Are the Bruins planning any big moves this summer? What’s the latest on Roberto Luongo? Could the Dallas Stars pursue Rick Nash or Jordin Tootoo?
ESPN.COM/BOSTON HERALD: Don’t expect the Boston Bruins to make any significant changes to their core this summer. GM Peter Chiarelli indicated in his end-of-season press conference he won’t be doing anything to make over the roster. He did, however, say he would look toward the trade or free agent market to add a forward, but said that didn’t mean he wouldn’t re-sign RFA forward Benoit Pouliot or wouldn’t consider putting Jonathan Caron on a top line. That would dash expectations of Chiarelli bidding for pending UFA stars like Zach Parise or Ryan Suter. Two factors – the health of concussed forward Nathan Horton, and the expiration of the current CBA – could affect his potential plans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Injuries (Horton’s concussion, Patrice Bergeron’s strained/torn oblique) played a part in the Bruins’ early playoff exit, while David Krejci and Milan Lucic didn’t play particularly well against the Capitals. That being said, those aren’t reasons for Chiarelli to blow up the roster or “shake up” the core. Yes, they do need to work on the power-play, which was also an issue throughout last season, and they could probably use another scoring forward. Regardless, Chiarelli has been patient with his roster, and was rewarded last season, as well as earlier this season when they lurched to a slow start. I see little reason why he would change his mind now. Sure, he could try to trade Thomas, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he listens to offers, but they’ll have to be really good offers for Thomas, who only has one year remaining on his contract, and whose “no-movement” clause expires on July 1.
NATIONAL POST/ESPN.COM: Michael Traikos doesn’t believe the Maple Leafs need Roberto Luongo, suggesting instead a short-term option to fill the gap in goal while James Reimer continues to learn the ropes. Jesse Rogers, who covers the Blackhawks for ESPN.com, dismisses the idea of Luongo being dealt to the ‘Hawks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Traikos makes a sensible case, but the growing criticism facing Leafs GM Brian Burke over his handling of the club could put pressure upon him to make a big move now to land an established goalie star. Reimer’s recent injury history could also a factor which pushes Burke toward a possible acquisition of Luongo. Rogers, meanwhile, is saying the same things I’ve been saying regarding the unlikely prospect of the Blackhawks acquiring Luongo. It remains to be seen where Luongo ends up by next season, but I’d say the odds of his landing in Toronto are far better than those which have him going to Chicago.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika recently replied to a reader’s question about the possibility of the Stars acquiring either Columbus’ Rick Nash or Nashville’s Jordin Tootoo. Heika wondered if the Stars could afford to pay the high asking price from the Columbus Blue Jackets to land him, suggesting they might be more inclined to pursue New Jersey’s Zach Parise if he becomes available in this summer’s UFA market. As for Tootoo, Heika isn’t convinced he’d be a good fit with the Stars.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk will certainly be looking to bolster his lineup this summer, and will probably be among the bidders for Parise if he hits the open market, I doubt he’d want to part with significant assets for Rick Nash. I concur with Heika’s take on Tootoo.