Updates on Rick Nash, Roberto Luongo, Zach Parise, Ryan Sutter, Shane Doan,and more.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers are still targeting Columbus Blue Jackets winger Rick Nash, but the question – as it was prior to this year’s trade deadline – is the Blue Jackets asking price. Back then, the Jackets sought “Chris Kreider; Derek Stepan or Carl Hagelin; Ryan McDonagh or Michael Del Zotto; plus Brandon Dubinsky and a first-rounder”, which the Rangers rejected. Brooks believes “Philadelphia, San Jose, Carolina, perhaps Toronto and perhaps Boston — are in the race” for Nash. He adds the Rangers won’t part with Kreider, McDonagh or Stepan, and feels Dubinsky could go the other way, along with perhaps Hagelin or Artem Anisimov and Del Zotto, though it remains to be seen if Rangers management would part with them.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Joe Yerdon cited Newsday’s Arthur Staple and Andy Strickland of 590 The Fan in St. Louis regarding the steep asking price by the Columbus Blue Jackets for winger Rick Nash. “Staple reports Columbus GM Scott Howson is looking for a package of 4 or 5 major pieces in return for Nash while Strickland says a package of two quality roster players and two prospects would be the price”, writes Yerdon.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports not to expect the Boston Bruins to get into the bidding for Nash or for pending UFAs Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, as the asking price for the former would be too much, while the latter two would be expensive to sign.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s anticipated the Blue Jackets will move Nash this week, as they apparently want to move quickly to ship him out and thus turn their focus toward other areas of their roster this summer. I’d be very surprised if the Rangers move Kreider, and McDonagh is off the table. Dubinsky, a first rounder, and Del Zotto could get it done, and if the Blueshirts make that offer, the Jackets should accept it, because I doubt they’ll get a better one from a rival team. That’s assuming, of course, Sather is keen to make such a move.
I don’t expect the Bruins to get into the bidding for Nash, Parise or Suter, and I don’t see why the Flyers would want Nash when they’re already loaded at forward, and defense seems more of an issue for them. The Leafs need a quality starting goalie and/or a first line center, not a scoring winger. The Sharks and Hurricanes could get into the bidding, but I doubt they could out-bid the Rangers in terms of roster players. Hopefully we’ll find out later this week what it ultimately takes to make a Nash trade happen.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wonders if the Maple Leafs will look at acquiring Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo, as there’s so very little quality goalies available via trade and especially through free agency…Simmons also expects the Bruins to trade Tim Thomas’ rights to a low-spending team like the Avalanche or Islanders, which would help those clubs become compliant with the salary cap minimum for next season…It appears Zach Parise is leaning toward remaining with the Devils.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Acquiring Luongo seems the only logical choice, but as Simmons noted, it comes with pitfalls. It also comes with a significant stumbling block, which is the animosity between the respective managements of both clubs…The Bruins might not be able to move Thomas’ salary from their books, but you can bet they’ll certainly try…It wouldn’t surprise me if Parise does re-sign with the Devils.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes face a number of significant off-season decisions, including attempting to re-sign captain Shane Doan and veteran winger Ray Whitney, signing goalie Mike Smith (one year remaining on his current contract) to an extension, and finding more offense, GM Don Maloney also dismissed a rumor Michal Rozsival could jump to the KHL.
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports Islanders GM Garth Snow isn’t expected to trade his first round pick (4th overall), but he is apparently trying hard to land a defenseman for his thin blueline, as only Mark Streit, Travis Harmonic and Andrew MacDonald will be returning next season. A restricted free agent like Montreal’s P.K. Subban might’ve convinced Snow to part with his pick, but sources say the Canadiens won’t part with Subban. Trade possibilities are what Staple considers “veterans playing mediocre hockey on fairly unworkable contracts” including Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester, Pittsburgh’s Zbynyk Michalek and Paul Martin, and Vancouver’s Keith Ballard.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Snow could end up retaining his pick and then shopping around elsewhere for affordable, short-term help for his blueline. No surprise the Habs won’t move Subban, nor should they.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports Ryan Suter’s contract situation is preventing Nashville Predators management from re-signing other UFAs, like defenseman Hal Gill and center Paul Gaustad. Cooper also believes that, unless Suter wants to completely sever all ties with the Predators, they won’t shop his rights prior to July 1.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James suggests Washington Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman could be a free agent target for the Red Wings if they lose out on the Ryan Suter sweepstakes.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen has rejected the Penguins one-year, $1.75 million qualifying offer, but remains intent on returning to the team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Though he rejected the Penguins offer, Niskanen remains a restricted free agent and the Pens still own his rights.
RDS.CA’s Renaud Lavoie reported via Twitter ”The Canadiens told Travis Moen that they want him back. Moen could be a UFA July 1st”.