Get the latest on Brad Richards, Marc-Andre Fleury, Ray Emery, and Ryan O’Reilly.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Jason Brough listed three reasons why the NY Rangers should use their remaining compliance buyout on Brad Richards, who was a healthy scratch in Game Four of the Rangers-Bruins series. Brough believes the Rangers could use the cap space, noted they now have Derick Brassard and Richards best years are behind him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: All good reasons to buy out Richards, but one also wonders if GM Glen Sather might consider coach John Tortorella the problem and replace him instead, hoping a new coaching style might improve Richards’ performance.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance recently examined how playoff performance could impact this summer’s goalie market. He noted Marc-Andre Fleury being replaced in the Penguins goal by Tomas Vokoun, raising the suggestion of the Penguins trading Fleury and going with Vokoun and an up-and-coming goalie next season, but also noted such a move could upset the Penguins tight team chemistry.
Custance also wondered if Ray Emery might replace Corey Crawford in goal for the Chicago Blackhawks in their series against the Detroit Red Wings, and how it could bolster Emery’s free agent value this summer. He suggests Emery could be a good fit with the NY Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes and Minnesota Wild (if they lose Mike Smith and Niklas Backstrom to free agency) or the Buffalo Sabres (if they trade Ryan Miller).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt the Penguins give up on Fleury even if Vokoun plays through the remainder of this year’s playoffs, but if he struggles again next year, the possibility of trade or compliance buyout next summer becomes stronger. Emery’s free agent value will already be high this summer, though there will be lingering concerns over his surgically repaired hip. Still, if the Blackhawks fail to re-sign Emery, he’ll have little difficulty finding a new team.
CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman recently reported Colorado Avalanche VP of hockey operations Joe Sakic sees Ryan O’Reilly as a long-term part of his club’s future. O’Reilly signed a two-year offer sheet from the Calgary Flames which the Avs matched, sparking speculation he could be dealt next February 28, one year from the date the Avs matched the offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Had there been no significant front office changes for the Avalanche this off-season, I would’ve expected O’Reilly to be a goner next March. With Sakic and new coach and co-VP of hockey ops Patrick Roy running the show, O’Reilly could have a future with the Avs after all.