A look at the decisions and possible free agent options facing the Flyers, Maple Leafs, Red Wings and Bruins.

Could the Flyers pursue Nathan Horton?

Could the Flyers pursue Nathan Horton?

PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli and Sam Carchidi report the Philadelphia Flyers will seek a goaltender in this summer’s free agent market. There’s a good chance former Flyers goalie Ray Emery could re-sign with the Chicago Blackhawks. One option could be former Boston Bruins netminder Tim Thomas, who is reportedly considering a return to the NHL after taking last season off. Depth in talent in this summer’s free agent market for goalies isn’t that strong, with other options including Evgeni Nabokov, Dan Ellis and Jose Theodore.

The Flyers could also have interest in Chicago Blackhawks forward Viktor Stalberg and have expressed interest in former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier. Other forwards of interest could include Nathan Horton, David Clarkson, Valtteri Filppula, Ryane Clowe, Stephen Weiss and former Flyer Jaromir Jagr. The Flyers are also in talks with pending UFA Simon Gagne.

CSNPHILLY.COM’s Tim Panaccio reports via Twitter the Flyers would love to land Nathan Horton but he’s got two clubs in mind and the Flyers aren’t one of them.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarkson seems like good fit with the Flyers, who appear more interested in a winger than a center. As for goalies, I expect they’ll look toward the trade market, where they reportedly had interest in St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak.

TORONTO STAR/THE GLOBE AND MAIL/TORONTO SUN: Damien Cox reports Tyler Bozak isn’t out of the Maple Leafs plans yet, though his agent is reportedly seeking more than $5 million per season for his client. James Mirtle reports Leafs GM Dave Nonis doesn’t see the acquisition of Dave Bolland as a replacement for Mikhail Grabovski, expecting the latter’s performance to rebound next season. Terry Koshan listed David Clarkson, Andrew Ference, Rob Scuderi, Stephen Weiss and Douglas Murray as possible UFA targets for the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Bozak goes to free agency, I expect the Leafs push hard for Weiss. I realize a number of Leafs fans hope they’ll also sign Clarkson but there probably won’t be enough cap space for Weiss and Clarkson, and that’s with Mike Komisarek being bought out. Both could cost over $10 million combined, which wouldn’t leave much to re-sign Jonathan Bernier, Nazem Kardi, Cody Franson and others.

DETROIT NEWS/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Pending UFAs like Nathan Horton, Stephen Weiss, David Clarkson, Viktor Stalberg and Michael Ryder could be of interest for the Detroit Red Wings.  The Wings have spoken with Vincent Lecavalier, but might not be interested in investing $5 million per season for five years on a 34-year-old center. They’ll also make their final pitches to re-sign Valtteri Filppula, Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Leafs, I expect the Wings will have considerable interest in Weiss and Clarkson. Horton is rumored seeking six years at $6 million per, but with a history of shoulder and concussions injuries, I doubt that would interest the Wings. I also expect Brunner and perhaps Cleary to be re-signed, but Filppula’s as good as gone.

BOSTON HERALD/BOSTON GLOBE: David Clarkson, Jarome Iginla and Michael Ryder could be options for the Bruins to replace the departing Nathan Horton. Vincent Lecavalier and Daniel Briere could prove too expensive for the Bruins. Former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, meanwhile, is considering an NHL comeback following a one-year sabbatical.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The priority, of course, is re-signing goalie Tuukka Rask. Clarkson and Iginla could be good fits, but the Bruins could be hard-pressed to win any bidding wars for either guy. 

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65 Responses to Latest on the Flyers, Maple Leafs, Red Wings & Bruins – July 2, 2013.

  1. Micki says:

    How can anyone take Bozak’s request seriously? The guy has average stats in the NHL. Piss off little dude. If i were Nonis i’d laugh at him.

    I think that the Panthers will be active. Even without Weiss, the Panthers have:

    Goc, Matthias, Shore, Bjugstad, Barkov, and Trochek down the middle. They need a top two center for offense. Be it in keeping Weiss or replacing Weiss.

