The Canucks are fielding offers for Cory Schneider, the Senators have yet to talk contract with Daniel Alfredsson, Justin Schultz named to NHL’s All-Rookie team, Jets Tobia Enstrom assaulted and robbed in Sweden, plus the latest on the Maple Leafs and Canadiens.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE/VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks GM Mike Gillis is considering offers from rival clubs after unsuccessful attempts to move Roberto Luongo and his hefty contract. The Edmonton Oilers are believed among the clubs with interest in Schneider, who could garner a better return for the Canucks than Luongo. It’s possible the Canucks could get a high first round pick plus a prospect for Schneider. A buyout of Luongo apparently doesn’t seem feasible, as it would cost ownership $27 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A Schneider trade will go over like a lead balloon in Vancouver, but the Canucks don’t seem to have any choice. They either buy out Luongo, as it appears no one wants to acquire him even if the Canucks picked up part of his salary, or they trade Schneider. They cannot keep both. They must free up cap space, and Schneider is champing at the bit to become a full-time starter. Gillis thought Luongo’s trade value would improve if he waited. He was wrong.
There’s talk of trading Luongo to the Islanders if the Canucks would take back Rick DiPietro, but that doesn’t resolve the Canucks salary cap issues. Sure, they could buy DiPietro out, but why not do that with Luongo? There’s not that much savings to be had.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators haven’t started contract talks yet with captain Daniel Alfredsson, who intends to return for another season. Garrioch speculates it could cost around $4.5-$5.5 million to re-sign him, and if Alfredsson isn’t re-signed by Friday, the Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings andSan Jose Sharks could come calling. It’s unknown if the Senators will offer him a two-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect GM Bryan Murray will meet with Alfredsson’s agent after the draft. I doubt there’ll be any difficulties getting a deal done, though given his age (40), I expect the Senators will try to ink him to a one-year deal for the numbers suggested by Garrioch. Alfredsson doesn’t have interest in playing elsewhere and the Senators want him back. Other teams can come calling but I believe it’ll be a pointless exercise on their part.
EDMONTON SUN: Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz was named to the 2013 NHL All-Rookie team.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS: Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom was beaten and robbed in his hometown of Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, receiving only minor injuries.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thankfully he wasn’t seriously hurt.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports the Jets are targeting forward Bo Horvat, RW Anthony Mantha, center Max Domi, defenseman Nikita Zadorov and center Frederik Gauthier in this year’s draft.
CALGARY SUN: LW Valeri Nichushkin, C Elias Lindholm, D Darnell Nurse, C Sean Monahan, C/LW Hunter Shinkaruk and D Rasmus Ristolainen are six players the Calgary Flames could select with the sixth overall pick.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran listed several possible draft targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs, including Horvat, Domi, Gauthier, center Peter Lodge, and winger Kerby Rychel.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is more focused on today’s draft than on giving hints about any plans to pursue Vincent Lecavalier.