More on the Maple Leafs shopping for depth…More speculation the Bruins could target Phoenix’s Ray Whitney…Petr Sykora appears a lock for a job with the Devils.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Maple Leafs would like to package some depth players in deals for single established players in return, but could face some difficulty accomplishing this. He believes the Leafs face problems in goal, have more defensemen they can dress, and not enough scoring depth or physical players up front.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons didn’t specify which players the Leafs might shop (Pierre LeBrun last week suggested Carl Gunnarsson and center Tyler Bozak, though the latter has been sidelined by injury since them). I’m sure in the coming weeks we’ll see and hear reports linking the Leafs to Colorado’s Paul Stastny, Washington’s Alexander Semin or Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky, but as TSN’s Darren Dreger noted, it could take some time before the Leafs are able to find teams willing to make early season deals. Even then, they might not be able to land any top tier talent. Yes, I admit, it’s possible they could, but I just think Leafs fans should keep their expectations reasonable. GM Brian Burke will certainly try to make the best deal he can, and perhaps he will surprise us, but let’s not start assuming he’ll land a superstar by November.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont expounds further on his Twitter-reported rumor earlier this weekend linking the Bruins to Phoenix Coyotes left wing Ray Whitney, suggesting the Bruins could target Whitney if “there proves to be a Mark Recchi void in the attack”. Whitney, 39, is eligible for UFA status next summer. He’s earning $3 million this season, and the Bruins would have the cap space to absorb his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming Whitney will agree to be dealt (he’s got a “no-movement” clause) and the Coyotes want to move him. That’s possible, if by the trade deadline the Coyotes are out of the playoff chase and looking to dump pending free agents for draft picks and prospects. If, however, the Coyotes are in the playoff picture, thanks to Whitney, he won’t be going anywhere. Time will tell, but for now I wouldn’t expect to see Whitney in a Bruins jersey early in the season.
NEW YORK POST: Mark Everson reports Petr Sykora’s preseason play with the Devils has been strong enough to earn him a contract with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Devils don’t sign him, other teams probably will. Sykora has played very well and you can bet more than one GM has had an eye on him.