Latest on Rick Nash, Roberto Luongo, Jaromir Jagr, James van Riemsdyk, Niklas Backstrom, Jason Garrison and more.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli questions the rumors linking the Flyers to Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash, as the package they would have to give up (which could include James van Riemsdyk, Sean Couturier, Sergei Bobrovsky and maybe even the Flyers’ first round pick. Speaking of van Riemsdyk, given the frequency his name appears in trade rumors, Seravalli now concedes the possibility the left winger could be shopped.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Blue Jackets have not backed away from their previous expensive asking price from the Rangers for Nash, though talks between the two clubs are expected to continue. In other Rangers news, forward Brandon Prust could be headed to the UFA market, though his first choice is to re-sign with the Blueshirts.
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS’ David Pollack recently took to Twitter regarding rumors linking the Sharks to Nash (hat tip to GJ Berg for the link): “Not as long as (Logan) Couture remains part of CBJ’s asking price — and, for now at least, that still appears to be the case.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like Seravalli, I don’t believe Nash to the Flyers makes sense, given their offensive depth, their need to potentially replace Chris Pronger, the huge asking price and Nash’s big contract. I understand the Jackets want a solid return, but they’ll have to be prepared to back off from their big asking price. Forget about the Sharks parting with Couture.
VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports Canucks GM Mike Gillis confirmed “lots of teams” have expressed interest in Roberto Luongo, but there’s no urgency to move him during this weekend. The Canucks are also expected to file for salary arbitration with goalie Cory Schneider as a defensive measure to prevent him from receiving an offer sheet, though because of what he earned last season, the effective date will be July 5th, providing potentially interested teams a short-term window from July 1 to make a pitch.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: David Shoalts reports Minnesota Wild’s re-signing of Josh Harding could drive up the potential asking price for Roberto Luongo, especially for the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have been linked to Luongo in trade rumors. Shoalts also suggested Winnipeg (Ondrej Pavelec) and Washington could be alternatives for the Leafs, and if GM Brian Burke wanted to make some noise, he could make a pitch for New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur, though he doubts that could happen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The conundrum remains the same: teams are interested in Luongo, but his age and contract are giving them pause, especially for the Leafs, whose GM hates those heavily front-loaded contracts. The Leafs don’t have many options to upgrade their goaltending. The Jets won’t move Pavelec unless they can get an equal or better goalie elsewhere, and the Capitals aren’t parting with their young goalies. Brodeur will only play for the Devils. As for Schneider and an offer sheet, I doubt he’ll get one, largely because of the uncertainty over the next CBA, and the Canucks stated intent of matching any offer.
NESN.COM: Douglas Flynn suggests Jaromir Jagr is an intriguing free agent option, but doesn’t appear a fit with the Boston Bruins.
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek speculates over the possibility of Jaromir Jagr signing with the Flames, as they recently signed Jagr’s former KHL center Roman Cervanka to a two-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Jagr to the Flames? Makes sense joining one of the oldest rosters in the league…;)
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher denied a rumor suggesting his recent re-signing of Josh Harding to a multi-year deal could mean veteran starter Niklas Backstrom might be available. “We have no interest in trading Backstrom. None”, said Fletcher.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports it appears Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter will test the UFA market, but GM David Poile hasn’t ruled out re-signing him after July 1. Poile won’t trade Suter’s rights prior to that date…The Rangers, Flyers and Sharks are believed among the teams most interested in Rick Nash, but not the Bruins. The Hurricanes could be interested in Nash and Penguins center Jordan Staal. The Hurricanes might be willing to part with the eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, but won’t move promising Justin Faulk…The Florida Panthers are thought to be among the teams with interest in Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, but only if the Canucks agree to take back a contract in return…The LA Kings aren’t in any hurry to move backup Jonathan Bernier…Contract talks between the Kings and Jarret Stoll are progressing and an agreement could be reached within a week. The Kings are also talking with pending UFA forward Colin Fraser…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The reasons the Canucks would move Luongo is to make room for Cory Schneider and dump his contract to free up cap space for other moves. I realize the Canucks and Panthers have a recent trade history, but I don’t think there’s a fit there.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper interviews Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber, who said he’d like teammate Ryan Suter to remain with the club, but added it would have no impact upon his own contract talks with the club. Weber indicated he’d be seeking a long-term contract.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Shelly Anderson reports Penguins GM Ray Shero doesn’t intend to trade Jordan Staal, has not discussed new contracts with pending UFA forwards Steve Sullivan and Arron Asham, and confirmed he’d received interest from other clubs in acquiring a defenseman from the Penguins. He hasn’t asked any of his blueliners to waive their no-trade or no-movement clauses.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Staal won’t be moved this month, and I have my doubts he’ll be moved at all this summer. As for the defensemen, the Penguins would love to dump either Zbynek Michalek or Paul Martin, but their respective contracts could make them tough to move.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports the Florida Panthers have made a contract offer to pending UFA defenseman Jason Garrison and plans to meet with Garrison’s representatives this weekend in Pittsburgh.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Popular Ducks enforcer George Parros is expected to test this summer’s UFA market.