More speculation on Jarome Iginla, Olli Jokinen, Carey Price, Scott Gomez, and Jochen Hecht, the Lightning must address their goaltending this summer, and more.
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports the Flames players expect a summer of change. Steve MacFarlane reports team captain Jarome Iginla would prefer to win a Stanley Cup with the Flames, but MacFarlane wonders if the franchise runs the risk of losing Iginla for nothing to free agency next summer if they opt to remain loyal to him. Iginla admitted he’ll be looking at his future this summer more closely than he has in the past.
CALGARY SUN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Francis and Allan Maki use door metaphors (“Door opening…”, “edging close to doorway out of Calgary”) to suggest an Iginla trade is perhaps becoming closer to reality than at any time in the recent past.
CALGARY HERALD: George Johnson also reported the Flames and Iginla have some tough choices to make this summer. Johnson believes trading Iginla would be the hardest thing the organization has ever done.
CALGARY SUN: Ian Busby reports pending UFA blueliner Cory Sarich would be open to returning with the Flames, as he now considers Calgary his home.
CALGARY HERALD: Kristen Odland recently reported injury-plagued Flames forward David Moss hopes Flames GM Jay Feaster is willing to talk contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Get the feeling we haven’t heard the last of the Jarome Iginla trade rumors this summer? For good reason, as he and Flames management truly have to decide if he fits into their future plans, especially if they decide to engage in a much-needed rebuild. It’s possible Iginla could consider signing a short-term (one or two years) deal for less money to allow the Flames more cap flexibility, but he would certainly fetch them a solid return via trade to aid in their rebuilding. So far, all the talk is on whether or not Iginla gets dealt. We’ve yet to hear which teams could be suitors, though I daresay potential destinations will spring to live once the playoffs end. As for Jokinen, his future could be decided by what the Flames do with Iginla, especially if they opt to move their captain before July 1st. Sarich and Moss, on the other hand, have probably played their final games with the Flames.
CANOE.CA: Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, a restricted free agent this summer, said he wishes to re-sign a long-term deal with the club.
LA PRESSE: Marc Antoine Godin reports Canadiens center Scott Gomez, when asked about the possibility of a trade, contract buyout or demotion, said he will “cross that bridge” when he comes to it.
CANOE.CA: Mathieu Boulay reports Canadiens UFA forward Mathieu Darche hopes he hasn’t played his final game for the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price’s desire for a long-term deal with the Habs should put to rest any suggestion he’d prefer a shorter deal in order to get out of Montreal when he becomes eligible for UFA status in two years time. If there’s an amnesty buyout in the next CBA, Gomez will be bought out. Otherwise, it’s up to new management to figure out what to do with him and his $7 million-plus per season contract, which has two more years to go. As for Darche, he’d be an affordable re-signing, but of course that’s up to whoever the new GM is to decide if he’s worthwhile retaining.
TBO.COM: Erik Erlendsson listed five key issues facing the Lightning this summer. Among them: a quality starting goalie, shoring up the defense, and adding a top-six forward.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Damian Cristodero believes finding a number one goalie is the top priority for Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who apparently would love to acquire Vancouver’s Cory Schneider. Plan B would be Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings and Anders Lindback of the Nashville Predators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider might be a perfect fit for the Bolts, but there will be considerable interest in him from other clubs.
WGRZ.COM: Ed Kilgore expects changes this summer for the Buffalo Sabres, but doesn’t believe the roster will be “blown up”. Kilgore doesn’t believe goaltender Ryan Miller will be among the changes, and considers Miller, Tyler Ennis, Marcus Foligno, Jason Pominville, and Tyler Myers as “untouchables”. He also feels forwards Derek Roy and Drew Stafford could become trade bait.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports Sabres pending UFA forward Jochen Hecht, who’s trying to come back from his third concussion in a year, hasn’t given up on his playing career, and would like to return with the Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Roy and Stafford could be shopped this summer, while Hecht probably won’t be re-signed by the Sabres, and given his injury history, could find it difficult to land with another NHL team.