The latest on Phil Kessel, Ryan O’Reilly, Jarome Iginla, Stephen Weiss, and Tomas Kaberle, plus Flyers GM Paul Holmgren discusses his trade plans.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran reports agent Wade Arnott, who represents Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel, said his client would love to finish his career as a Leaf. Kessel will become an unrestricted free agent in July 2014, and his offensive struggles earlier this season sparked some calls for the Leafs to trade him. GM Dave Nonis has given no indication as to his plans for Kessel, though he cannot officially start contract talks with him until July 2013.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t believe Nonis will trade Kessel this season, and if the winger is sincere about being a Maple Leaf for life, Nonis will do what he can to re-sign him. I’m guessing it could take a seven-year, front- or back-loaded deal to get it done. Kessel makes $5.4 million per season now, and could easily make $7 million on the open market.
DENVER POST’s Adrian Dater claimed via Twitter he didn’t expect the Colorado Avalanche would move quickly to trade holdout center Ryan O’Reilly, believing they’ll wait for the best offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given that the Avalanche’s season is quickly going down the tubes, there’s no reason for management to rush into a trade. O’Reilly value could certainly rise by the trade deadline, but the Avs could also wait until this summer if they don’t get any offers to their liking by April 3rd.
ESPN.COM’s Pierre LeBrun reported the following via Twitter: ”For Boston fans who keep asking me, I do not believe the B’s have any interest in Jarome Iginla. I don’t think they’ll go there.”
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov recently weighed in on the trade rumors regarding Panthers center Stephen Weiss. He believes Weiss, eligible for UFA status this summer, could command a four-year, $24 million contract, but suggested the ponderous contracts of Scottie Upshall, Ed Jovanovski, Tomas Fleischmann and Kris Versteeg could make it difficult to re-sign him. Fialkov also wondered if the reason the Panthers didn’t award Weiss the captaincy was perhaps they believe they can’t afford to re-sign him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fialkov also noted Weiss loves living in Florida and told Tallon he wants to help make the Panthers a Cup contender. GM Dale Tallon has denied rumors claiming he’s shopping Weiss and insists he wants to re-sign him. Should be interesting to see how this eventually turns out.
CANOE.CA: Jean-Francois Chaumont reports Tomas Kaberle has become the Montreal Canadiens seventh defenseman. He’s been a healthy scratch of late, but hasn’t gone to management seeking a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: At 34, Kaberle’s best days are behind him, and with another year at $4.25 million left on his contract, I doubt the Canadiens would find any takers in the trade market. If Kaberle remains the odd man out this season, expect the Habs to use their remaining amnesty buyout on him.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren says he’s not going to pull the trigger on a major deal to bolster his struggling club. “I don’t anticipate doing anything. Obviously, there is lots of talk going on right now. Everyone is doing their due diligence, but I don’t foresee us making a move.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The last time I heard Holmgren say something like that, Jeff Carter wound up shipped to Columbus and Mike Richards went to the Kings. Just sayin’…