The latest on Shane Doan, Rick Nash, Jonathan Bernier, and more.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan met with Flyers management yesterday in Philadelphia. On Friday, he met with NY Rangers management in New York. They’re the only two Eastern Conference teams he’s met with, though that’s likely due to their proximity, as he was in New York last week for NHL CBA negotiations. Seravalli also speculated upon how the Flyers could afford to sign Doan and Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber, whom they signed to an offer sheet last week.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Terry Bross, who represents Doan, said the Penguins remain in the mix for his client. The Pens made a contract offer to Doan earlier this month, and Bross claims he’s stayed in touch with GM Ray Shero.
WGRZ.COM: Bross not only confirmed his client visited the Rangers and Flyers because he was in New York anyway on CBA business, but also claimed the Buffalo Sabres remain in the mix and “a team of interest”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So, after this weekend, we know Doan visited the Rangers and Flyers, but only because he was in the Big Apple for CBA talks, and other clubs interested in him remain in the mix. Re-signing with the Phoenix Coyotes remain his priority. So, as they say in the Canadian Army: “SITREP: No change”.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports trade talks regarding Rick Nash are “ongoing” but “not that productive”. Portzline suggests if the Flyers sign Shea Weber, it could pressure the NY Rangers to add more size and scoring, though they could simply amp up their pursuit of Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan or Phoenix’s Shane Doan. Portzline also reports the Blue Jackets have had “recent contact” with the LA Kings regarding goalie Jonathan Bernier, speculating they might have to return the 2013 first round pick they got from the Kings in the Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter, along with something else, to land Bernier.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Maple Leafs started inquiring about Bernier’s availability right after the Stanley Cup Finals. Kings management weren’t keen to move Bernier but that changed after re-signing Jonathan Quick and Bernier asked out. The asking price is believed to be forward Matt Frattin and a draft pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Rangers aren’t keen to meet the Blue Jackets asking price for Nash. Remains to be seen if they’ll change their minds should the Flyers successfully sign away Weber. Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson recently denied rumors he was talking to the Kings about Bernier. Simmons also noted Bernier is “no sure thing”, which could explain why we haven’t seen the Leafs land Bernier by now.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi suggests if the Nashville Predators are unable to match the Flyers offer sheet for Shea Weber, they might attempt to make a face-saving trade with the Flyer to mollify an irate fan base.
The Predators could tell the Flyers they will not sign the offer sheet in exchange for some players. Nashville would then get the four No. 1 picks and orchestrate a deal. Let’s say they keep a pair of No. 1 picks and give the Flyers two No. 1s back in exchange for players. The Flyers might give them a list of players available – perhaps Matt Read, Andrej Meszaros, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Erik Gustaffson, and top prospect Nick Cousins – and tell them they can have two of them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carchidi is speculating, of course, but he’s not the only one raising the possibility of the Flyers and Predators cutting a side deal if the latter doesn’t match the Weber offer sheet. If the Flyers sign Weber and Shane Doan, they’ll have to dump some salary to free up sufficient cap space.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports if the Flyers sign Weber, the Rangers could use a big power-forward like Rick Nash, but they’re unwilling to part with center Derek Stepan, who the Blue Jackets apparently want as part of the return…Brooks also noted Shane Doan’s meeting with Rangers management, claiming “It isn’t either Doan or Nash for the Rangers. It is, on Sather’s Blueprint, Doan and Nash.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The latter statement will send Rangers fans’ heads spinning. Nash AND Doan. That would make the Rangers my favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Of course, seeing both of them with the Blueshirts this season is easier said than done.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports there aren’t any top pairing defensemen remaining in the UFA market for the Red Wings to pursue, which leaves the trade market. They had some conversations at the draft with the Phoenix Coyotes about Keith Yandle, but he’s not available and the asking price would be expensive. Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester is another possible trade option, but he has a $6.8 million annual average cap hit for the next two years and his production has declined with the Flames.