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NEW YORK POST: Devils captain Zach Parise said he hopes the Devils don’t cut payroll if the league advances the team money to cover its operating costs. If they were to cut payroll, they probably couldn’t afford to re-sign Parise.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect this to further stoke the rumors of Parise getting moved by the trade deadline. I still believe the Devils won’t move him while they’re in the thick of the playoff chase, but if they do, it’ll be a significant indicator of just how serious the Devils money problems really are.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports of speculation the Buffalo Sabres might move goaltender Ryan Miller, but most executives believe if such a move occurs, it’ll be in the off-season, not now. Francis believes the Maple Leafs and Lightning would have interest in Miller if he’s available this summer…Francis also reported Olli Jokinen would like to re-sign with the Flames, as his agent recently met with Flames GM Jay Feaster to talk contract. Jokinen is eligible for UFA status this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with those who doubt Miller get moved during this season. Maybe this summer, but that’s going to depend on who’s in the management chair by that point, and if team owner Terry Pegula wants a serious overhaul…I think there’s a good chance Jokinen will be re-signed by the Flames, as he and his family love it in Calgary, and he’s enjoyed a career resurgence there. The Flames surprised everyone by re-signing Alex Tanguay last year, so I could see them keeping Jokinen in the fold.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports via Twitter the Ducks re-signing Francois Beauchemin to an extension raises the possibility Lubomir Visnovsky could be in play by the trade deadline.
LA KINGS INSIDER: Rich Hammond wondered what the future holds for Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier, who’s seen limited action this season. Hammond wondered if the Kings might trade him, and if he’s played enough games to merit a strong trade offer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There would certainly be considerable interest in Bernier if he’s shopped, but Hammond makes a good point about the quality of return the Kings might get for him. I doubt they’ll shop him during this season.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater reports Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier was scouting the recent Avalanche-Kings game, noting the Habs won’t be playing either club again this season. Scouts from “Toronto, Pittsburgh, Boston, St. Louis and the Rangers” were also in attendance…Dater also examines the pros and cons of the Avalanche making significant moves at the trade deadline, and believes their best option would be to stand pat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are believed to be “sellers”, which could mean they might have something the Kings or Avalanche want (Moen? Kostitsyn? Gill?). Perhaps the Avs might make a move near the deadline, but given how they’re still in the thick of the playoff chase, they might take Dater’s advice and stick with what they’ve got. You can bet the presence of those scouts will fuel the Paul Stastny trade rumors, but again, I don’t believe the Avs would make a move that drastic while in pursuit of a playoff berth.
ESPN.COM: cited Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News suggesting the next three-four weeks will determine if the Stars become buyers or sellers by the deadline. If they go into “sell” mode, Heika suggested forward Brenden Morrow and defensemen Sheldon Souray, Nicklas Grossman and Mark Fistric could be on the sell list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I could see them move any of those defensemen, but I’m not sure the Stars would part with Morrow, who still has one year left on his contract.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Damian Cristodero suggested St. Louis Blues minor league goalie Ben Bishop make be a goalie option for the Lightning to consider, though he might not come cheap. Bishop is eligible to become a Group VI UFA this summer.
TBO.COM: Erik Erlendsson reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has no intention of sacrificing draft picks and top prospects for a quick fix.
POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari has a list of player who might be available as trade targets for the Penguins heading toward the trade deadline.