Latest on the Penguins, Islanders, Bruins, Flyers and Coyotes.
NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cites a tweet from Pittsburgh Penguins’ winger James Neal denying local rumors claiming he requested a trade. Halford suggests Neal could be a trade candidate if new management (whoever that may be) decides to shake up the roster, but it won’t be because Neal wants out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Neal seems the Penguins best trade chip. His modified no-trade clause doesn’t kick in until next summer.
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports Islanders GM Garth Snow will retain his draft pick for this season, rather than send it to the Buffalo Sabres as part of the Thomas Vanek-for-Matt Moulson swap earlier this season. However, Snow is willing to trade the pick for a return which can help his team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Snow trades the pick I think it’ll be to move up or down in the first round.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty makes five offseason predictions for the Boston Bruins. Among them: Jarome Iginla could sign elsewhere if he gets a good multiyear deal from another club, and expects defenseman Matt Bartkowski to be traded.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi believes new Flyers GM Ron Hextall will have to move a high-salaried player or two to free up cap space, otherwise he’ll be unable to significantly improve the roster. He recommends trading Vincent Lecavalier to the Nashville Predators, where he could thrive playing under former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette’s system.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lecavalier will have to agree to be dealt as he has a full no-movement clause. Carchidi’s also assuming the Predators are so desperate for offensive help that they’ll take on an ageing center past his prime under contract until 2017-18 at an annual cap hit of $4.5 million per season. If Lecavalier were four years younger, maybe they would. I doubt they do so now.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney has only held contract talks with Thomas Greiss. He said he will touch base with pending UFAs Radim Vrbata and Derek Morris, but this could be a sign the Coyotes might shake things up after missing the playoffs for the second straight year.