NHL Free Agent News – May 13, 2011

Canucks management could be forced to choose between Bieska or Ehrhoff this summer, the Flyers possible goalie options, Peter Budaj’s days with the Avalanche appear over, and Kings forward Oscar Moller could play in Sweden next year.

THE GLOBE & MAIL: Matthew Sekeres reports the Vancouver Canucks could be forced to choose between Kevin Bieksa or Christian Ehrhoff, who are both eligible for UFA status this summer. The club currently has around $44 million invested in next season’s payroll, which doesn’t include those two or restricted free agents Jannik Hansen and Maxime Lapierre, or young players like Cody Hodgson and Chris Tanev who hope to make the roster next season. Ehrhoff has scored more points than Bieksa but the latter is more responsible defensively. The remaining post-season games could determine which one is re-signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could cost $10 million to retain those two, which wouldn’t leave much cap space to re-sign or replace other free agents. It’s possible GM Mike Gillis could re-sign both, but he’d probably have to free up some cap space to do it.

SPORTINGNEWS.COM: Craig Custance reports of five potential goaltending options for the Philadelphia Flyers if there were to seek an experienced starter to share the goalie duties with Sergei Bobrovsky, listing Phoenix’s Ilya Bryzgalov, Florida’s Tomas Vokoun, the Islanders’ Evgeny Nabokov, Jonathan Bernier or Jon Quick of the LA Kings, and Vancouver’s Cory Schneider.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The most affordable option would be Nabokov, and he might be the best one. They cannot take on either Bryzgalov or Vokoun without dumping significant salary, and the Kings and Canucks aren’t exactly going to just give those goalies away.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports goalie Peter Budaj’s days with the Colorado Avalanche appear to be over. He’s an unrestricted free agent this summer and the club has no plans to re-sign him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg. It’s possible he could find another NHL team to sign with, but I think he’s going to be playing in Europe next season.

HOCKEY EXPRESSEN: reports LA Kings forward Oscar Moller intends to play for Fjardstad of  the Swedish Elite League.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to “Two Many Men on the Site“. Haven’t heard a response yet from the Kings so it’ll be interesting to see/hear what GM Dean Lombardi or Moller’s agent have to say about this report.



  1. Flyers Goaltending: Hopefully the Kings are smart and dangle Bernier. It appears that Quick is the starter for the long term in LA. Bernier is too good to be languishing away on a bench. If Bernier + Player(s) + Pick(s) can land us one of the Flyers forwards, then I think everybody wins.

    Moller: This is the problem with acquiring too many picks and not dealing them. It’s great to have depth, but when there are no spots in the lineup, these players just waste away. I’m really hoping that the Kings make one or two lights out deals this summer.

  2. JDBGiGC…I somewhat agree with you, but I think they should trade Quick instead of Bernier. Two reasons, I think Bernier has a brighter and longer career ahead of him than Quick because he is so technically sound and Quick is a bit of a flopper. Also Quick has more value right now and an awesome cap hit for a cap strapped team like the Flyers. I think Quick and a pick (not a 1st) could land you Carter.

    Thats too bad about Moller but he is too small and plays small, and he knows it and is taking the coward way out. If this is true I say good riddance we don’t need quiters on LA anyways.

    I agree I hope to see some action from DL this off-season as well, would like to get a closer look at Voynov before he bolts to Russia.

  3. Canadian King … given the state of their goaltending, their cap woes, the length of Carter’s contract, and his recent underperformance, there is no reason why you should give Philly a pick on top of Quick for Carter. The question is do you – does the conservative Lombardi – want to be saddled with a contract at a 5.27M cap hit until 2022? Especially when that contract is for a center, which would essentially mean Brayden Schenn is your no. 3 for years on end, while you continue struggling for wingers.

  4. I have to harp about carter: the fair price is, Carter and a 1st for a prospect; it’s a called dumping a terrible contract. The more likely deal is Quick for Hartnell and a D prospect.
    Sekeres has not been crunching the numbers as carefully as Gilman and me. Ehrhoff and Bieksa will both be signed FOR SURE. Mark my words boys. Ehrhoff will get 5.5 for 5. Bieksa could get 4.5 for 1 or 2, but the smart play is 31.5 over 9 years = 3.5 avg – front -loaded. This takes care of him till he’s 38 and sends a strong message that he is a permanent core fixture. Salo will not be back. Torres probably won’t be back, though i love the guy.

  5. What everyone is forgetting is that Keith Ballard’s 4.2mil/year contract to sit on the bench can be moved – he does NOT have a full NMC or NTC (he’s got a limited one where he submits lists), and several teams have expressed interest in him. Gillis may not receive fair value in return, but he’d have no trouble clearing the salary from the books.

  6. Canadian King: I agree that Quick and a pick could land you Carter…if the Flyers didn’t have Bob waiting to be the #1. I think the Flyers chase after someone a little older, such as Vokoun or Nabby.

  7. Re: Carter

    I honestly believe that Jeff Carter, straight up, would only fetch a 2rd round pick. That contract is too long and for too much.

  8. I’m sorry everyone, but whether you believe it or not, Jeff Carter is an elite player in world of hockey. I won’t argue the fact that in the last couple of years he’s had injury issues that have effected his offensive stats. But hey, a lot of readers blasted the hell out of Danny Briere for the two years prior to this past season…but did he bounce back? YES! Are people still blasting him? NO! Carter still has a lot of years ahead of him if he can shake the unfortunate injuries he’s had recently. So, yes there’s risk regarding his lengthy contract. However, most GM’s in the league still value Carter as an elite, top 6 (if not top 3) player…if you don’t…you’re crazy. And how can this guy be lazy…he records 350’ish shots on goal, 30-40 goals a year, he plays in all situations, has above avg faceoff skills…etc etc etc… Yes I’m a Flyer fan, but do I overvalue Carter? Perhaps…but I don’t think so. And I’m sure there are a lot of GM’s in the NHL that would agree with me.

  9. Actually, regarding Möller, the article says that Färjestad might have to pass on Moller due to they can’t commit to Moller before they know if Dick Axelsson returns to the Red Wings, for example. However, Möller, has also met with several other teams in Sweden and seem intent to play in Sweden, although no decision appears to have been made.

  10. A 2nd rounder for carter? Thats just foolish, poultsy even as a flyers fan, is being extremely accurate. Carter was next on the list to replace Getzlaf’s injured leg on Canad’s 2010 olympic roster, and your stating he’s worth nothing better than a second rounder? I bet he wouldve been the starting centre for every team in those olympics other than canada’s if he was any of their nationalities.

    But sure, if holmgren put him up for a second rounder I bet he’d have 29 calls within 3 minutes of the listing.


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