The effect of Lidstrom’s anticipated retirement upon pending UFA Ryan Suter, potential destinations for Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, and an update on the Rangers.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports today’s anticipated announcement long-time Detroit Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom will retire could have an effect upon Predators pending UFA blueliner Ryan Suter, who’s been linked with the Red Wings in rumors if he’s unable to re-sign with the Predators by July 1. Cooper acknowledged that possibility, but also pointed out the Red Wings core is ageing, and the Predators eliminated them in the first round of this year’s playoffs. Suter would also face considerable pressure to fill Lidstrom’s shoes if he were to join the Wings.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan believes Suter would help fill the void left by Lidstrom’s retirement. Khan noted the Predators are expected to being contract talks with the Suter camp this week, and the Philadelphia Flyers and Minnesota Wild could pursue Suter if he becomes a UFA on July 1. What could help tilt the balance in the Red Wings favor is if they could also sign New Jersey’s captain – and Suter’s friend – Zach Parise. Khan listed other free agent options if the Wings were unable to sign Suter, but none are as talented.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks seem to think Suter joining the Red Wings is a fait accompli, but one shouldn’t dismiss the possibility of his re-signing with the Predators. Money isn’t the only factor (family, championship potential), and the pressure of replacing an icon like Lidstrom could also be a factor.
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance looked at trade destinations for LA Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, listing the Tampa Bay Lightning as the favorite, with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs other possibilities.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bernier could be dealt this summer, but the Kings aren’t just going to give him away, and considering he’s under contract for one more season, and would be a restricted free agent after that, they’re in no hurry to trade him. Not saying he won’t be dealt this summer, just that there’s no rush to get a deal done.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Pat Leonard reports Rangers GM Glen Sather isn’t willing to discuss possible off-season moves for his club, other than to say he won’t include young players like Chris Kreider in any trades.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect the Rangers to be active this summer, especially in the UFA market, and perhaps in the trade market as well, which could include revisiting the Rick Nash trade talks from last February.