    I also think that Filppula will be of interest to Tallon to help Barkov develop and adjust.

  2. Paddy says:

    Jeez, Vinny at (potentially) $5M/yr for 5 years? Anyone other than me think it’s not right that a guy’s contract is so bad that he gets bought out – and then signs a new contract, which effectively gives him a *raise* on his original, terrible contract?

    I still think any $$$ above the original contract should have to go to charity, or the NHLPA pension fund, or something.

    They are totally entitled to earning their original contract money – even if it was a bad contract. But having them get a raise just seems wrong.

    • gh says:

      The money is his. He didn’t break the contract. TB offered the contract. He signed it. TB wants to go in a different direction with the team so they made the decision to end the contract. Sure he wasn’t playing great. Players that sign contracts and then over achieve can’t go ask for more money in the middle of a contract. Its business. If he ends up signing a contract and basically gets a “raise” then that’s what a team wants to do. He can ask for an amount and term of a contract but at the end of the day its the team that decides if they want to pay it of not. You can’t tell me that if it was you that you would walk away from more money. Plus most players donate money and time to a lot of different things.

    • Jes_SabresFan says:

      they are entitled to get whatever these dumbass gm’s owners give them. that’s basically what it all comes down to..

      for lecalvier to get bought out and playing for another team for much less than he made is obsurd. IMO get as much as you can, anyone would do the same, it’s basically winning the lottery twice in a matter of weeks…

    • Innovator says:

      Alain Vigneault was fired by the Canucks and a few weeks later was hired in NY and is now the highest paid coach in the league. It has nothing to do with past contracts or salaries, what matters is how much someone is willing to pay.

    • Paddy says:

      I’m not disagreeing with this being how the business works. Only that for you to win the lottery for being an underperforming player seems pretty wrong.

      Also, I’m not sure I like the implications. Tied into a contract/team/coach you don’t like, and would rather make more money & be a UFA? Simply play terribly for a year! Get bought out, play where you want and make even MORE money!

      Not saying any players have done that, but boy would that set a bad precedent.

      • Rob says:

        Hold on here gents. Vinny didn’t play terribly. He’s 34, he’s not supposed to be playing to the same calibur as when he signed his contract. He just finished a season with 32 pts in 39 games. In his last 4 seasons, he’s a .8/game player. That’s better than average for a 34 year old NHL player – a far cry from terrible.

        GMs go into these contracts knowing full well that in 5-8 years they’re going to have to stick-handle their way through an eventual cap problem because they want that particular player now. That’s the issue, not Vinny Lecavalier’s ‘terrible’ performance.

    • gord says:

      if g.m.s are willing to pay why is it wrong for the player?

    • DBM says:

      Not sure how you figure 5 years at $5 million constitutes a raise for Lecavalier.

      He was set to earn $42.5 million over the next 5 years on his current contract. Are you including the buyout money in your calculation?

      Even if that’s the case, Briere is the one who stands to reap a real winfall from his buyout. He was only set to earn $5 million over the remaining 2 years of his deal, and I imagine he’s going to beat that by at least $3 million when he hits free agency (on top of the buyout money itself). Despite his large cap hit, he was into the cheap years of his contract salary wise. The Flyers probably could have traded him fairly easily to a team with cap space and a cash budget, except that Briere has an NMC and would likely have blocked such a trade.

      • Paddy says:

        I *am* including the buyout money. It’s not a “real” raise, but he will earn more cash this year for having been bought out of his bad contract. But yeah, he was just one example – Briere will be the same!

  3. willyjones says:

    I know this is not really news worthy but, Blake Kessel (phils brother) was not extended by the flyers making him a ufa. I realize we have a large amount of d prospects, but why not pick him up cheap for 2 years put him in the ahl, and almost give us a lock that phil will resign with the leafs to play with his brother.

    and yes as for vinny getting 5mil/5 year deal thats crazy.. i thought a team like Dallas would sign him to a 1 year deal for 4 mil then either trade him back to Tampa, or he walks at the end of the year and resigns with tampa.

