Latest on Martin Brodeur, Marc Staal, Torey Krug and Kevin Hayes, plus a look at the Carolina Hurricanes.
ESPN.COM: In a recent live chat, Katie Strang stated her belief Martin Brodeur could be waiting for potentially an injury situation which could open up a roster spot. He’s been linked to the Minnesota Wild, who intend to open the season with Josh Harding (who’s battling multiple sclerosis), Niklas Backstrom (recovering from abdominal surgery) and Darcy Kuemper…She doubts Torey Krug’s offer from a KHL team gives him significant leverage in negotiations with the Boston Bruins…She believes the New York Rangers should try to lock up defenseman Marc Staal to a long-term extension. He’s eligible for UFA status next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like most observers, I’m not expecting Brodeur to land with a new club before training camp. Indeed, he could end up waiting past the start of the season for the right situation to present itself…Like Strang, I don’t see Krug jumping to the KHL. He’ll have to accept a short-term deal as the Bruins have limited cap space…Obviously the Rangers will try to re-sign Staal, but it remains to be seen if negotiations drag on through the season as they did last season with Henrik Lundqvist, Dan Girardi and former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.
NHL.COM: Dan Rosen, recently responding to reader e-mail, doesn’t believe the Rangers should trade Staal this season. While acknowledging Staal’s UFA status next summer, Rosen believes he’ll get $5 million per season on his new deal, which the Rangers can afford.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: He could get more than that on the open market. He could seek between $5.5 – $6 million per from the Rangers on a seven-year deal.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien wonders how patient the Carolina Hurricanes new management (headed by new GM Ron Francis) will be with their current core of talent if the club once again struggles to reach the playoffs. He notes captain Eric Staal probably isn’t worth his $8.25 million salary while oft-injured goalie Cam Ward’s $6.3 million cap hit is difficult to move. Still, O’Brien believes the Hurricanes would be dealing from a position of disadvantage if they try to blow things up this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Another lousy season, however, could push Francis and company to shake things up. Ward would be very difficult to move without eating part of his salary. Eric Staal has more trade value but he would have to first agree to waive his no-trade clause.
DENVER POST: Mike Chambers speculates the Colorado Avalanche, despite having limited cap space, could have interest in former Chicago Blackhawks prospect winger Kevin Hayes, who’s now an unrestricted free agent. The Avs also have to re-sign restricted free agent defenseman Tyson Barrie.