Could the Capitals shop Mike Green this summer? Will the Devils try to bring back Brian Gionta? Does Jonas Hiller’s playoff benching herald the end of his tenure with the Ducks?
WASHINGTON TIMES: Brian McNally recently reported Capitals defenseman Mike Green acknowledged he could be on his way out of Washington this summer if the organization decides to go in a different direction. Green’s entering the final year of his contract ($6.25 million in actual salary, $6.083 million cap hit). McNally noted the Capitals won’t need to move him to free up cap space this summer unless ownership decides to put the club on a budget for next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Various lower-body injuries have affected Green’s performance in recent years. Though he’s still a good puck-moving defenseman, he’s not the offensive star he was several years ago. If the Capitals were to shop Green, they might have to pick up part of his remaining salary to make him more enticing to rival teams.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere notes the Devils need to bolster their offense, speculating about the possibility of bringing back former Devils forward Brian Gionta. Now captain of the Montreal Canadiens, the 35-year-old Gionta is eligible for UFA status this summer. Chere wonders if the chance to play alongside younger brother Stephen (who’s also eligible for UFA status) might be an incentive for Brian if he isn’t re-signed by the Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: One can’t dismiss that possibility, and if he’s an affordable option (say, on a two-year deal for $3.5 million per season) it might be a good depth addition. The Devils, however, must get younger offensive forwards. Their leading scorer, Jaromir Jagr, is 42. Patrik Elias, Michael Ryder and Ryane Clowe are all in their thirties. They won’t get any better going forward.
SPORTSNET.CA: Mark Spector recently observed the Anaheim Ducks are starting rookie Frederik Andersen in goal over long-time starter Jonas Hiller in their divisional semifinal against the Dallas Stars. He speculates they’re inwardly concerned about the state of Hiller’s play.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mark (no relation) doesn’t suggest Hiller’s tenure with the Ducks could be coming to an end. I do. Unless Hiller gets a chance to start and carries the Ducks deep into the playoffs, this spring could be his last with them. He’s eligible for UFA status this summer. Andersenn has shown a lot of promise, plus they’ve got highly-touted John Gibson waiting in the wings. If they stick with Andersen throughout, Hiller will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.