    And even worse then that bozak at 5 plus mil (what) I have also heard they are looking for term as well searching for over 5 years. this is laughable.

    He is worth 3.25-3.5 on a 3 year deal at max 3 years 12 mil

    • Colby says:

      Ha ha I was thinking the same thing with kessels… Or would it be kesselies?

      • willyjones says:

        just would make sense and the kid can play, why not give him a 2 year deal making 100k in the ahl and lock phil up, who know maybe he turns out to play in our bottom pairing

    • Rob says:

      that’s not crazy, that’s market value. there’s nothing crazy about signing a .8/game player $25M over 5 years.

    • Rob says:

      love this idea

  4. nitroglycerin101 says:

    I hope Flyers stay away from Clarkson. He is not worth money he is looking for. Rather go after Clowe, LeCavallier or Gagne.
    Horton is good but not healthy enough to offer him 6m a year long term deal imo.

  5. MJR I says:

    Huge achtung on Clarkson: he’s getting bolstered by Elias, who also bolstered the likes of Petr Sykora, Jason Arnott, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Bobby Holik… shall I continue?

    If Elias doesn’t go to the Hall of Fame, hockey’s stupid and so is everyone in it! :D just kidding… or am I?

    • MJR I says:

      Hell I’d love to play with Elias. He’s been giving players big raises since he broke out as a player.

      • Paddy says:

        Good point, MJR. I also wouldn’t sign Clarkson to that contract – but someone will (and I think regret it, too!)

        • Rob says:

          .. and then we’ll blame clarkson when the team buys them out and he signs with another team afterwards..

  6. Konstantine says:

    What is Cox talking about? Unless Toronto looks to buy out Grabovski (which I doubt) the acquisition of Bolland is the writing on the wall for Bozak, especially when his asking price is so high. He was the #1 centre in Toronto by default, not because of his skill. On most other teams he’s a 3rd liner, 2nd tops. I think Nonis knows better than to give in to his demands. Reality is going to jump up and slap Bozak soon…
    Odds are Toronto will focus on an over-paying contract for Clarkson, even though Clowe would work out as well at less $ and a similar playing style.
    Lecavalier needs to realize not many teams are going to risk a 5-year deal on him (ending when he’s 39) 3 years maybe, 4 if he’s willing to accept a declining salary per year. I still think Dallas will make a move for him.

    • Shticky says:

      Hmmm im not so sure If Nonis gets Bozak down to around 4 I really would not be surprised if they signed Bozak and bought out Grabo

      • Shticky says:

        And really with the alternatives out there if he can get Bozak between 20-22 mill for 5 years or in that neighborhood Im fine with it as long as Grabo goes. with the alternatives being Weiss probably looking st 25miil 5yr always injured, paying Vinny till he is 40 years old no thanks, Ribsy Ribero say no to blow, if there are no trades available for a true number 1 and if Bozak is on the cheap and we get rid of Grabos garbage contract I guess Id be ok with it

    • Rob says:

      i don’t see how bolland impacts bozak, bolland being a 3rd liner and will be Toronto’s 3rd line centreman.

  7. Ed Van Impe says:

    very weak crop of UFA’s this year … a bunch of injury-prone pieces of trash … who will get big bucks and then get bought out in two years … sheer lunacy …

    • Innovator says:

      Don’t expect buy outs in two years. The compliance buyouts will no longer be available so teams won’t get freebies.

  8. SmielmaN says:

    I think Lecavalier at 4.5-5 mill per for 4-5 yrs is just fine. He still produces, is a huge center, and is a great leader. You get all that at 5 million to take the player close to retirement. This is the player that will make those around him better and help mentor your younger players on how to be a professional. Teams would be foolish, or loaded at center already, to not try to land this guy. You slot him in at #2 center (or 1B) or the wing if your already strong at center.

