he could only get a one-or-two year deal.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline yesterday responded to a reader’s live chat question on potential off-season moves by the Blue Jackets, suggesting he wouldn’t be surprised if the club shops their first round pick this summer. Michael Arace meanwhile reports the Jackets will have plenty of available cap space once they re-sign their key players to perhaps add a big ticket defenseman or quality center via free agency, or perhaps add a goalie via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Jackets will be a club to keep an eye on in the days leading up to the June entry draft as well as the start of this summer’s free agent market.