The “priority lists” this off-season for the Senators and Rangers.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch makes a priority list for the Senators this off-season. Among the obvious (re-sign Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Condra and Patrick Wiercioch, cutting loose Sergei Gonchar and Peter Regin), Garrioch suggests the Senators pursue Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan via trade and Detroit Red Wings forward Valtteri Filppula via free agency.
LA PRESSE: Sylvain St-Laurent reports Senators forward Guillaume Latendresse faces an uncertain NHL future but has no regrets over signing with Ottawa this season.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Ben Raby reports Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar may have played his final NHL game.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if the Ducks are prepared to move Ryan, though they could be squeezed for cap space this summer. As for Filppula, his rumored asking price is $5 million per season, so I doubt Murray will have much interest in him. Murray won’t sit on his hands this summer, as he’ll have over $22 million in cap space, leaving more than enough to re-sign his key players and pursue a scoring winger via trade or free agency, provided owner Eugene Melnyk is will to spend up to the $64.3 million cap next season.
I doubt Latendresse returns to the Sens, and because of his injury history could have difficulty landing with another NHL team. If Gonchar will willing to return for less money on a short-term deal, I think Murray would listen. Otherwise, he’ll be playing for another NHL team or in the KHL next season.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/NEW YORK POST/NORTHJERSEY.COM: Pat Leonard, Larry Brooks and Andrew Gross published their priority lists for the Rangers this summer. Buying out Brad Richards and re-signing defenseman Ryan McDonagh are among the priorities, with Gross reporting the Rangers will have 48 hours following the end of the Stanley Cup Final to decide on a buy out for Richards. Leonard believes they could target another gritty skater like Washington’s Matt Hendricks via free agency. Gross and Leonard suggested Michael Del Zotto and Brian Boyle could be dangled as trade bait. Regarding McDonagh, the trio noted the Rangers policy is to re-sign players coming out of their entry level contracts to two-year “bridge contracts”, but believe the Rangers should make an exception for McDonagh.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers currently have over $13.5 million in cap space, and also have to re-sign Carl Hagelin, Derek Stepan and Mats Zuccarello, and must decide if they’ll re-sign UFA winger Ryane Clowe. Buying out Richards frees up his average annual cap hit of $6.67 million, so there wouldn’t be any need to move Del Zotto or Boyle unless GM Glen Sather needs to bolster his depth elsewhere.