The latest from the Edmonton Journal and NY Post, plus updates on the Lightning, Penguins and Ducks.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports LA Kings backup Jonathan Bernier is on the Tampa Bay Lightning’s radar, but the Kings won’t trade him until they first sign a veteran who was a starter somewhere else. The Kings also need a winger with speed…He wonders where the Leafs will find a quality starting goalie, unless the Flames are willing to move Miikka Kiprusoff or can convince the Canucks to part with Cory Schneider for James Reimer and Jake Gardiner…Most NHL types feel the NY Rangers have the inside track to get Anaheim Ducks prospect defenseman Jason Schultz, who could become a UFA this summer…Matheson believes the Detroit Red Wings could have the inside track to outbid the Minnesota Wild for Zach Parise if he tests this summer’s market, because of their winning tradition…It’s going to be tough for the Edmonton Oilers to find a comparable for Sam Gagner in a new contract. San Jose’s Logan Couture was taken in the same draft but Matheson doesn’t see Gagner accepting less than $3.5 million per season. Jame van Riemsdyk, also taken in the same draft, has a six year deal with the Flyers worth $4.2 million per season, but doesn’t have as many career points as Gagner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bolts had interest in Bernier, have to wonder if the Kings ask for Brett Connolly or Teddy Purcell…I don’t believe the Leafs would part with Gardiner, as Luke Schenn would be the more enticing trade chip…Remains to be seen where Schultz ends up, but it doesn’t appear he’ll be signing with the Ducks…The Wings not only have a winning tradition, they’ll also have lots of cap space. Parise or Ryan Suter could be wearing the winged wheel next season…Gagner could get $3.5 million per, but on a short-term (two year) deal. If he wants three years or more, I think the Oilers want him signing for $3 million per.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports Scott Gomez’s concussion could prevent the Montreal Canadiens from potentially buying out the final two years of his contract. “It would seem impossible Gomez could be cleared to return prior to a training camp physical, thus further complicating both the future of the center”, writes Brooks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: And if they’re not allowed to bury salary in the minors under the next CBA, and if there’s no amnesty buyout period, the Canadiens could be stuck with Gomez for another season.
TBO.COM: Martin Fennelly recently reported the Lightning must get it right when they shop for a new goaltender this summer. “There are no excuses this time around. The Bolts have cleared payroll and have amassed draft picks, two first-rounders and four second-rounders, and need to be ready to strike”, he writes, listing Vancouver’s Cory Schneider and LA’s Jonathan Bernier as possible trade targets.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: Dave Molinari reports the Penguins priority this summer could be finding a new backup goalie. Brent Johnson is a UFA and was recently sidelined by injury, while Brad Thiessen did little this season to suggest he’s ready to inherit the role full time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s several good backup options available this summer (Josh Harding, Martin Biron, Al Montoya, Ray Emery,Chris Mason, Johan Hedberg, Scott Clemmensen, even Tomas Vokoun) if the Penguins wish to go that route.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens reports popular Anaheim Ducks enforcer George Parros, a UFA this summer, faces an uncertain future, as he’s been a healthy scratch regularly over the past six week.