Latest Blues, Predators and Senators Speculation – May 8, 2012.

With the St. Louis Blues and Nashville Predators eliminated from the playoffs, what will be their off-season plans? A look ahead, plus a suggestion for the Senators to sign Dustin Penner this summer as a UFA.

 

Have Weber & Suter played their final games for the Predators?

ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Nashville Predators now face some tough questions as they head into the off-season regarding the futures of RFAs Shea Weber and Alexander Radulov and UFA Ryan Suter. LeBrun doubts Radulov and UFA forward Andrei Kostitsyn, who were both suspended for missing a team curfew during the series against the Coyotes, will be back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Radulov will either become an unrestricted free agent and shop his services around the league, or return to the KHL. Ditto Kostitsyn, who did nothing with the Predators to shed the reputation he had in Montreal as a streaky scorer who enjoys the nightlife a little too much. The Predators will try to re-sign Weber and Suter, hoping to convince them they’re heading in the right direction and need the pair onboard. Speculation over the future of the pair will be churning in the rumor mill for the next couple of months.

STLTODAY.COM: Bernie Miklasz and Jeff Gordon look ahead at the potential off-season moves for the Blues. Miklasz points out the Blues could use someone who can score more than 25 goals per season, as well as additional blueline depth, but has his doubts incoming owner Tom Stillman will significantly increase the team’s payroll for next season. Gordon, meanwhile, also believes the Blues must improve their scoring, and feels RFA winger Chris Stewart (who struggled this season) should be given another chance to prove himself. He doesn’t believe the Blues will be among the bidders for potential UFA Zach Parise, and doesn’t expect UFA blueliner Carlo Colaiacovo to be re-signed. It also remains to be seen if long-time Blues defenseman Barrett Jackman (also a UFA) will be re-signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the new ownership doesn’t significantly increase the budget, GM Doug Armstrong will have to go shopping via the trade market to bolster his scoring punch and still make the dollars fit within their self-imposed cap. Affordable blueline depth can be found in this summer’s UFA market, so he has that option if he decides to replace Colaiacovo, Jackman and Kent Huskins.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan suggests the Senators should consider signing LA Kings winger Dustin Penner if he become a UFA this summer, citing Penner’s offensive resurgence in this year’s playoffs and his prior ties with Senators GM Bryan Murray, who as Kings Ducks GM in 2004 signed the undrafted winger to his first NHL contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given Penner’s offensive inconsistency, I doubt Murray would seriously consider him as an option to bolster the Senators scoring depth, but if so , it should only be on an affordable one-year contract.

37 Comments

  1. I actually think the Sens and Penner are a good fit you know he won’t get more than 1.5-2M on a 1 or 2 year contract. The guy will need to try and bring his game back to life. He or Benoit Pouillot might make sense for them low risk and can get you into the 15-20 goal range on the third line. Hell can’t do any worse than Bobby Butler right.

    • Joel Ward is getting $3 million a season and has never scored more than 20 goals in an NHL season. Penner will be signing for way more than $1.5-$2 million.

      • Agreed, if he does sign for that cheap (which he won’t) why wouldn’t the Kings just give him an extension? I’m sure he would rather stay where he is on a stanley cup contender.

      • True, but Joel Ward does more than score and isn’t probably the best comparison for Penner as it is widely acknowledged that Ward plays in all three zones.

        I do agree that Penner probably won’t need to to accept a make-good one year deal, but most GMs should be wary of a player with Penner’s history and motivation.

  2. PREDATORS
    Radulov and Kostitsyn will not return …it was a gamble and it really exposed the true nature of there character and the reason why he isnt in the NHL ….I would be very surprised if they play in the NHL next season.

    Preds will resign Weber (they need to) BUT they will shop Suter or let Suter go to UFA, as defense is not there problems they need more character and scoring upfront ….I think they made a HUGE mistake sitting Jordan TooToo out of the line up …he could have been a difference maker with intimidation which they lacked.

    There was no fight from the Preds to win this series they literally rolled over and played dead since game 2 they need to address leadership upfront and more players that play a physical game and play around the net more!

    LEAFS

    I really hope that Brian Burke was watching this series being a Leaf fan …because he should really sell the farm to get his hands on the young Colin Wilson for his first line center ….really impressive …this would be the missing piece for them …I would trade a core roster player for his services I think he is the best bet for the center position for the lefa sthat is available and young enough to grow in the team !!

    BLUES

    They should shop Stewart and see if he is moveable.
    Good defense is hard to find and they should keep Jackman if they can!

