Jason Spezza requests a trade, plus the latest on Mike Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, Shea Weber, Mikhail Grabovski, Jarome Iginla, Adam Larsson and more.
OTTAWA SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: Senators GM Bryan Murray yesterday confirmed Jason Spezza has requested a trade and Murray is actively pursuing trade options. The Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claims the Anaheimd Ducks, St. Louis Blues, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks have contacted the Senators about Spezza, while Murray admitted he’s spoken with two clubs, though he wouldn’t name them. Spezza has a list of ten teams to which he won’t accept being dealt, and it’s believed he wants a trade out of Canada.
The Citizen’s Ken Warren reports Murray said he isn’t anxious to move Spezza, acknowledging he won’t get full value for him. Warren also listed the Florida Panthers as a possible trade destination for Spezza. He believes the Senators want a proven NHL player plus draft picks and/or a prospect for Spezza. Complicating things is the Canucks could shop Ryan Kesler while there’s speculation the Sharks could shop Joe Thornton.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray won’t just give Spezza away but I think he also knows there’s no chance of keeping the center beyond next season, as he’ll be a UFA next summer. It would also be better to try and move him now, rather than have Spezza’s future become a distraction for the club through next season. If he doesn’t want to go to a Canadian team, that takes the Canucks out of the running. I expect the Ducks and Blues have the most interest, and I think Spezza would accept being dealt to either one as they’re to be considered Cup contenders next season. Both also have depth in young players and prospects which could fetch the Senators a decent return.
TSN.CA: Pierre LeBrun also reported Spezza trade request…Darren Dreger reports the LA Kings don’t want to buy out Mike Richards as they would have to replace him, yet Richards doesn’t want to be a fourth-line center. The Kings are expected to push Richards to improve his strength and conditioning but he might be unwilling to follow the path the Kings want…Dreger also reports Vincent Lecavalier’s agent has spoken with Flyers GM Ron Hextall about a trade. Lecavalier holds a full no-movement clause, giving him control over potential destinations…LeBrun reports Predators GM David Poile once again insists he’s not trading defenseman Shea Weber, intending to rebuild around his captain. “I am never trading Shea Weber”, said Poile…The Toronto Maple Leafs are high on Dan Boyle’s list of possible destinations. He’s expected to inform the NY Islanders this week if he intends to negotiate a contract with them. Boyle is eligible for UFA status this summer. It’s believed he’ll want a two-year deal, and LeBrun speculates the money might be more than the Leafs are willing to pay.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings must also re-sign Marian Gaborik, and buying out or trading Richards would free up cap space to do so…If the Flyers hope to move Lecavalier I believe they’ll have to retain part of his $4.5 million annual salary. He’s an aging center (34) whose best years are behind him…I believe Poile when he says he won’t trade Weber, but some observers believe the club cannot afford to retain him. I’ll take Poile at his word…Boyle is not the type of blueliner the Leafs need. They need skilled shutdown defensemen, which Boyle is not.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports the Boston Bruins have made re-signing Jarome Iginla their focus, to the point of putting contract talks with their other pending free agents on hold for now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think Iginla understands the Bruins are likely his last, best chance to play for a Cup winner, and I won’t be surprised if they re-sign him for another one-year, bonus-laden deal.
WASHINGTON POST: Alex Prewitt reports Mikhail Grabovski’s agent Gary Greenstin believes Capitals management is interested in re-signing his client. Grabovski is eligible for UFA status on July 1 but Greenstin said he’s willing to re-sign with the Capitals. Greenstin said he isn’t concerned over the shrinking timetable to get a deal done.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports Brooks Laich’s agent Roly Thompson said he’s heard nothing from the Capitals to suggest his client will be a buyout candidate later this month. Thompson notes Laich has not been asked by the Capitals to take a physical, which would be necessary for the club to buy him out. Laich ended the season on the injured reserve list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Capitals will make a serious effort to re-sign Grabovski, who was a good fit with the club this season until sidelined by injury. I also doubt Laich will be bought out.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi reports new Penguins GM Jim Rutherford admits he’s received interest from other teams in making trades with him. Rutherford said he’s willing to listen. Rossi recently reported several teams have contacted James Neal’s agent to express interest in the winger, but Neal isn’t seeking a trade. Rutherford also admitted re-signing pending UFA blueliner Matt Niskanen won’t be easy.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma wonders if Canucks defenseman Jason Garrison would waive his no-movement clause to accept a trade back to the Florida Panthers. He speculates about the Canucks offering Garrison and their first round pick (sixth overall) to the Panthers for the first overall pick, then using that pick to select Sam Reinhart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sounds like Garrison loves living and playing in Vancouver, plus I doubt Garrison and the sixth overall will be enough to pry that first overall pick out of Florida.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello denied rumors defenseman Adam Larsson is planning on playing in Sweden next season rather than re-sign with the Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chere incorrectly listed Larsson as an unrestricted free agent. He is, in fact, a restricted free agent coming off an entry-level contract and lacks arbitration rights.