Lots of speculation over potential roster moves by the Flyers….Latest on the Predators…Update on Drew Doughty and Niklas Kronwall…Leafs shopping blueliners?…Weber the odd man out for the Canadiens?…Staios could be signed by the Islanders.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli and Sam Carchidi reported the Flyers roster could include rookies Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn to open the season, leading to their speculating how to fit both under the club’s cap. Seravalli wondered if they could carry Oskars Bartulis should Chris Pronger be ready for opening night, and if so, it could mean moving a forward, perhaps Blair Betts. The team cannot meet the 23-man roster maximum by carrying two extra forwards and an extra defenseman. Carchidi suggested the status of Schenn’s shoulder injury could factor into any decision on his future, and noted GM Paul Holmgren said fitting Couturier’s salary under the cap could be a tight one, as it would leave them roughly $267K in available space.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports a “club source” said the likelihood of a trade seemed “pretty good”, noting the hot rumor has Scott Hartnell on the trade block.. Panaccio believes Hartnell’s salary makes him vulnerable as the Flyers apparently want to free up some cap space. Two sources told Panaccio Matt Read has made the team. Jody Shelley’s salary still counts against the cap when the season starts despite his suspension, unless he’s demoted, which the Flyers apparently aren’t willing to do just to get around the cap for a few days.
PHILLYBURBS.COM: Wayne Fish however reports Holmgren appeared to suggest Schenn might not be on the team when the season opens next week, saying he didn’t know if the injury would have any bearing upon that. The Flyers can also give Couturier a “ten game test drive” before deciding to keep him for the rest of the season or send him back to junior.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Moving Hartnell would certainly be extreme, and his recent heart scare might make other teams a little leery. Let’s not forget Hartnell’s salary might not be easy to move and he also has a “no-trade” clause, which would at the very least limit potential destinations. While I’ll admit anything is possible, I think the Flyers would prefer to move players like Bartulis or Betts via trade or demotion rather than dumping Hartnell. Should be interesting to see how this shakes out.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Nashville Predators GM David Poile met with Ryan Suter’s agent last weekend and Pekka Rinne’s agent last week. Both are eligible for UFA status next summer and the Preds will be aggressive in trying to re-sign both…Nothing much to report on the Drew Doughty contract negotiations, but LeBrun guesses the Kings management could reach out to Doughty’s agent one more time to try to get a contract done….The Maple Leafs newfound depth has management working the phones to see if there’s interest in trades, with Carl Gunnarsson and Tyler Bozak amongst the names discussed, though LeBrun said there’s nothing close on any deal…Contract talks are well underway between the Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who’ll be eligible for UFA status next summer and is believed seeking a deal similar to that signed by Christian Ehrhoff with the Buffalo Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t surprise me if Suter and Rinne are re-signed prior to next summer. Management really wants to retain the pair…I could see the Doughty situation stretching into October, and coming to a head by the end of that month, depending on how the Kings are doing without him in the lineup. If the Kings are playing well, that could force Doughty into signing, but if the Kings are playing poorly, that would give Doughty the leverage to get the deal he wants. We’ll see…Leafs fans might not like the notion of Bozak being shopped…Ehrhoff’s deal was a ten year, heavily front loaded deal worth $4 million per season. Not sure if Kronwall would get that, but I do believe he and the Wings will work something out which both keeps him on the club long-term, and give the Wings a cap-friendly deal.
CANADIAN PRESS: Robert Laflamme reports the Montreal Canadiens signing of Chris Campoli could make Yannick Weber the odd man out Canadiens blueline. They’ve now moved him up to defense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Habs want more time to evaluate Alexei Yemelin and Raphael Diaz. Still, it’s possible Weber could be used as a forward or a power-play specialist by the Habs heading into this season.He could become possible trade bait later in the season, especially when Andrei Markov returns to action.
NEW YORK TIMES: Christopher Botta suggested veteran defenseman Steve Staios, who is attending NY Islanders training camp on a tryout, “will likely be signed” by the club.