Updates on Ales Hemsky, Kris Letang, Patrick Marleau, Ryan Callahan, Ryan Kesler and Brian Boyle, plus the latest on the Red Wings, Panthers and Sabres.
OTTAWA SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce Garrioch believes it’s best for the Senators to part ways with Ales Hemsky, whose asking price to re-sign with them was $5.5 million per season. Garrioch speculates they could try to find a replacement winger via trade, noting the Senators had interest in Buffalo’s Chris Stewart earlier this season. Another option is free agency, where Garrioch agrees with TSN 1200’s Steve Lloyd that Tampa Bay’s Ryan Callahan might be a nice fit. Bruce McCurdy weighs in on speculation among the Oilersphere suggesting the Oilers try to bring back Hemsky, doubting that the 30-year-old winger wants to return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators stand a better chance of landing Stewart that Callahan, whose asking price to re-sign with the Rangers (over $6 million per season) led to his being dealt to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline. Hemsky’s not coming back to Edmonton. I can see him signing with the Predators, Coyotes or Panthers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples reports on the possibility the Pittsburgh Penguins might shop defenseman Kris Letang, weighing the pros and cons of the Oilers pursuing him. While suggesting Letang could help the Oilers, he recommends investigating the blueliner’s health and availability.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Penguins shop Letang it’ll probably be by the NHL Draft weekend, as his new contract with its no-trade clause goes into effect on July 1. Letang has the offensive skills to help the Oilers but his defensive play has come under criticism.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: Curtis Pashelka cites NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick believes the Sharks should retain Joe Thornton and trade Patrick Marleau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems a lack of consensus among the media as to which veteran stars the Sharks should shop.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports contract talks are ongoing between the Lightning and pending UFA winger Ryan Callahan. Given his injury history, the key issue will be term. It’s unknown if Callahan is seeking the same six-year, $39 million he sought from the NY Rangers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning must address this situation carefully. While there’s no denying Callahan’s skill and leadership, his style of play often leads to injury. They don’t want to invest too much for too long in him, but if they’re really keen to keep him they might not have much choice.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher doubts Canucks center Ryan Kesler will take back his trade request until he knows for certain who the club’s new head coach will be. Gallagher also considers David Booth, Jason Garrison and Alex Burrows among the candidates for the Canuck’s sole remaining compliance buyout. A decision will also need to be made about pending UFA center Mike Santorelli.
DETROIT FREE PRESS/DETROIT NEWS/MLIVE.COM: Helene St. James reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland is exploring the trade market and considering his free agent options, but also feels confident about the young talent on his roster. Ted Kulfan reports most of the Wings’ veteran UFAs, including David Legwand, Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary and Kyle Quincey, won’t be re-signed. Holland said Mikael Samuelsson is heading to Sweden to finish his career. He hasn’t heard yet from Daniel Alfredsson, who will likely make a decision about his future until later this month. Ansar Khan reports the Wings would like to re-sign backup Jonas Gustavsson to a one-year contract.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reports NY Rangers forward Brian Boyle knows this season could be his last with the club. He’s an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and the Rangers might not have sufficient cap space to re-sign him.
SPORTSNET.CA: Gary Joyce reports several sources confirm the Florida Panthers and Buffalo Sabres, who hold the first and second overall picks in this year’s draft, are receiving multiple inquiries about those picks from rival clubs.