    LA

    Looks as if they are the team to beat …I would start printing the names on the cup right now even though I took the New Jersey Devils at the start ….
    Penner will not be back no need for him or a contract wasted on his services for a full season look to let him go and fill in with a better contract and maybe a player in there system they wanted to have up for some time!

    I think this team ended up being over hyped and didnt have enough talent through the line up …older veterans helped out but will be another year older next year so they will have to try and instill some youth at some point!
    They should look to trade Halak and fill some holes with some deals ….Josh harding would be a good fiy here as well as possible trade with Yzerman sending Halak that way for some young players back !!

    • Slap&shot- Not sure I agree with you about Colin Wilson regarding 1st line center ability for the Leafs. Wilson made his playoff debut April 30th against Phoenix. And he wasn’t injured he was a healthy scratch for the entire Wings series. If Nashville isn’t THAT high on him what makes you think Toronto would be. He is a good player and the Leafs could use him but not top center on the team and I def. would not give up much to land him. In my opinion better options out there for the Leafs.

    • And if they need more scoring up-front, why trade a guy that you view as a first line center?

      • I like skipping this guys comments, because they have no merit, but they seem to always draw me in on bad trades and Eklund type deals.

        Nashville, their problem is they have 4 lines of character guys. They play boring hockey to win most of the time, and their most talented players reside on the blue line and in net.

        Also, they have all kinds of financial constraints being in a miserable market in Nashville. I really thought this was their year, it is too bad.

        • That’s why I call him Elkund all the time. The only thing is that Elkund writes better

  3. Just a wild guess but if Penner will go for one year 2 million, Anaheim might be the place and see if he can re-kindle the fire with Getzlaf & Perry. Rather try that then bringing back Hagman or Blake

    • Good point alforducks wouldn’t need to uproot his family which Im sure is a huge plus to him. I agree he is a better option than Blake or Hagman.

  4. Penner:
    I don’t see as a fit in Ottawa as his work ethic isn’t up to the standard that got them in the dance this season, and not a real fit with Paul Maclean.
    Vinnie- Bobby butler is a hrd working player, and I’d rather have him on my 3rd line.
    Allforducks- I reallyhope you are wrong about penner back to Anaheim.
    My best guess is that he goes to Montreal who is desperate for some size.

    Radulov: Who cares? A good offensive player who will never grow up. I’d rather have Semin (and no, I don’t really want Semin, either!)

    Kostitsyn: Even less care… See you in the KHL.

    The Blues:
    Are not trading Halak after the way that Elliot showed he can’t perform with the pressure squarely on him. They had one of hte best tandems (ever?) this season, so I doubt they make a change in net.
    I think they will trade Stewart for more scoring depth. The Leafs look like a good fit for a deal here.

    The Preds:
    I actually agree with Slap about Tootoo… those guys always add value come playof time with their intensity, work ethic, and “do anything for the team” attitudes.
    Definitely Suter is gone. No chance to resign him.
    Weber will be re-upped (he is an RFA) for 2-4 seasons as I don’t think he will commit long term. But the all mighty dollar is king, so if they give him $50+Million… he takes it and buys hmself something nice.

    Entry Draft (off topic):
    Aside form Yakupov, I think we are all in consensus that there isn’t a given Superstar in this draft. That’s why I would definitely target Forsberg. Looking back at top-5 draft picks and who were busts… none of them are ever Swedes. At least you know he will be a true NHLer and not going to jump ship to the KHL, or fold up like a cheap suit. Montreal or Toronto makes this move (depending on who Rick Dudley is advising on draft day).
    I think:
    Edmonton: Drafts Yakupov (C)
    Columbus: Drafts Murray (D)
    Montreal: Drafts Forsberg (C)
    New York Islanders: Drafts Galchenyuk (C)
    Toronto: here is where it gets interesting… if Forsberg and Galchenyuk are gone, they trade down (maybe with Washington for the #11 pick and thier #25ish pick) to take Griffen Reinart. If Forsberg of Galchenyuk are available- they draft.

    • NikK
      Re: Penner to Ducks
      Just a guess on my part, considering that Murray does not or will not pay big bucks for UFA’s and he needs a LW to play a year or so until Emerson Etem is ready. He also needs to resign Koivu and hope that Hollands 2nd half in AHL continues in a positive direction.

      Also,I don’t think it will be Toronto trading down their #1 pick, I think it will be Anaheim trading down with Washington for their 2 #1′s.
      That’s what Murray likes to do. Got a feeling Anaheim will also make a major deal at draft and try and cut down on salaries for picks and prospects.

    • I would guess the Islanders would rather go D at that point.

    • I hope Reinhart isn’t drafted by the Leafs.

