Latest on the Senators, Canucks, Flames, Maple Leafs, and Devils.
OTTAWA CITIZEN/OTTAWA SUN: Ken Warren reports Senators winger Ales Hemsky wants to play with a good center, which Warren interprets as Hemsky signalling he’ll sign elsewhere this summer if the Senators trade Jason Spezza. Don Brennan believes Hemsky is “mentally packed and ready to head off for free agency” with his comments of wanting to play for a good team. Bruce Garrioch reports Spezza isn’t naive about the trade talk swirling about him this season. Garrioch believes the Senators asking price for their captain would be a “No. 1 pick, a player who can help right now and a top prospect.” He also noted Spezza’s no-trade clause limits possible destinations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Spezza is willing to re-sign long term with the Senators this summer he won’t be dealt, which could go a long way toward keeping Hemsky with the Senators, though doing so could prove costly. I’m guessing a combined $12 million for both. If owner Eugene Melnyk isn’t willing to commit to that investment, both will be gone.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE/VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma reports the Canucks will have to decide if they’ll bring back David Booth for the final season of his contract ($4.25 million cap hit) or go the compliance buyout route. If they do that and don’t trade Ryan Kesler, they must get him help on the wing, though the options via free agency will be expensive. Brad Ziemer reports defenseman Alex Edler could be asked to waive his no-trade clause if the club decides to shake up its core this summer, but Edler says he prefers to remain with the Canucks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks must a general manager who can stage a significant rebuild of this club, which includes shipping out Ryan Kesler and Edler for the best possible returns and buying out Booth. No half measures here. The core is ageing and it’s time for a change. Otherwise, the Canucks could face a lengthy demise.
CALGARY HERALD: Kristen Odland reports pending UFA Mike Cammalleri hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That will depend upon who club president Brian Burke hires as GM, provided he does that before July 1.
TORONTO SUN: Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer has no idea what the future holds. It’s rumored he’ll be dealt this summer or he could request a trade. The “Winnipeg Jets, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders or Edmonton Oilers” have been rumored as possible destinations.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flames appear content with Karri Ramo as their starter, while the Oilers have already addressed their goaltending needs by acquiring Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth this season. The Jets and Islanders, however, could be very interested in Reimer.
NORTHJERSEY/NJ.COM: Tom Gulitti reports the Devils face many questions this off-season, including speculation over the respective futures of Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr, if goalie Cory Schneider will receive a contract extension and if they’ll add scoring depth. Rich Chere also wonders if Brodeur will be back and if they’ll bolster their offense, as well as pondering if Anton Volchenkov could receive a compliance buyout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Brodeur’s days as a Devils goalie are over. If he wants to remain with the Devils, it’ll be in a front office position. I believe GM Lou Lamoriello will re-sign Jagr, and I know he’ll make re-upping Schneider a priority. Dumping Volchenkov via compliance buyout also seems a likelihood to free up cash to add more scoring.