    His previous contract was given after winning a cup and averaging a point per game and being one of the best leaders in the game. Not his fault that Tampa wanted to keep him happy for the rest of his career, but with cap recapture rules GM’s either make hard choices (TBL) or really poor ones (Canucks). Lecavalier deal would have haunted the TBL for 2-3 years and force them to lose players over cap space that’s taken by a guy no longer playing. Crappy for lecavalier and TBL to have to do, but necessary for the teams future. They obviously didn’t want him to go seeing how try we’re trying to trade him to a team for a buyout then resign him. Now it’s just time to move on. Anyways, the team that gets him will be very happy.

    • Shticky says:

      He is far from the player he was 5 years ago how fast and how much more down hill you think he is going to be in the next 5 years I like vinny and think he still could have a bit of game to him but 5 years any where near 5 mill is a stupid signing with in 2-3 years your looking at a 30-40 point guy making 5 mill a year

  9. gh says:

    Vinny did have 32pts in 39 games last year so its not like he is a horrible player. In the pass 5 years he has average over .8 pts / game (2 years ago he was .77 – only time under). The biggest concern for me is that he only plays about 80% of the season and that his ice time per game has also gone down (which also affects his points / gm). If Bozak, Roy, Weiss can gets $4m a season then I think Vinny will get 5m. The term is the scary part but since he’s under 35 and if he retires during the contract it won’t count against the cap atleast.

  10. NYrangers says:

    I will be shocked if a team gives Vinny a 5 year deal. Today’s NHL is all about speed and being able to keep up (see Brad Richards) and after 2 more years Vinny will be washed up and a step behind.

    On another topic – I am a huge NY Ranger fan and because Torts seems to be the only person associated with hockey that believes Michael Del Zotto is serviceable NHL def man, I say send MDZ to Vancouver along with another salary to get Edler.

  11. BeerGoggles says:

    I agree with Konstantine, Bozak is done as a Leaf.

    Unless the Leafs plan on buying out or trading Grabo, Lyles, Phaneuf they won’t have the cap room to sign Clarkson or Weiss. I don’t see then buying out or being able to move Grabo and most likely can’t move Phaneuf for a worthwhile return which leave buying out Lyles which also may be unlikely. Even if the Leafs buyout Lyles and Komi the Leafs will still be tight and probably won’t have enough room to sign Clarkson or Weiss. The Leafs tied their own hands bringing in a $3.4M third line center. Kadri, Fraser, Franson, Gunnar and Bernier all need to be signed and could cost upwards of $15M.

    Buying out Lyles and Komi and trading Gunnar would free up enough room for Weiss but why get another center to add to the 5 centers they have now. None of these guys are a number one center at this point and most likely Weiss won’t be sufficient as a number one either.

  12. Northern_Leaf says:

    There is plenty of cap space to pick up both Weiss and Clarkson yes there are a few restricted free agents on the leafs Kadri,Colborne and Franson being the only ones who should be re-signed let Fraiser, Macaurther, Bozak and Kostka walk they all can be replaced cheaper. Acording to capgeek Toronto has over 16 mill in cap space and they have not bought out Kommie yet at 3.575 mil that would give us over 20 mil in cap space come on Clarkson for 5 for 5 sign Weiss at 5+ for 5 still leaving over 10 mil in cap space to sign Kadri,Colborne and Franson we have depth at D in the minors give them a shot at the 5,6 and 7 slots. I would have bought out Grabo’s contract as well giving us another 5.5 mil to work with. Saying there is not enough cap space on a team that has money and knows how to use it is stupid.

    • BeerGoggles says:

      Northern
      So you are going to let Gunnar, Bernier and Fraser walk for nothing eh? Doubt it and there’s $8M in those three contracts alone.