      I like him a ton, but I also dislike the Leafs and their fans. Before that kid would ever suit up a game, he’d be the most highly touted player being drafted since Sidney Crosby (Hell, you all made a big deal about a plug like Nazim, now that kid actually has talent).

      Also, he’ll be going top 8 in my honest opinion.

  5. @ Nikk

    I really get the feeling that edmonton is after Ryan Murray and that the top draft pick is up for grabs with a trade to Columbus possible.

    They are scouting him hard at the Worlds ..hes the second youngest player to play for Team Canada.

    Edomonton is right on his heels to draft him!

    I think there will be a major shuffle in the top 5 darft picks this year as teams that are looking for certain role players are opposite of the draft sequence!
    Trades will happen this year at draft time!
    The top 10 players can go at any spot as Ive been stating for 3 months now its a very deep draft on defense players!

  6. @ Vinnie

    If there have been better options for the Leafs than why are they still stuck in th quaigemaier ????

    This guys is a STUDD and a superstar to be and would fit in perfect with the Leafs age bracket to grow with the team and bethe go to guy ….he should be Burkes # 1 choice right now for a legit # 1 Center ….unfortunately there is NOT alot of options and Burke should be very serious in this and make a seriuos pitch NOT KICK THE TIRES on this guy !!!!
    Serious pitch !!!

  7. St. Louis will retain Stewart (he deserves more time to prove his worth to Hitch), Perron, Oshie and might bring back guys like Arnott and Langenbrunner to keep their leadership for the younger players coming up. I think Brian Elliott gets shopped in the off-season with hopes of getting a top 4 defenseman and a depth scorer. The problem is the same as with all the other goalies that are supposedly available (Luongo/Schneider, Bernier, Harding, Niemi, Vokoun, etc); the demand just isn’t there. This summer’s goalie market will be decided largely by the Vancouver situation. Until that’s resolved, be prepared for a huge stagnation in terms of goalies moving in the League.

    Kostitsyn and Radulov are interesting cases. Nashville needs scoring up front, but at what cost to the team’s psyche? It might be more worthwhile to retain Suter, let both AK and Radulov walk and try to fill the holes with free agent depth and prospects. I have to agree with Chris somewhat about Colin Wilson. Ever since he lit it up in his draft year’s combine, I’ve projected him as a top 6 NHL forward long-term. I just wouldn’t go as far as penning him into a #1 centre position for the Leafs, especially given the pressure that the media will put on him (see Bozak and Kadri, and to a lesser extent Colborne, as examples of this). I think Nashville is a perfect fit for Wilson right now. He can develop into a #1-2 centre without much fanfare and without the pressure and ridiculous expectations.

    Ottawa would be completely remiss to pursue Penner as a UFA. I mean, just about any team would. He hasn’t ever been a consistent producer in the NHL, just a tease because of his mix of size and potential scoring ability. I could see Anaheim taking a flyer on him for a 1-2 year deal with an affordable cap hit. Pouliot will likely re-up in Boston as he’s had most of his success with them.

    • Penner not a consistent scorer? Please take a look at his statistics. Wipe out this last season and he’s always been around 20 goals or better. Consistently. Which is the opposite of inconsistent.

  8. Slap&shot- To mortgage everything you have on Malkin is one thing Colin Wilson is totally different. I don’t see it with him #1 I think he would make for a better winger. I think he has much more value there. #2 Nashville has ALWAYS been offensively challenged IF they saw the same things you see this kid would have been given more of a shot. I think he’s a good player but not the guy Burke should be chasing loaded with picks and prospects for Nashville.

  9. If Penner is available for under $3 million there will be a lot of interested teams. That will drive his price up. Expect to see 3-3.5 million 3-4 yr deal for him.

    Nashville won’t pay 6 mill for Suter, 5 mill for Radulov, 3 million for AK, and the whopping 7.5-8 million for Weber. Either they keep Suter and Radulov or they keep Weber.

    The blues definitely need some extra firepower but I think letting Jackman go would be a mistake. Just when they get a proper coach and system that makes the defence better you trade your former rookie of the year D man? You do that then you deserve to lose.

    Where did this thread mention the Leafs? However, since we are chatting bout the draft, Habs aren’t going to take Forsberg if Galchenyuk is available. And if he isn’t then it looks like they will take Grigorenko. I was pullin for Forsberg earlier this year but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I won’t cry if they pick any of those three though. All have serious star potential. The top 6-7 players in this draft are all potential top players.

  10. would sure be nice to see weber in a nucks jersey… how it happens not sure it even possible… just dreamin

  11. Yeah Don Brennan of Ottawa Sun says the Sens should sign Penner after 1 good playoff.. and 4 yrs of his coaches not liking his work ethic.

