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