  13. LeafsAdvocate says:

    Bury Grabovski’s contract, maybe sign Lecavalier to those dollars ($5,500,000 per). With that signing, players like Clarkson and Horton will see that Toronto is more serious that thought-of, to be a serious team in contending to a Cup push. Toronto has the cap space and good building blocks to make a push (Kessel, Lupul, Kadri, Phaneuf, Gardiner, Bolland, JvR, Bernier, Reimer, Franson, Gunnarsson). With just a few more acquisitions of top-tier UFA’s, players will be more inclined to sign here.

    Lupul-Lecavalier-Kessel
    JvR-Kadri-Ryder
    Kulemin-Roy-Boyes
    Morrow-Bolland-Orr
    ——————————-
    Phaneuf-Murray
    Gardiner-Franson
    Liles-Gunnarsson
    O’Byrne
    ——————————-
    Bernier
    Reimer

    • gh says:

      You can’t bury contracts anymore without it counting against the cap. Did every UFA sign for 1m each. There is no way that roster happens.

    • BeerGoggles says:

      This line up is for sure over the cap of $64M and what happened to Fraser he is suddenly dog crap?

  14. gh says:

    Vinny isn’t going to end up in Toronto. Move on to someone who might. Cullen, Weiss, Roy, Bozak. Or start signing some RFAs or extension talks with dion and kessel.

    • Konstantine says:

      Would love to see Cullen here, but I’d pass on the others or try to trade for some RFAs out there…

      • gh says:

        I think Cullen would be a good fit in Wpg. Don’t know why I had that thought, but it find of works.

        • Konstantine says:

          He would actually, they’re not resigning Antropov, question is, would Cullen want to move to the ‘peg?

  15. Bruin62 says:

    I hope the Bruins stay away from the over the hill gang like Iggy. He looked old an slow when he played for the Pens.

  16. ryan says:

    i hope pittsburgh lets dupius walk and bring in brier he can play both c/w

  17. gh says:

    TSN is saying Bozak’s agent has offer 8 yrs but under $5m. Ha Ha. That’s a big NO!!!

    • Shticky says:

      If they can get the term down to 5 years and get him for 4.5 max I bet you gets done. Like I say its better then all of the alternatives better to deal with the devil you know, at that point they would move Grabo for a second or third round pick or buy him out. Im just about sure this is what will happen, and Dion will be gone by the trade dead line at the latest to make room to sign Kessel to an extension. I think they really want to keep Bozak to keep Phill happy, but Dave is not showing his cards.

      • BeerGoggles says:

        They don’t really need to move Dion to make room for Kessel’s new contract since Dion will be a UFA at seasons end unless you are trying to get something for him. Not sure if it’s better to keep him and let him walk for nothing or try and trade him now and get something. Hard to say what he will bring us back. If that’s the plan I’d rather move him for Stastny who will also be a UFA at seasons end. See how stastny does this year and maybe resign him or let him walk. This way we don’t have to settle with a 5yr Bozak contract and we can take stock next summer as to the status of our centers. Maybe Kadri will take another step into the number one role and eliminate the need for that number one. In the mean time Stastny is there to fill in.

        • Shticky says:

          Im still betting come Thursday Bozak has a deal and Grabo is either sipped out or bought out, and Im betting Dion dosent play a whole season as a leaf, they wont be able to keep both Dion and Kessel is what I was getting at and if they sign Bozak Kessel will be a Leaf for a long time…Bye bye Dion

          • BeerGoggles says:

            God I hope not. When you talk about Boz for 5 more years at close to $5M I think about guys like Lupul and JVR. Boz isn’t even in the same league. Sorry but it’s true. Boz at $3.5M for 3 years no problem. Otherwise you will never be happy with the production from him at 5yr at 5M ish..

