The latest on Jason Spezza, Cam Ward, Ville Leino, Sven Baertschi and Devan Dubnyk.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan notes Jason Spezza has one season remaining on his contract, believing management must decide if they’ll re-sign him or trade him this summer. Spezza says he hasn’t given any thought to his future beyond this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Spezza, who turns 31 in June, has an average annual cap hit of $7 million on his current contract, though he earned $5 million in actual salary this season and will make $4 million next season. When healthy he’s nearly a point-per-game player but he has been hampered in recent years by back and groin injuries. If he wants to stay in Ottawa he’ll either have to accept less money or a shorter term. This summer could indeed be an interesting one for Spezza and the Senators. Bear in mind he also has a no-trade clause, which will narrow the trade options for the Senators. It’s rumored the Anaheim Ducks expressed interest in Spezza leading up to this year’s trade deadline.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Sabres may want to buy out the remainder of Ville Leino’s contract but they might have to keep him to reach next season’s salary cap minimum…He suggests the New York Islanders or Washington Capitals as trade destinations for Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward…Matheson notes the Calgary Flames haven’t recalled Sven Baertschi this season but might not be keen to trade him this summer…He also cites an NHL executive speculating former Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk might not get an NHL contract next season and might need to start in the AHL next season to build himself back up.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leino has three more years at a cap hit of $4.5 million remaining on his contract. Retaining him just to reach the cap minimum for next season isn’t a good idea if he’s going to see little ice time…The Islanders could have interest in Ward but the Capitals might try to re-sign Jaroslav Halak. They also have to figure out where Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer fit into their plans…Baertschi could get another shot to prove himself next season…Dubnyk is a UFA this summer but his stock is very low right now. If he does sign with an NHL team it’ll be as a backup for considerably less than the $3.5 million annual cap hit of his current deal.