Latest on Martin Brodeur, Bobby Ryan, Ales Hemsky, Andrei Markov and Jaroslav Halak.
NJ.COM: Randy Miller reports long-time Devils goalie Martin Brodeur could be warming to playing with another club if he decides not to retire following this season. Miller suggests the Minnesota Wild and Ottawa Senators could be options, in part because his twin sons are playing at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Minneapolis, while another son is playing junior hockey in Gatineau. Brodeur dismissed the possibility of signing with Montreal as Carey Price is entrenched as the Canadiens’ starter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild could be more of an option than Ottawa, where the Senators could return next season with their current tandem of Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. The Wild have two goalies under contract next season but one is battling multiple sclerosis (Josh Harding) and the other is ageing and still plagued by nagging injuries (Niklas Backstrom). If one or both aren’t able to return next season, the Wild could look at Brodeur.
TSN.CA: Ian Mendes reports Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray hasn’t made any formal decisions about his team for next season, and that includes a vote of confidence for coach Paul MacLean, who last season won the Adams Trophy as coach of the year. Murray did say he would push hard to keep Bobby Ryan in Ottawa. Ryan has one year remaining on his contract and is eligible for UFA status next summer. Murray also said formal contract talks with pending UFA winger Ales Hemsky could be coming soon. He also hopes to start contract talks with pending restricted free agent Robin Lehner soon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Judging by Murray’s comments about how MacLean has a contract going forward, I doubt the Senators will replace him as head coach. I expect Murray will open contract talks at season’s end (which will likely be in about two weeks for the Senators) with Hemsky and Lehner. Expect Murray to open contract talks on July 1 with Ryan and Jason Spezza.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey believes the Canadiens should sign defenseman Andrei Markov to a three-year contract, despite his age (35) and injury history. Hickey acknowledged the risk but believes Markov is worth it, citing the difficulty in replacing him via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Markov could depart via free agency this summer but I have a feeling the Habs will retain him. He wants to stay and it sounds like he’s seeking around the same salary as he’s earning on his current contract ($5.75 million per). I think the Habs concern is term, preferring a two-year deal over a three-year one.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley, responding to reader e-mail, said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Braden Holtby and Philipp Grubauer as the Capitals goalie tandem next season. Still, if Jaroslav Halak carries the Capitals into the playoffs and plays well he wouldn’t be shocked if the Capitals attempt to re-sign him. He also believes there’s a better chance the Capitals re-sign Mikhail Grabovski than Dustin Penner.