Should Martin Brodeur move on from the Devils? Could the Avalanche shop Paul Stastny? Could Vinny Prospal return to the Rangers? Could Ilya Byzgalov be a good fit with the Oilers?
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox noted Martin Brodeur has lost the starting goalie role with the New Jersey Devils to Cory Schneider and wondered if it was time for him to move on if he hoped to get in more playing time this season. “It’s not hard to project that some team, a contender, would be more than happy to have Brodeur, who’s $4.5 million contract expires this season, on the bench as insurance when the playoffs begin”, writes Cox. “Pittsburgh? Boston? Montreal? Detroit? Washington? Heck, the Carolina Hurricanes, with Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin out with injuries, could use him now.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Brodeur toyed with the idea of signing elsewhere as a free agent in 2012, I’ll be very surprised if he moves on from the only NHL team he’s ever played for. Yes, it’s disheartening to see one of the all-time greats possibly finishing his great career as a backup, but Brodeur has been very loyal to the Devils and they to him. He’s almost certainly got a front office job with the Devils waiting for him when he retires. He’s accomplished everything that can be accomplished as an NHL goaltender. I just don’t see him opting to leave for one last shot at playoff glory.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports there’s been no contract talks between the Colorado Avalanche and the agent for Paul Stastny, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. While it’s assumed Stastny could be moved by the trade deadline or depart via free agency, coach and VP of hockey ops Patrick Roy praised his performance. Despite the logjam of talent at center, Roy claims there’s been no problem ensuring they all get their share of playing time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s assumed Stastny would be shopped for a quality defenseman, but if the Avs are still playing well by the trade deadline, they could retain Stastny and take their chances on losing him for nothing to free agency next summer.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers GM Glen Sather has “held conversations” with free agent forward and former Ranger Vinny Prospal and his agent, though there’s no indication yet Sather has pitched the 38-year-old Prospal a contract. Brooks believes Prospal would be “a low-risk move with potentially substantial reward”, and doubts Prospal would want more than $850K.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offense to Prospal, but this shows how desperate things may be for the Rangers.
SPORTSNET.CA: John Shannon and Mark Spector don’t consider free agent goalie Ilya Bryzgalov the answer to the Oilers goaltending depth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers truly wanted Bryzgalov, they would’ve signed him by now. I think Bryzgalov’s best bet to return to the NHL could come via Carolina (Cam Ward and Anton Khudobin both sidelined) or Nashville, where the Predators could be forced to use unproven backups if Pekka Rinne is sidelined for a lengthy period.