The latest from the Ottawa Sun, Edmonton Journal, NY Post, Hockey Night in Canada, and Boston Globe.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch lists Columbus right wing Rick Nash, Vancouver goalie Roberto Luongo, Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal, LA Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier and Boston netminder Tim Thomas as his top five “pre-draft” trade possibilities. Garrioch links Nash with the Rangers, Sharks and Sabres, noted Luongo’s contract make him tough to move, linked Staal to the Sabres and Blues, claimed the Blue Jackets made a pitch for Bernier last year, and suggested Thomas could be dealt to a team seeking to reach the salary cap floor next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Sabres are to pursue Nash or Staal, they’ll certainly have to move out some salary to accommodate either guy. As Garrioch noted, Derek Roy is believed available, but his stock has been in decline.The Blues new ownership isn’t expected to pursue trades for “name” players this summer. Interesting comment about the Blue Jackets and Bernier, as reports out of Columbus suggest the Blue Jackets have been lukewarm toward him.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports former NHL enforcer Georges Laraque would love to return to the Edmonton Oilers to finish his career…He believes the “best bet” regarding Alexander Radulov (provided he doesn’t return to the KHL) is the NY Rangers try to acquire his rights, re-sign him, and send either Brandon Dubinsky and his $4 million per season contract to the Preds, unless they want someone younger like Derek Stepan…Colorado Avalanche forward David Jones’ new four-year, $16 million contract sets the market value for comparable forwards and pending UFAs P.A. Parenteau, Jiri Hudler and Dustin Penner…Matheson wondered if the Coyotes would qualify forward Gilbert Brule. He doubts Wild forward Guilluame Latendresse, Panthers winger Wojtek Wolski or the Flames’ Blake Comeau get qualifying offers…He still advocates the Oilers contact the Predators about young defenseman Ryan Ellis…Matheson also believes Ryan Suter’s agent could test the UFA market, then allow the Predators to match or beat the best offer…He “can see” the Kings moving Jonathan Bernier to the Lightning for Mathieu Garon and one of the Bolts first round picks…He knows the Hurricanes would love to land Jordan Staal, but doubts they have the depth in available young talent to entice the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No offence to Laraque but I doubt any NHL team, let alone the Oilers, will give him a shot at a comeback…The Rangers have reportedly inquired about Radulov. More on that later…Agreed the Jones overpayment works in favor of Parenteau, Hudler and Penner…Brule’s performance in the playoffs could get him a qualifying offer from the Coyotes…Still don’t see the Predators giving up on Ellis…Suter could test the market, but that remains to be seen. Contract talks between he and the Predators are believed ongoing…Garon and a first for Bernier? Holy overpayment, Batman!…Any talk about Staal between the Coyotes and Penguins could being with Jeff Skinner.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks updates the Rangers reported interest in Radulov, claiming it is “conditional”, as management will weigh his upside against others (Columbus’ Rick Nash, Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan, New Jersey’s Zach Parise) who might be available. Brooks claims there’s at least one other team inching toward dealing for Radulov’s rights. He also suggested if management isn’t confident Derek Stepan or Artem Anisimov can fill the second-line center role, it could shift their focus toward Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf or Pittsburgh’s Jordan Staal, as both has one year remaining on their respective contracts and will be eligible for UFA status next summer…Brooks believes if the Rangers sign promising free agent prospect Justin Schultz, they could shop Michael Del Zotto…If the Bruins want to trade Tim Thomas to clear his salary, Brooks cites the New Jersey Devils trading Vladimir Malakhov to the San Jose Sharks as precedence for dealing an over-35, suspended player to a team willing to absorb his salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Rangers could have interest in Radulov if it is determined they cannot land somebody better before July 1st…I don’t expect the Ducks will move Ryan or Getzlaf, and the Penguins aren’t in any hurry to move Jordan Staal…The Rangers could move Del Zotto if they sign Schultz, but I’m guessing they’d hold off on that until they determine the young blueliner can make the transition to the NHL next season…Don’t rule out the possibility of the Bruins moving Thomas to a team willing to take on his salary to become cap compliant, but if they’re gonna do it, they’ll have to strike this summer, as the next CBA might prevent those moves.
HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA: During the June 9th “Hotstove” intermission segment, Elliotte Friedman reported Sidney Crosby might be getting a ten-year extension from the Penguins, perhaps an average salary around $9 million. Glenn Healy believes if Crosby gets that big contract, Jordan Staal will have to go as they won’t be able to afford him. Tim Wharnsby reports of speculation if that happens, Staal would be joining his brother Eric in Carolina…Friedman reported a rumor Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec has a one-year, big-money offer from a KHL team. Ron MacLean says that offer could be considered “insurance” if there’s an NHL lockout…Friedman reports “a lot of GMs who don’t like their teams” could turn toward trades, rather than the shallow UFA pool, to bolster their rosters.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Crosby’s agent confirmed last week contract talks with the Penguins have begun. It remains to be seen if a new deal is signed by July 1st or later this summer, but it would cast Jordan Staal’s future with the team in doubt. Bear in mind, however, the Penguins don’t have to trade Staal this summer, as he’s still under contract for one more year. I’ve already commented on the “Jordan to Carolina” speculation…My take on the Pavelec rumor can be found in my “Canadian Corner” update…Sounds like there could be a lot of trade activity in late-June, which could also be considered a sign there either won’t be a lockout, or if there is one, it won’t last long.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa wondered if the Colorado Avalanche might acquire Tim Thomas’ cap hit in order to become cap compliant. Thomas apparently intends to retire in Colorado Springs…If Tuukka Rask and the Bruins aren’t close in contract talks, either side can file for arbitration.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggarty confirmed the Bruins are closing in on new multi-year contracts for pending UFA forwards Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell.