NHL Rumors – May 24, 2011.

The latest on the Avalanche and Predators, plus updates on Shea Weber, Alex Tanguay and Jussi Jokinen.

DENVER POST: Adrian Dater recently reported the Avalanche will “almost certainly” make “some kind of move” during free agency, with management saying the goaltending position remains their “primary focus”. Potential UFA Tomas Vokoun could be one choice but he’s 35,  has played for mediocre teams and would appear to be a stopgap measure. Phoenix’s Ilya Bryzgalov could be the best available goalie but he’s “made noise” about returning to Russia.  Dater suggested J.S. Giguere has “too many miles” on him, Josh Harding’s injury history makes him risky, and would take a pass on Marty Turco and Chris Osgood. If the Avs were to go the trade route for a promising young goalie like LA’s Jonathan Bernier or Vancouver’s Cory Schneider, it’s going to cost them. If the Avalanche go with Vokoun, he doesn’t recommend locking into an expensive, long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vokoun might not want to come to Colorado, as he’s suggested in the past he’d prefer to play for a contender after years of playing for non-contenders. Bryzgalov would want big bucks if he hits the open market, probably more than the Avs are willing to pay. The trade market might be the best way to go, and there might be other options beside Bernier and Schneider (Boston’s Tuukka Rask, Washington’s Semyon Varlamov or Michal Neuvirth) to consider.

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Rob Rossi reports agent Alan Walsh, who represents Penguins free agents Michael Rupp and Pascal Dupuis, confirmed contracts talks with the Penguins have begun.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No guarantee the Pens will re-sign both, but this could be indicative Penguins management have given them more priority over their other UFAs.

THE TENNESSEAN: David Climer calls for the Nashville Predators to end their trend of jettisoning their best players and re-sign Shea Weber long-term.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber and Predators GM David Poile have publicly stated their optimism a deal will get done, and given the Predators post-season improvement they could be poised for more in the near future. They’ll need Weber in the fold to achieve this, and I believe he’ll be signed to a long-term extension, probably between $6.5-$7 million per season.

CALGARY HERALD: Vicki Hall reports Flames GM Jay Feaster wants to get Alex Tanguay re-signed and believes he can get it done. Tanguay is eligible for UFA status on July 1st and earned $1.7 million this season. The Flames however have $55.8 million invested in 17 players for next season and if the cap comes in for next season around $62.2 million could leave just $6.4 million to work with, though they’re expected to either demote Ales Kotalik ($3 million) or loan him overseas, while Niklas Hagman’s future ($3 million) is in doubt.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I see Tanguay accepting perhaps a three-year, $9 million contract, with the obligatory “no-movement” clause. He’s happy back in Calgary and has terrific chemistry with Jarome Iginla, and while he could probably get a little more than that on the open market, I think he’s keen to remain in the Stampede City.

RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reported Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford recently said it could prove difficult to re-sign UFA winger Jussi Jokinen, who could be seeking $3 million per season.


9 Comments

  1. If the Preds can get Weber for a deal less that $6 Mil per, that would be a steal for a dman like that. I can see him giving them a home town discount but only in the case of them signing a top six forward first. They would have to show Weber that they are serious about making the team a little better on the offensive side. You cant rely in Rinne every game. And when you dman leads you in points almost every year, that can be a disaster if he goes down with an injury.

  2. The Preds are going to re-sign Weber to a long term deal. They are mainly waiting to see what type of deal other RFAs like Doughty, Stamkos, & Parise are going to sign for. Besides, Climer is a Titans football guy who likes to hear himself talk, or write.

  3. if Brent Seabrook is 5.8m then Weber is about 6m long term of course think….7 yrs

  4. The problem is if they give Weber 7 mill a year are they going to go out and spend at least 5-7 on a forward who will put them over the top. You are talking about a team that is not a cap team. And can they find a forward who wants to play on this team. It’s a grind it out deffensive team first, not a lot of fun for a skilled forward if he has other choices.
    This deal is not as easy as some may think.

  5. Weber deserves to be in a big market that will truly appreciate the skill of this man. However, I can’t fault him if he wants to remain loyal to his team, but I would hate to see the team let him go at te end of his prime and waste his entire prime. Interesting, really talented and valuable player we are talking about here.

  6. what if that unknown, plain jersey, nightmare grinder team moves to the southeast and tears it a new one? Playing divisional games against the Caps should be a big enough market for the new pronger.
    @sved…..I don’t think that Seabrook is a good benchmark because Weber doesn’t share the number 1 spot and icetime and because Seabrook took a bigtime discount (Byfuglien didn’t, but he’s no Seabrook). Weber is the Flagship, the captain and top producer, and he has to set the pace. It has to be at least 7. They are not up against the cap and with the development of the market down there lately, one could expect a higher budget allowance for salary and operations. I’m guessin 7.5 per for 3yrs…..basically conservative in terms of length and obviously extension would depend on how things go….but i expect them to stay on the up and up

  7. Calgary should trade down in the draft if they can unload salary doing it. I suggest sarich and a first for gunnersson and boston’s first. Saves them 2 mil, Leafs move up in the draft.
    And I sincerely doubt Tanguay gets a ntc, no matter if he deserves it. They have too many players with ntc/nmc clauses and the fans are fed up, it would be a public relations mess comparible to the Muskoka 5.
    Weber should get 6.5 (hometown discount) – 7.5 (what he deserves) depending on the length of the deal. Sounds like most people are in agreement about this anyway.

  8. @DurtMCHurt Of course they’ll give Tanguay a NMC. Every player on that team making more than 1.5M (that signed with Calgary) has some sort of NMC or NTC, mostly NMC. It never changes. Harold Camping studied the Bible and thought it was telling him the Flames were going to sign a player on May 21 without giving them a NMC, and he assumed that meant the world was ending. We mere mortals will never know for sure why they do it; we just have to accept it as reality, and instead focus on much more feasible mysteries, like discovering the origin of the universe or the meaning of life.

  9. People need to keep in mind that Weber made 4.5M this season, so even a raise to 7M is only a jump of 2.5M, less than the likely increase in the cap this season (and where the cap-midpoint will be as well, which is essentially the Preds cap limit). Simply by not re-signing Steve Sullivan (3.75M this season) and buying out J.P. Dumont’s final year of his contract (a 2.66M savings next season), the Preds will have over 6M to put towards adding to Weber’s deal and going after a good forward as well. They’re in a decent situation to add to their roster this off-season, they just need to get something significant done to improve their offense now.