An update on compliance buyouts, plus the latest on Vincent Lecavalier, Ryan Malone, Sergei Bobrovsky, Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cullen and more.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the NHL has moved swiftly to close off a potential loophole in the new CBA, “ notifying general managers the league would deem re-signing a player following a trade and a subsequent amnesty buyout as circumvention, and thus would not register the contract”. Brooks claims it’s believed the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs discussed such a move regarding Vincent Lecavalier. The contract buyout period begins tonight at 11 PM ET and runs to 5 pm ET on July 4.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Consider that potential loophole closed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Buying out the duo, especially Lecavalier, wouldn’t be a popular move with Lightning fans, but unless Yzerman can free up salary cap space elsewhere, he doesn’t have much choice. The Bolts currently have just over $2.4 million in cap space, and while they will get some cap relief by keeping Mattias Ohlund on LTIR next season, that won’t leave sufficient cap space to bolster the lineup.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets RFA goalie Sergei Bobrovsky faces a tough decision: does he take a big money, short-term offer (believed worth $10 million per season) from KHL team SKA St. Petersburg, or re-sign with the Blue Jackets for less money but with more financial security and the opportunity to play in the best professional league? It’s also rumored the Blue Jackets have sought permission from the Calgary Flames to speak with Miikka Kiprusoff.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of jockeying going on here. I think the Bobrovsky camp is using the KHL offer as leverage to squeeze the Blue Jackets into paying more, while the Jackets could be trying to scare them into agreeing to less by making it known through the media they’re willing to consider other options. The KHL, meanwhile, really wants to sign Bobrovsky, the NHL’s reigning Vezina Trophy winner. That would be a significant coup, proving they can lure the best Russian talent away from the NHL, which they’ve been unsuccessful in doing so far. I also believe if Bobrovsky was serious about playing in the KHL, he would’ve signed with St. Petersburg by now. As he’s a restricted free agent, this could take some time to resolve.
CALGARY HERALD: Former Flames captain Jarome Iginla intends to test the UFA market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Iginla won’t have any trouble attracting suitors, but given the decline in his performance this season, probably won’t attract a lengthy, significantly lucrative offer. I expect he’ll get a two-or three-year deal for around $5 million per. Still very good, but nothing close to what he’s been making in recent years.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports contract negotiations between the Penguins and pending UFAs Pascal Dupuis and Matt Cooke are advancing, but contract talks with Kris Letang (as of Tuesday) had not resumed.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The latter will only stoke expectations Letang will be shopped this weekend at the draft.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports the Minnesota Wild will have to free up cap space if they hope to re-sign pending UFA center Matt Cullen, who could command $3 million per season on the open market.
CSNWASHINGTON: Chuck Gormley reports the Washington Capitals are mulling over their compliance buyout options. Candidates could include Jeff Schultz, Joel Ward, Brooks Laich or Martin Erat.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Nashville Predators haven’t ruled out shopping forward Matt Halischuk and defenseman Jonathan Blum.
WINNIPEG SUN: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, whose club holds the 13th overall pick in the upcoming draft, is willing to move up or down in the draft order, depending on the offer.