Is a Sam Gagner-for-RJ Umberger swap in the works? Will the Capitals buy out Brooks Laich and Mike Green? What’s the latest on the Red Wings? Read on for the latest.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports there’s a rumor floating around which has the Blue Jackets shipping winger R.J. Umberger to the Edmonton Oilers for Sam Gagner. While Portzline acknowledged Umberger has requested a trade, the winger also submits a list of ten teams to which he won’t accept a trade, suggesting it’s doubtful the winger accepts a trade to Edmonton. He also suggests not paying much mind to those who suggest Umberger’s contract makes him difficult trade, noting players with worse deals in the past have been traded.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples assesses this rumor, reaching the conclusion it makes more sense to move Gagner for a younger player than an ageing veteran still carrying an expensive contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Umberger agrees to be dealt to the Oilers.
CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley reports forward Brooks Laich and defenseman Mike Green appear to be compliance buyout candidates, but assistant GM Don Fishman doesn’t anticipate the club will use their remaining compliance buyout. Gormley also interviewed new Capitals GM Brian MacLellan, who doesn’t know at this point if he’ll be busy in the trade market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Green only has one year left on his contract so it would be wasteful to use their remaining compliance buyout on him. Laich seems a better candidate as he has three more seasons at $4.5 million annually left on his contract, but if Fishman’s comments are anything to go by, they’re not about to go that route with him.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan recently addressed questions from his readers over the Red Wings possibly pursuing Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen via this summer’s UFA market. He doesn’t view the Wings overpaying for him, and noted the risk the spike in Niskanen’s production this season could be a one-time thing. He suggests Andrei Markov as a free agent option or Vancouver’s Alex Edler via trade. Khan also feels the Wings could go the trade route to add a scoring winger.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance examined the effect of several general management changes could have upon this summer’s trade and free agent markets, noting new GMs like Dallas’ Jim Nill and Columbus’ Jarmo Kekalainen made big splashes last year. It’s believed six teams are very interested in the Florida Panthers first-round pick (first overall), which GM Dale Tallon is willing to shop. It could be worthwhile keeping an eye on the Canucks, Sharks and Islanders, as they could be busy looking to make changes.