Latest on Joe Thornton, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Dave Bolland, Paul Stastny, Alex Edler and Jason Garrison.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa speculates this summer’s trade market could be a busy one, owing to a combination of various factors, including several teams going through management changes, other teams anxious to improve, lack of quality talent in the free agent market, teams still recovering from the drop of the salary cap following the lockout and draft picks being in play this summer…Shinzawa also wonders if Sharks GM Doug Wilson is panicking by splitting up Joe Thornton and Brent Burns, speculating if Thornton might be dealt…He also thinks the Flames might “kick the tires” on Ryan Miller, owing to his Team USA ties with Flames president Brian Burke…Shinzawa believes the Wild shouldn’t pursue Thomas Vanek and instead find a defenseman to help take the defensive burden off Ryan Suter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly is shaping up to be a busy summer, and I couldn’t be happier over the prospect. Last summer was a bust after the opening day of free agency…I still doubt the Sharks will part with Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Sure, it’s possible one of them could move but I just don’t think GM Doug Wilson will go that far… Miller apparently isn’t interested in playing for a Canadian team, though he could change his mind if there’s a limited market this summer for his services…Given the Wild’s depth in promising young forwards and Vanek’s impression of the Invisible Man in this year’s playoffs, I agree they’d be better off pursuing another big-minute blueliner.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Maple Leafs don’t want to pay Dave Bolland more than the $4.2 million they’re paying center Tyler Bozak…As for the assumption Paul Stastny could become a Leaf if he becomes a UFA this summer, Simmons points out 20 other teams will be bidding for Stastny’s services.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bolland was reportedly seeking $5 million per season on a seven- or eight-year deal. I don’t blame him for seeking that much, since the Leafs gave a crazy stupid contact to David Clarkson last summer. However, I think Nonis (with Brendan Shanahan looking over his shoulder) won’t repeat that mistake. And I doubt he gets that much via free agency with another club. Then again, never underestimate the ability of NHL GMs to succumb to auction fever during the opening day of free agency. If Stastny becomes a UFA I doubt the Leafs pursue him, as he could command up to $7 million per season.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jason Botchford believes new Canucks GM Jim Benning is willing to ask players with no-trade clauses to waive them. That means an Alex Edler or Jason Garrison trade seems possible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because he can ask them doesn’t mean he will. And those players must be willing to waive them. Still, if there’s a market for Edler (I doubt there’s much of one for Garrison) it’s worthwhile to explore it.