The latest on Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo, Tomas Vokoun, and Ryan Suter.
TSN.CA: Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun weighed in on recent trade rumors regarding goalies Tim Thomas, Roberto Luongo and Tomas Vokoun. LeBrun noted rumors the Bruins might try to trade Thomas when his “no-trade” clause expires on July 1st, and was told Thomas might consider sitting out a season…Dreger reports the Canucks are receiving some interest in Luongo but there’s a good chance he could return with the club next season…LeBrun suggests the Maple Leafs could “sneak in there” regarding Luongo, while noting other options could include Capitals UFA Tomas Vokoun and Predators backup Ander Lindback…McKenzie wondered if Vokoun might become a backup option for the Flyers…LeBrun reports the Penguins have receive inquiries for Jordan Staal but their plan for now is to try and re-sign him (as well as Sidney Crosby) to contract extensions this summer….McKenzie believes it could be very difficult for the Anaheim Ducks to shop prospect defenseman Justin Schultz, since he could become a UFA before the end of June. Vancouver, Toronto and Edmonton are among the teams which could be interested in Schultz.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty cited several sources claiming Tim Thomas abruptly moved his family from Boston to Colorado at mid-season. Haggerty suggests that move to the more politically conservative state may explain his noncommittal attitude toward retiring as a Bruin, though one of Haggerty’s sources suggested one reason for the move was Thomas’ desire to work with Team USA hockey program in Colorado Springs once his playing career was over.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Thomas were to “take a season off”, if it’s next season, he’s still under contract with the Bruins, meaning he’d still owe them that season, as it would be carried forward. Rumors of Thomas moving his family in mid-season to Colorado will only stoke speculation the Bruins will try to trade him this summer…Luongo could very well be dealt this summer, but his contract does make it difficult to find suitable trade partners…Vokoun won’t have much trouble landing with a new NHL team this summer…Ignore the Staal trade rumors, he’s not going anywhere unless the Penguins are unable to work out a contract extension prior to next season, and even then, it’s not a certainty he’d be dealt. For now, the Penguins are committed to re-signing him…I think there would be teams interested in acquiring Schultz via trade in order to have exclusive negotiating rights, but the problem could be return. If the Ducks asking price is too much, interested clubs will simply wait until late-June, when he would become a UFA if unsigned by the Ducks, and negotiate with him then.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Nicklas Lidstrom’s retirement could affect any attempt by the Minnesota Wild to sign Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter if he becomes a UFA this summer, as they could find it difficult to out-bid the Red Wings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The downside for the Wings could be Suter might not wish to feel the pressure of playing for the Wings, as he would be constantly compared to the departed Lidstrom. If it comes down to money, the Wings would probably win a bidding war over the Wild.