Updates on pending UFA prospect Justin Schultz, Jaromir Jagr, and Josh Harding, as well as the latest on the Bruins and Sabres.
DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports the Red Wings and “about a dozen other teams” are believed extremely interested in Anaheim Ducks prospect defenseman Justin Schultz, who has gone unsigned and could be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports Ducks GM Bob Murray has nothing new to update regarding Schultz’s position, other than expressing his disappointment over the contract stalemate with the young blueliner. The Ducks have until Sunday to re-sign Schultz or he becomes eligible for UFA status, and his recent stance has left the Ducks management flabbergasted.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For whatever reason, Schultz no longer wants to be part of the Ducks organization, and will seek the best offer as an unrestricted free agent. The kid comes with a lot of promise, but it would be wise for GMs interested in him to be careful not to overpay for his services, lest they end up with an expensive bust on their hands. Then again, NHL GMs aren’t exactly renowned for their caution, especially when it comes to signing UFAs.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Sarah Baicker reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren believes there’s a 50/50 chance Jaromir Jagr re-signs with the Flyers. He’s eligible for UFA status on July 1st.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Media and blogger consensus suggests Jagr’s a goner, but he could test the market first for better offers, and if they’re lacking, return to the Flyers.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild pending UFA goalie Josh Harding would like to remain with the club and is seeking a multi-year deal. Harding’s goal is to be a number one goalie, and with Niklas Backstrom turning 35 next season and heading into the final year of his contract, a long-term deal could position Harding to take over as their starter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Harding’s lengthy injury history could make the Wild hesitant to consider that option. Considering the lack of depth in this year’s UFA market for goalies, and the uncertainty over the next CBA and who could be available next summer, one shouldn’t fully dismiss the possibility of the Wild retaining Harding on, say, a two-year contract.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports the Boston Bruins are in the market for a “Mark Recchi-type” winger. GM Peter Chiarelli will look at the UFA market and could explore the secondary trade market in early July. Haggerty doubts the Bruins will be in the market for Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Disregard the speculation linking the Bruins to Nash. Chiarelli wouldn’t wish to part with what will be an expensive asking price for him.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres GM Darcy Regier is “working the phones”, possibly trying to package one or more of his four picks in the top two rounds of this year’s entry draft to bring in NHL-level talent. Harrington notes the two biggest names in the trade market are Columbus’ Rick Nash and Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal, and feels the latter would be a better fit for the Sabres. The Sabres are believed to be shopping center Derek Roy.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Regier won’t make a trade simply for the sake of doing so, but with those draft picks, I wouldn’t be surprised if he swings a deal for an established player by this weekend, though it remains to be seen if it’s Nash or Staal. I don’t believe Nash is on Regier’s radar, and Penguins management insists they want to re-sign Staal.