The latest on Ilya Brygalov, Evgeni Nabokov,Marian Gaborik, Ed Jovanovski and more
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reported the feeling in Washington is the Capitals will retain goalie Braden Holtby and shop either Semyon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth…Defenseman Ed Jovanovski has probably played his final game with the Phoenix Coyotes as David Schlemko and Oliver Ekman-Larsson could replace him…Matheson wondered if the Rangers might try to move Marian Gaborik and his hefty salary ($7.5 million per season) after his disappointing performance this season…He also wondered if the Columbus Blue Jackets should call up the Colorado Avalanche and offer up goalie Steve Mason and center Derrick Brassard for center Paul Stastny, although such a move would leave the Jackets in need of a starting goalie…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Caps do shop a goalie it’ll be Varlamov, not Neuvirth, who was steady throughout the season and terrific in their first round victory over the Rangers…Jovanovski could return to the Coyotes if they stay in Arizona and he’s willing to accept a pay cut and a short-term contract. His family lives year-round in Arizona and he’d probably prefer to stay put if possible…Moving Gaborik isn’t impossible, heck, the Rangers moved Scott Gomez and his big contract two years ago, but it’ll be very difficult, given his salary, “no-trade” clause, injury history and his sub-par numbers this season…The Blue Jackets are likely to shake things up this summer but management insisted they’ll stick with Mason.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reported Sunday Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has changed agents, hiring Ritch Winter in hopes of securing a lucrative contract this summer. Winter also dismissed Bryzgalov’s comments about Winnipeg, saying the goalie was merely expressing “what everybody knows”: Winnipeg has the same issues as Edmonton and thus will have trouble attracting free agents…Once the NY Islanders “toll” Evgeni Nabokov’s contract to next season they can trade him as he won’t have to pass through waivers in the off-season. Francis expects the Isles will try to shop Nabokov given they’ve already got Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Kevin Poulin in their lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bryzgalov might find it difficult to land a lucrative contract this summer given his poor playoff performance and uncertainty over what the next CBA could contract once the current one expires next year…Nabokov’s experience and affordable contract could make him tempting to teams seeking affordable goaltending, like maybe the Colorado Avalanche.