The latest on the Sharks, Shea Weber, Vincent Lecavalier, Shawn Thornton and the Panthers , plus a look at this summer’s goalie market and more.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman believes the Sharks would find it difficult to get back equal value if they shopped a cornerstone player like Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski or Marc-Edouard Vlasic). He also claims GM Doug Wilson has no inclination to deal any of his promising young players. Friedman also wondered about the state of their goaltending…Noting Canucks president Trevor Linden citing Boston’s four-line approach as something he wants to emulate, Friedman wonders if Linden might pursue Bruins pending UFA Shawn Thornton…Predators GM David Poile once again says he’s not trading Shea Weber. Friedman thinks Poile believes the Predators stand a better chance of finding the scoring forward they crave with Weber in the lineup…With Peter Laviolette now in Nashville, Friedman wonders if there’s a trade fit there for the Flyers involving Vincent Lecavalier. Laviolette apparently had a hand in bringing Lecavalier to Philadelphia. The Flyers would have to pick up part of Lecavalier’s salary…Panthers GM Dale Tallon said it would take a lot to convince him to part with one of his young core players…Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill said defensemen Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley will return with the Stars next season. The pair were subject of trade rumors earlier in the season but have since improved their play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sharks do move a core player it could be Pavelski, whose 41-goal season puts his stock at an all-time high…If the Bruins don’t re-sign Thornton he will get considerable interest even though he falls into the 35-and-above category…I believe Poile when he says he’s not trading Weber. If he ever changes his mind, it’ll be down the road, and depending upon the development of promising Seth Jones. Won’t happen this summer…Friedman was only speculating about a Lecavalier-to-Nashville deal. I think Poile’s smarter than that, even if the Flyers picked up part of his salary. The Preds GM will want something else in return even to consider it…The only young Panthers player I see as a trade candidate is Dmitry Kulikov, and that depends upon the RFA’s contact talks this summer.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeff Gordon recently examined this summer’s NHL goaltender market. Gordon considers the Islanders acquisition of Jaroslav Halak a good move…The Blues will promote Jake Allen into their lineup next season. Remains to be seen if Ryan Miller, Brian Elliott or someone else is his goalie partner…The Maple Leafs must decide if they’ll tender a qualifying offer to James Reimer, as they risk being stuck with an unhappy goalie if they fail to move him via trade…The Ducks could let Jonas Hiller depart via free agency this summer…The Hurricanes could shop Cam Ward but his contract makes him tough to move…If Marc-Andre Fleury can put his previous playoff disappointments behind him he could translate it into a contract extension with the Penguins…Will the Sharks stick with Antti Niemi or pursue another starter like Ryan Miller?…Flames GM Brad Treliving said he’s not in the market for a goalie, preferring to stick with Karri Ramo as their starter…The Canucks might take a look at their goaltending at some point this summer as Eddie Lack has yet to prove himself as a starter…It’ll be interesting to see what the Wild do with their goaltending this summer. Niklas Backstrom is coming off injury, Josh Harding is battling career-threatening multiple sclerosis, Darcy Kuemper remains untested and Ilya Bryzgalov is merely a fill-in…Perhaps Tim Thomas could be an insurance backup for a contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect the Isles to re-sign Halak to a multi-year deal around $5 million per season…I doubt the Blues re-sign Miller, who could be pursued by the Sharks or Ducks, though in my opinion he’s scarcely an improvement over Niemi or Hiller. The Ducks could stick with young goalies Frederik Andersen and John Gibson…I still expect the Leafs to qualify Reimer’s right and trade him this summer…Hiller’s a goner via free agency…The Hurricanes must pick up part of Ward’s salary to move him, provided he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause…The Canucks will probably stick with Lack and Jacob Markstrom to start next season…The Wild’s goaltending will depend upon Harding’s battle with MS.