Could the Blue Jackets consider trading Rick Nash? Could the Flames roster be torn down if they fail to make the playoffs? Get the details plus updates on Parise, Markov, Weber and Giguere.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks wondered “when, if ever” the Columbus Blue Jackets reach the stage where they investigate what kind of return they could get for star forward Rick Nash, suggesting if it’s this summer “then all those kids the Rangers have would most certainly be in play”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oh, Larry, there you go again, dreaming up possible trade targets for the Rangers. Besides, aren’t they preparing to shoot the wad this summer on Brad Richards? If so, they couldn’t afford Nash if he were available (he won’t be) or any other comparable forward.
SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector (no relation) recently wondered if the Flames acting GM Jay Feaster commences a big teardown of the roster if the club fails to make this year’s playoffs. Spector noted the Flames have over $58 million in payroll committed for next season, are the second oldest team in the league, and don’t have picks in the second and third rounds of this year’s entry draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Even if the Flames make it I believe Feaster will try to dump some salary this summer and attempt to get younger, plus try to add at least a second or third round pick in this summer’s draft. Changes are coming for the Flames, regardless of playoff placement. I doubt they’ll include Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff. Ales Kotalik could bolt for Europe which could free up some salary. Niklas Hagman could be shopped or bought out. And while I know Feaster considers Robyn Regehr a core player, it’s possible (if Regehr is willing to accept a trade) he could be shopped this summer. I don’t envy Feaster as he’ll have some tough decisions to make this summer, and yes, he’ll be the one making them, as I believe the “interim” will be removed from his title after this season.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reported contract negotiations for New Jersey’s Zach Parise, Montreal’s Andrei Markov and Nashville’s Shea Weber won’t occur until the off-season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Devils will re-sign Parise to a long-term deal, the Canadiens could try to re-up Markov to a one-two year extension for the same salary ($5.75 million) he’s earning now, while the Predators will also retain Weber to a long-term contract.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons asked three questions about Maple Leafs goalie J.S. Giguere, wondering if he’s worth re-signing for his leadership, if he could be re-signed for $1 million or less on a one-year deal, and with this summer’s goalie market flooded, if another NHL team will sign him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think that depends on who’s available in this summer’s market. If Ilya Bryzgalov or Tomas Vokoun can be signed, pursue either one (preferably Bryzgalov), retain James Reimer as a backup and bid Giguere adieu. It’ll also depend on Giguere’s health, and if management feels Reimer is ready for prime time for an entire season.