In today’s roundup of MSM-reported rumor news goodness: The Kings won’t blink in their contract stare-down with holdout defenseman Drew Doughty…The Florida Panthers might needs an experienced backup…Rangers could wait until after their European tour to make decision on replacement defensemen…The possibility of the Rangers waiving Sean Avery…Sabres send Kotalik and Morrisonn to the minors.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott reports Kings team president Tim Leiweke said the team intends to spend up to the salary cap this season, but added they need room to potentially bolster their roster later in the season or maneuver through injuries, which they can’t do if they pay Drew Doughty the $7 million-plus he’s reportedly seeking in a new contract from the club. The Kings have offered Doughty a multi-year deal worth $6.8 million per season. Leiweke also suggested if the club were to bend and give Doughty what he seeks, the extra would be coming out of one of their free agents next season. He also pleaded with Doughty to return to the club, saying he didn’t want to see these negotiations destroy the relationship between the defenseman and the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Kings aren’t bending, at least for now. So the puck in in Doughty’s end. Looks like this could drag into the start of the regular season. No, I don’t believe another team will send Doughty an offer sheet, since the clubs which have available cap space are those which traditionally stick close to the cap floor, while the traditional free spenders are tapped out.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards reports Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen had minor knee surgery on Monday, which could sideline him for the first few games of the season. This opens the door of opportunity for Jacob Markstrom or Tyler Plante to become the interim backup, but Richards also suggested if management believe Clemmensen could miss more time, they might shop for an experienced backup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the time being, I think they’ll go with either Plante or Markstrom in the backup role and see how well they do.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Rangers GM Glen Sather is optimistic over the recovery from post-concussion symptoms defenseman Marc Staal. Brooks also reported, however, Michael Sauer is out for seven days with a sprained right shoulder suffered during last night’s Flyers-Rangers game. Head coach John Tortorella meanwhile suggested they’ll see how the blueline performs during their upcoming season-opening trip to Europe. Brooks noted the Rangers lost out on signing free agent blueliner Chris Campoli to the Montreal Canadiens,and while they’ve talked to former Ranger Paul Mara, Brooks believes if they were truly interested in Mara, they would’ve signed him by now.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like they’ve got little choice but to play “wait and see” for the next week or two.
NEW YORK TIMES: Christopher Botta speculated on the possibility the Rangers could demote Sean Avery if he fails to pick up his performance over the club’s final preseason games.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t be the first time the Rangers have buried a high-salaried underachiever in the minors (hello, Wade Redden).
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports the Sabres have demoted Ales Kotalik and Shaone Morrisonn to the minors after failing to find any takers in the trade market.
SPECTOR`S NOTE: No surprise there, and burying their combined $5.075 million in the minors puts them comfortably under the salary cap to start the season.