    Then again, this is the same guy who says the Sens should trade Craig Anderson.

  12. @ Vinnie

    ..everyone has a value of course Iam not saying you have to give up your best player for the guy Iam saying that it can be done with aggressive talks and a good hockey trade that would be able to make both teams better where they need to be !!
    A kulimen and prospect or Schenn and prospect Colborne and player , Bozak and prospect ..some type of deal as such !!

    I really feel that Colin Wilson can be the best #1 Center man available for the Leafs at the cost to acquire him for a long term gain !!If there is a deal to be made !!
    The predators hardly used him and may part with him for more veteran presence!
    Nashville and the Leafs have a tyrading past so it would be a significant acqusition and a much improved one as opposed to Connolly for the long term position!

  13. Who ever signs Penner is going to get burned, at any salary. And their fans will be tearing out their hair before season’s end. The guy is infuriating. You can’t count on him to be a first liner but you can’t count in him on the third either.

  14. I think Montreal will kick the tires on Penner for that 1.5-2 million suggested…especially if they move/clear Bourques salary (after buying out Gomez). But for all the other reasons mentioned, he will not end up on Mtl.

    AK, I think, is a dead duck in the NHL..KHL it is for lack of NHL interest. Radulove is an interesting case. I can totally see him going back to the KHL because that is where he wants to go. That being said, he did come back to complete hiss contract, so I could see him staying. Either way, I think he will see what is out there and go for the cash, KHL or NHL. He will get interest, but maybe not at his price.
    For the draft, if Edmonton wants Murray, the top pick is up for grabs..they could actually drop to 4th spot and still get Murray, 1)Yakupov, 2) Forsberg, 3) Grigorenko/Galenchyuk, 4) Murray. I think who ever gets the first pick takes Yakupov, Montreal could use size and skill at center so the only gamble is if Columbus likes Murray.

  15. What happened to the Preds lies right at the feet of David Poile for bringing Radulov over here in the way that he did and with Trotz sitting players like Wilson and Smith, guys who played key roles in getting the team where they were in the regular season.

    Adding A. Kostitsyn at the deadline was fine as long as they didn’t add a trouble child like Radulov to bring out AK’s badside. That trouble happened was really not surprising. But just as bad was that Trotz finally had the lineup to play 3 scoring lines but instead went with pluggers for his bottom two lines. As has been the case in every post-season failure for the Preds, what doomed them was an inability to score goals.

    This summer could very well be a devastating one for the Preds. If Suter leaves via free agency, which I think is the likely outcome, Weber will make contract negotiations drag on with the intent of forcing a trade. My guess is that Poile will then throw big money at Radulov, but it won’t likely matter because Rads will go back to the KHL after his epic fail in these playoffs. Poile might then try to keep the Kostitsyn brothers around as his other options slip away from him.

    Poile’s mistake all along was in not trading for a solid top line forward that was under contract past this season, which would have shown Suter and Weber that the organization was serious about being a contender past just this season. All these rentals that Poile brought in (giving up a 1st rounder for Gaustad looks pretty bad right now) did nothing to convince his free agent Dmen that they were.

  16. @SlapandShot @ Vinnie

    I think Vinnie is so right on target with this one. There is no way BB should be dropping anything near the quality player being suggested. This guy could be a 20 goal scorer on the right team, but he is no where near the stud S&S is suggesting. He was barely a point per game player in the AHL and NCAA. To suggest he will grow into this scoring machine. I just don’t see it. Not a number 1 center to me. If that is your criteria, have BB call Buffalo to see what they want for Roy.

    @Habsfan1

    AK is a dead man walking. He is so done in this league. Nashville was his shot, under his brothers watchful eye to clean up his act. First chance he got to go back to the bad boy life, he jumped.
    I would not be surprised if Radulov is done too. I bet he is black listed as a problem player with a huge chip on his shoulder. I can’t think of one team that would be willing to put up with his crap especially after the walk he took before the playoffs. If any team is interested and he pulls the “you need to match what I can get in the KHL” he will be never heard of again.

    • I can think of 29 teams that wouldn’t mind Radulov in their colours and on their scoring sheets. However, I can think of 30 teams that wouldn’t want him in their locker room and another 30 that wouldn’t be willing to pay him what ridiculous amount he’ll be earning in the K.

      Flames just took a gamble on a top tier KHL talent, I’m certain there are more that would jump to Radulov on a 3-4 million contract.

