The latest from the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Sun… Should the Blue Jackets consider “the nuclear option”?…More on the Flyers efforts to replace Chris Pronger…Thee Leafs need size at center.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reported if Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart should become an unrestricted free agent this summer, his old team, the San Jose Sharks, could be interested in him, as could the Anaheim Ducks…The Philadelphia Flyers have been monitoring Nashville’s Ryan Suter…Would the Flyers trade Brayden Schenn because they’re playing Sean Couturier more?…The Lightning won’t seek a goalie now, but rather in the off-season, perhaps for Jonathan Bernier, Josh Harding, or Cory Schneider…While the Detroit Red Wings would love to sign Ryan Suter as a UFA this summer, the player they’d really like to sign is Zach Parise….The Oilers would love to land Ryan Ellis from Nashville but the blueliner the Predators would prefer to move is Jonathan Blum….The Washington Capitals are looking to move defenseman Jeff Schultz…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stuart would probably prefer to sign with a California team if the Red Wings don’t re-sign him, as his family lives there…Schenn has been injured a lot this season, so if the Flyers were to shop him it would likely be in a package deal, as on his own he won’t attract much of a return…I think if it comes down to it, the Red Wings look for a quality defenseman to replace Nicklas Lidstrom this summer over pursuing a top forward like Parise. Then again, if they can afford both, they’ll certainly try to sign them…Don’t see the Predators parting with Ellis.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis reports Teemu Selanne hasn’t fully closed the door on a possible trade this season if the Ducks fall out of playoff contention…The Florida Panthers had interest in Sean Avery before signing John Madden….Several GMs say they’ll be watching the fate of the Phoenix Coyotes, as captain Shane Doan might be available, though Coyotes GM Don Maloney denied he would trade Doan…Not many GMs believe the Ducks would seriously shop core players like Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry or Bobby Ryan, but many are “kicking the Ducks’ tires”…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Selanne might not close the door on a trade, but it also doesn’t sound as though he’s looking too hard at that option…Avery is likely to remain buried in the minors for the rest of this season…Doan’s not moving as long as the Coyotes remain in playoff contention. The Coyotes hope to re-sign him long-term, but of course that’ll depend on the ownership situation…The Ducks won’t move those three stars.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace wonders if the Blue Jackets will consider “the nuclear option” and make sweeping changes, from the front office down to the roster, while Aaron Portzline wonders how long Scott Howson will remain in the GM’s job.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We could get a good idea in about a month’s time. The Blue Jackets are expected to shop several players, notably Vinny Prospal and Derick Brassard, but not Rick Nash or Jeff Carter. If they do go for sweeping changes, those will likely occur this summer.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli on how the Flyers attempt to replace Chris Pronger on the ice, while stuck with his salary whether he’s playing or not, owing to the fact he was 35 when he signed his current contract, though with him on LTIR, they do get a cap cushion equal to his $4.92 million salary for this season, which could be used to replace him with another player. Seravalli suggested if Pronger’s injuries forced him from the game, he could remain on LTIR for the remainder of his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For now, it appears the Flyers will see how Erik Gustafsson performs before making a decision on acquiring a defenseman before the trade deadline, and whether they pursue a big star like Ryan Suter (provided he’s available), a promising blueliner carrying an expensive contract (Luke Schenn), or an affordable veteran option like Carolina’s Tim Gleason.
TORONTO STAR: Rosie DiManno believes the Leafs need to bolster their size at center, but not by moving Luke Schenn.