Latest on the Ducks, Bruins, Sharks, Lighting, Avalanche and Oilers.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance believes the Anaheim Ducks should bolster their depth at center by pursuing either Ottawa’s Jason Spezza or Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler via trade. He also believes they should add a veteran defenseman. As for their goaltending, while John Gibson and Frederik Andersson have promise, they also lack experience, and it sounds like they’ll part ways with pending UFA Jonas Hiller. He notes Ryan Miller would love to play in California. If they prefer an experienced backup, Ray Emery, Justin Peters and former Duck Ilya Bryzgalov could be good options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Ducks would stand a better chance of landing Spezza than Kesler, as the Canucks might be unwilling to ship the latter to a Conference rival. Spezza,of course, would have to agree to be dealt to the Ducks, but I doubt he’d object. Gibson and Andersson appear their future between the pipes. I don’t see Miller as an upgrade. It would make a good story if they brought back Bryzgalov, but that ship has likely sailed.
BOSTON HERALD/CSNNE.COM: Steve Conroy reports Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli hopes to improve his club’s speed. He intends to make adjustments to his roster but not a major overhaul. He also noted the NHL is trending away from fighting, which could be bad news for pending UFA Shawn Thornton, who said no matter what happens he will remain part of the Boston community. Pending UFA forward Jarome Iginla would like to remain a Bruin but wouldn’t elaborate about his contract talks. D.J. Bean believes Iginla will have to accept another one-year, bonus-laden deal to stay with the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I expect Chiarelli will make one significant move this summer involving winger Brad Marchand, who had another poor playoff effort. Iginla might be willing to accept a one-year deal with bonuses. Thornton won’t be back. The Bruins have only $9.1 million in projected cap space this summer and must re-sign RFAs Reilly Smith and Torey Krug, re-sign or replace backup Chad Johnson, and decide to bring back Iginla for another season. Iginla’s bonuses for this season will carry over into next season’s payroll, further denting their limited cap space. They’re allowed to spend over the cap by 10 percent during the off-season, and will receive cap relief by placing Marc Savard ($4.027 million) on LTIR, but that won’t leave enough room for the signings Chiarelli wants to make. That means shedding some salary, which is another reason why Marchand could be a trade candidate. They could also try to move Chris Kelly, who has another season at $3 million left on his contract.
MERCURYNEWS.COM/NBCSPORTS: Defenseman Dan Boyle admits he’s devastated to learn the Sharks won’t be re-signing him. David Pollak took a brief look at what the future could hold for Boyle. He speculates its possible the Sharks could trade his rights to a team which has serious interest in him. Jason Brough speculates the Detroit Red Wings could be one of those clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite his age (37), Boyle remains a skilled, respected defenseman. He won’t have much difficulty finding a new contract with another NHL team.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith recently reported Ryan Callahan’s agent Steven Bartlett admitted the Lightning “made a good case” to re-sign his client. It remains to be seen, however, if Callahan re-signs with the Lightning or tests the UFA market.
DENVER POST’s Adrian Dater recently reported via Twitter there’s been no contract talks thus far between Paul Stastny and the Colorado Avalanche, but there’s expected to begin soon. Stastny is eligible for UFA status this summer.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples recently speculated if the Oilers might swap first round picks with the New York Islanders if they could also land prospect Griffin Reinhart in return.