  17. I read that Brennan article , shot holes through it in the comment section , and told him he should put down his Penner , Pencil in his next flop of an article.
    Mysteriously a while later , his byline on the story changed from ” Penner Could Be Attractive to Sens ” to ” Brennan : Sens Shut Put Penner to Paper. ”
    I chided him for being a hack writer pilfering his own comments section for creativity in said section.
    Woke up this morning , all my comments were removed and I am banned from future comments on the site.
    The man is an uncreative , childish , hack.
    What a turd.

  18. @NiKK

    Think you are a little off on the draft myself. Here is where I see the top 5, not to say I am right, just an IMO.

    #1 – Yakupov
    Why? They may not need him, but I think they add him and try another route for their defense cause while you have the kids and they are affordable then why not stack up.

    #2 – Forsberg
    Why? The Jackets are hosting the All-Star game, they need general name power to replace Nash. Forsberg has that, is a solid non-bust and provides offense. Honestly their defense isn’t terrible.

    #3 – Grigs
    Why? The Canadians and a lot of Canadian fans are high on the guy. Russian that also speaks French and plays in Quebec. He has size and skill and maybe the opening splash their new GM is looking for.

    #4 – Murray
    Why? He is big, NHL ready, and the Islanders need a stud defender to go with Hamonic and Streit to pretend the Islanders have a defensive core. If Islanders grab Murray and Da Haan + Wishart break the NHL and live up to potential Isles fans could be in for a treat.

    #5 – Galenchyuk (sp?)
    Why? Big, talented, American … Burke type player.

  19. i thought Radulov came back and for those few games, and finished out his entry level contract, making him a restricted free agent as well. Regardless, i think its back to KHL for him…

  20. For today’s entry:

    Nashville has a lot of questions going forward now. I honestly thought that this was their year on top of the league, or at least, in the final match. They went out and made some moves at the deadline, got a little better… But alas, I think their downfall may have been Radulov coming back from mother Russia. If Suter doesn’t resign, that means that they’ll have a few bucks to spend… In what they invest that in, will define the fate of Weber in those God Awful Yellow jerseys. If they don’t hold Suter, and then end up doing little to nothing with the money they save, Weber is out the door when he has his UFA status.

    Blues, in my opinion, have players that can score 25+ goals a season… Backes has done it before, Steen has come close, even though he hasn’t played a full year since the Toronto days. The system they play… Doesn’t really allow for an 80-90 point guy, or a 30 goal guy. The system they play allows for sleeping, unentertaining hockey and frustration when your team is playing against them; AKA Hitchcock Hockey.
    Blues will keep Jackman, they are so undervalued as a team, he’ll probably get the best deal out of St. Louis (because they actually know how decent of a D-Man he is).

    As for Penner. This is not coming from a rabid Leaf fan… I think he will go to either Toronto or somewhere unexpected (Something like Carolina). This is why I think: 6’4, 245 pounds of pancake eatin’ man. Additionally, I think other GMs will be offering him 2-3 million dollar contracts, but the great BB will get him for 4. OF course, it will be a bad deal, but we will watch forums, much like these, blow up on the amazing signing of Dustin Penner.

    Should be an interesting Summer.

    Just a quick hitter.
    Radulov –> KHL OR Calgary; to play along side Roman Cervenka, in a deal that no matter how good or bad it will be, will cause everyone every where to poke fun at the Flames.

  21. Why do the Leafs need Colin Wilson? They have those great BB acquisitions Tim Connolly ($4.5 million), Matt Lombardi ($3.5 million), superstars-in-the-making Joe Colbourne and Nazem Kadri, and the $5.5 million man Grabovski. They should be set at center for years, right? lol

    Agree with Miokid about Penner…a desperate Burke will sign him, and that will work about as well as most of his UFA acquisitions.

  22. I’m back after a long break from Spectors site. Sad to see that the level of intelligent comments hasn’t increased at ALL. Let’s get one thing out of the way; Penner is NOT gonna get ANYTHING over $2 million and 2 years. Penner IS inconsistent. Sure, he hits his .5ppg yearly but that’s not the consistency people are talking about when they talk about Pancake-boy. What they mean are his effort from game to game, period to period and shift to shift is WILDLY inconsistent. Not to mention that he never comes to camp in playing shape. He’s not a very responsible professional athlete. If he were to take his career more seriously he would be a perennial 30-40 goal threat.

    On a side note, I see there’s still a bunch of Leaf fans posting on non-Leaf articles. I can’t begin to tell you how happy THAT makes me. Yes, I’m being facetious.

    • I don’t know if he has the hands for 40. But could be a consistent 30 goal guy.

  23. Welcome back Farleybear. Thanks for the insults. Maybe you should go back into hibernation if you are going to be such a grumpy bear….just a thought….