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CBC.CA: During the April 28, 2012 second period “Hotstove” segment, Elliotte Friedman, Glenn Healy and Eric Francis discussed the latest on Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas and Jordan Staal. Friedman acknowledged Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he was inclined to keep his goalie tandem intact, but he spoke with a couple of GMs who said they’d be interested in Thomas if he’s available…Francis suggested Miikka Kiprusoff might be available but there’s nothing known for certain about that. Francis believes there’ll be considerable interest in Roberto Luongo, and could help save a general manager’s job. He strikes the Florida Panthers off the list, pointing out they’ve got Jacob Markstrom and Jose Theodore, and suggested Toronto, Tampa Bay and Chicago make sense…Friedman and Healy believes Luongo will be moved, especially since the Vancouver fans no longer want him there…Friedman said Jordan Staal hasn’t asked the Penguins to be traded but wants more responsibility. The Penguins will try to do everything possible to re-sign Staal before he becomes a UFA next summer, but if he is available there will be plenty of interest. Healy and Francis believe if the Penguins do decide to move him, it would be smarter to do it this summer, rather than during next season.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the San Jose Sharks might consider trading Patrick Marleau, though he feels they missed their opportunity, which would’ve been two or three years ago, to get top value for him. Matheson suggested Columbus, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg as destinations, believing the Sharks would want promising young assets in return…He feels it would be a mistake for the Bruins to shop Tim Thomas, as he’s not fully convinced Tuukka Rask is ready for the starter’s role yet…Matheson feels it’ll come down to the Leafs and Blackhawks for Roberto Luongo’s services, and in the end, the Leafs will get him…He also believes Penguins defenseman Paul Martin is on the block, but given his $5 million per season salary, doubts there’s much of a market for him…
David Staples, meanwhile, suggests it would be a good idea for the Oilers to offer up the first overall pick to Pittsburgh for center Jordan Staal if he becomes available in the trade market.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont lists the reasons why the Bruins shouldn’t trade Tim Thomas this summer (unless he asks to be dealt), doubting he’d fetch much in return. He feels it would be better to hang onto Thomas for another season, and if Tuukka Rask proves himself as the starter, they could try to move Thomas near the trade deadline…He speculates Rask will be re-signed to a short-term deal at $3 million per…Term and payout will determine Chris Kelly’s future with the Bruins…Joe Corvo and Greg Zanon aren’t expected to be re-signed…Dupont wonders if Rick Nash will be reunited with Joe Thornton in San Jose, as the pair had terrific chemistry playing for Davos in Switzerland during the lockout…
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons asked two questions on a possible “Luongo-to-Toronto” trade: Would defenseman Mike Komisarek waive his no-movement clause to go to Vancouver, and would the Canucks take on his contract? Simmons believes the Canucks would have more interest in Matt Lombardi…Though Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told Simmons Zach Parise wasn’t going anywhere, others claim Parise is keen to test this summer’s UFA market…
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek noted Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart wants to play for a California-based team to be closer to his San Jose-based family. Having already played for the Sharks and LA Kings, Duhatschek wondered if the Anaheim Ducks might be his next destination.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Senators GM Bryan Murray has work ahead, topping the list being re-signing Norris trophy nominee Erik Karlsson. He also admitted he’d like to add another defenseman and perhaps a top-six forward for Kyle Turris’ wing. Murray will await word from team captain Daniel Alfredsson if he’ll return next season, and faces decisions on pending UFAs Filip Kuba, Matt Carkner and Zenon Kenopka. Murray is also willing to go shopping for help in this summer’s UFA market if he can find something which makes sense for his team.
THE TENNESSEAN: Nate Rau reports Nashville Predators chairman Tom Cigarran said the team remains committed to re-signing its top stars despite the fact the club hasn’t turned a profit and the ownership group has invested $60 million of its own money into the team in recent years. Those stars include RFAs Shea Weber and Alexander Radulov, and UFA defenseman Ryan Suter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of stuff to tackle this morning, so here goes: I wouldn’t be surprised if the Maple Leafs landed Luongo, but I’m still not buying Chicago as a destination, given how many players they’ve got committed to hefty, long-term salaries, plus they appear committed to Corey Crawford as their starter next season. I also doubt the Canucks would want to take back a bad contract like Komisarek’s. Say what you will about Luongo’s contract, at least he’s justified it so far. Same cannot be said of Komisarek. Besides, the Canucks already have a bad contract on their blueline (Keith Ballard), so why add another one? As for Lombardi, given his injury history, I doubt they’ll want him…the Flames apparently aren’t in any rush to move Kiprusoff, who still has two more seasons on his contract and apparently no desire to leave…Staal would undoubtedly attract considerable attention if the Penguins decide to shop him this summer, but that’s not a guarantee. Yes, they’re facing a potential cap crunch with Staal and Sidney Crosby being eligible for UFA status next summer, and Evgeni Malkin in two years time, but let’s not be too hasty assuming Staal will be the one to go. If he is available, however, by the June Entry Draft, I concur with Staples the Oilers should try to land him by offering up that first overall pick, though the danger with that is there’s no certainty Staal would want to stay with Edmonton beyond next season, as he’d be an expensive re-signing.
Marleau could be shopped, but his “no-trade” clause will significantly limit where the Sharks could move him. I doubt the Jets – committed to rebuilding with younger, affordable talent – would be interested in taking on an expensive, 33-year-old center, and we don’t know if Marleau would be interested in playing in Canada…I don’t see any takers for Paul Martin and his $5 million per season salary…I think there’s a fit for Stuart on all three California-based teams, depending on his salary demands. He could take a little less than market value to play closer to home…Here’s an interesting question: assuming the New Jersey Devils were to win the Stanley Cup this spring, might that push Zach Parise into the UFA market? Having won a Cup, perhaps he might be more willing then to consider returning to his home state of Minnesota, and a rebuilding Wild team.
While I don’t expect the Senators to just sit on their hands during the free agent period, I don’t expect them to make a big splash in the UFA market…Interesting bit about the Predators ownership and the willingness to spend to re-sign their best players. It’s been assumed Ryan Suter could depart, or Shea Weber could be traded, or Alexander Radulov could be dealt or return to the KHL. Three years ago, that probably would’ve been the case, but it appears a good possibility all three could return with the Preds next season. Much could depend, of course, on how they perform in this year’s playoffs, and how far the team goes.