Latest on Martin Brodeur, Ryan Kesler, Joe Thornton, Jarome Iginla and more.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur intends to test this summer’s UFA market. He said if he goes to a team as a number-two goalie it’ll be with a Stanley Cup contender. Brodeur feels he has one more season left in him.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports contract extension talks have begun between the Devils and goalie Cory Schneider, who will be eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. He said a contract extension wouldn’t hinge upon whether Martin Brodeur returned to the Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schneider is now the undisputed starter with the Devils. I expect they’ll re-sign him this summer to a long-term deal. Any team signing Brodeur should understand they’re not getting the goalie who carried the Devils to five Stanley Cup Finals and three Cup championships. He’s now well past his prime, but could be an effective mentor and backup to a Cup contender with a promising starter.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger claims Canucks center Ryan Kesler still wants out of Vancouver. He has six teams he’s willing to accept being dealt to, and Anaheim and Philadelphia could be among them. Pierre LeBrun claims the Canucks want more than “futures” for Kesler, as they also need a player who can help them now. Bob McKenzie claims Kesler being on the market could adversely affect the Senators efforts to move center Jason Spezza. LeBrun adds it could get more interesting if the Sharks put either Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau on the trade block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While the Canucks asking price for Kesler could be expensive, it’ll likely be more affordable than the one for Spezza (rumored to be a player, first-round pick and top prospect).
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports contract extension talks between the Blackhawks and agent Pat Brisson, who represents Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Contract talks are ongoing between the Lightning and Ryan Callahan, and the Canadiens and Brian Gionta. Thomas Vanek still intends to test this summer’s UFA market. LeBrun doubts Hurricanes GM Ron Francis will entertain trade offers for Eric Staal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Toews and Kane aren’t leaving the Blackhawks. Both will be re-signed to long-term deals worth between $8.5 – $9.5 million annually. Callahan’s asking price must be lower than the six-year, $39 million contract he sought from the Rangers if he hopes to remain with the Lightning. I think the Habs hope to re-sign Gionta to a two-year deal.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports the Maple Leafs are among six teams who’ve reportedly kicked the tires on San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton, though no offers have been swapped between the two clubs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Thornton could be a good short-term fit on the Leafs first line. Phil Kessel could hit the 50-goal mark with Thornton as his set-up man. Still, it remains to be seen if Thornton will agree to be dealt (he’s got a full no-movement clause on his current and new contracts), let alone agree to be dealt to the Leafs.
TVA SPORTS: Renaud Lavoie reports agent Don Meehan confirms he’s negotiating a new contract for his client Jarome Iginla with the Boston Bruins.