The latest Maple Leafs rumors, plus updates on Miikka Kiprusoff, Keith Ballard, David Desharnais and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.
TORONTO SUN: Rob Longley reports Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis said he’s looking to upgrade at every position, though that doesn’t mean they’re unhappy with the players they currently have. Nonis had no news on his pending free agents, including UFA center Tyler Bozak, and admitted there was a distinct possibility he’d use compliance buyouts this year.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran examines Nonis’ “to-do list”, noting the rumors of the Leafs interest in Stephen Weiss if Bozak bolts for free agency, and the Leafs supposed interest in LA Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier. Conventional wisdom suggests the Leafs will buy out Mike Komisarek.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples cited a tweet from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos suggesting the possibility of the Oilers shipping their seventh overall pick to the Maple Leafs for a defenseman. Given the Oilers need for a top-four defenseman, Staples pointed out Dion Phaneuf, Michael Kostka, Jake Gardiner and Carl Gunnarson were in that category.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Forget about the Leafs moving Gardiner, and I doubt the Oilers would give up a top-ten draft pick for Kostka or Gunnarson. As for Phaneuf, while his future in Toronto seems uncertain, the Oilers would need assurances Phaneuf, who has one year left on his contract, would re-sign before agreeing to a trade.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Flames GM Jay Feaster confirmed goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is leaning toward retirement.
VANCOUVER SUN: Brad Ziemer reports agent Keith Ballard believes a buyout by the Canucks would be good for his client, allowing the blueliner a fresh start with another club. Ballard has two years at $4.2 million per season remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks will probably try to trade Ballard first, but if they can’t find any takers, they should buy him out in order to free up some much-needed cap space.
LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens forward David Desharnais hopes to redeem himself with a better performance next season.
OTTAWA SUN: The city of Gatineau honored Senators forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau on Tuesday.