          • BeerGoggles says:

            Sorry meant to say 5yr at $4.5M

          • Shticky says:

            Oh I wouldnt be super happy with it either I just think thats whats going to happen If Dave can get it down to 4.5 for 5 years he will call it a win and say well we had something like this in mind he is such an important part of our team…blah blah blah” and move Grabo some how saving himself 1 mill, I know something is up there is no way they are going in to a season with that center line up Grabo is an insurance policy if absolutely everything falls apart if they were thinking of buying out Lyles it would already be done. There will be no buyouts next summer they wont need it with only 20 mill on the cap if they have to buy out anyone else Im sure it will be Grabo but only as a last resort.

  18. jc says:

    its 3 days away and watch the Leafs will make a big trade and get what they want and still sign the players they need.(kadri, colburne,franson) im expecting a three team deal. There is a reason why nonis got bernier and bolland knowing he still has to sign others.

  19. bob says:

    As I said yesterday whats with all this talk of 5mil per season for these average 1/2ppg players.
    Any smart GM will stay out of this yrs FA market cuz teams will be maxed out to the cap for yrs with all this crazy talk. Wait till next yr & you’ll have ur pick of FA’s

  20. bob says:

    Please Leaf fans go away……..U won’t miss anything!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. BeerGoggles says:

    I’m thinking Nonis won’t do much of anything. I think he avoids the biding war on Horton, Clarkson and Weiss and just re-signs ALL his RFA’s. We will pretty much have the exact same team as last year except for Bernier and Bolland and the buyout of Komi. Yes Grabo and Lyles will probably be back. I think Nonis is done for now unless someone knocks his socks off and gives him someone very good for a very low price.
    No one will like this but it’s more then likely reality.
    Nonis isn’t a big risk taker like Burkie.

    • Shticky says:

      Dont agree at all there will be change Lewiecki will want something to hang his hat on…and the same guy you say isnt a big risk taker did a pretty big move his first summer as a gm in vancouver.

      • BeerGoggles says:

        Bolland and Bernier are pretty big in his book. Don’t forget it’s a different NHL then years past with this cap BS. Tough to find those blockbusters these days but never say never. It’s just looking like he won’t do much unless someone knocks his socks off (which could happen just not likely)

  22. mark says:

    I think they sign bozak 3 x 3.5 maybe 4. He is not quite 1st line material but is close and his chemistry with Kessel is proven. He has room to grow. Bolland brings great leadership and puts pressure on Bozak to sign for less. I truly believe bernier or reimer are pieces to be moved. Either could fetch a handsome price from any of the teams that misses out on the goalie sweepstakes. Package one of them with grabo OR Dion to a desperate team (Philly) in return for a first line centre and or stud defense man. Sign Vinny (this is a must for so many reasons) he challenges bozak for first line minutes. And sign Clarkson or briere. (probably Clarkson for less money). I haven’t crunched the $$ but with grabo and or Phaneuf and or bernier gone I think we have a couple of million to spare.

  23. mark says:

    Nvm the Vinny part lol. Shoot !!! :(:( ok briere and Clarkson. Briere pushes bozak for first line. This sucks grrr

  24. Zapp Brannigan says:

    Why would Vincent Lecavalier & Danny Briere be pricing themselves out? Were they not bought out cause they did not perform up to the the amount they were being paid? You’d think they would want to prove themselves to a new team and sign a one year deal very affordable. Like when Teemu Selanne had a few bad years and went for a one year deal way less then what he normally would of been offered. And you’d think they’d want to get on to a cup contending team. Without trying to budge their way in with a big dumb contract right away. They should work for it. Not be another Brad Richards. I’m just saying. Players should stop pricing themselves out. At least those two guys. Are they not still going to be getting paid for a few years anyway? I mean, greedy or what? And I’m really just thinking of if they were interested in joining my favorite team, I wouldn’t like it, if they came in there with a big multi year deal, that could potentially chase out fan fav or player who put years into the club already. My 1 and a half cent there. I do suppose it is a fine line when dealing in a business which makes millions of dollars. But the team should be first. Get good players who love the game enjoy the city and respect the fans. Maybe these days that’s not the way?

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