The latest from the Edmonton Journal, Ottawa Sun, New York Post and more. Enjoy!
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports money is the key issue in Ryan Smyth’s contract talks with the Oilers. A two year deal is being discussed, and Matheson suggested comparables for salary as the Blues’ Jason Arnott ($2.5 million, albeit on a one-year deal) and the Avalanche’s Milan Hejduk ($2.6 million, also on a one-year deal). He believes Smyth might not wish to accept less than $3 million per…The Detroit Red Wings could seek a Darren McCarty-type physical player in this summer’s UFA market. Matheson suggested Brandon Prust, Jordin Tootoo, Travis Moen, Cody McLeod, Tom Kostopoulos, Adam Burish and Gregory Campbell as possibilities…Sources say former NHL goalie Cristobal Huet, sent to Europe by the Chicago Blackhawks in a cost-cutting move, would love to return to the NHL, and would accept $750K as a backup. Matheson suggested the LA Kings, one of Huet’s former NHL teams, as a possibility if they should move Jonathan Bernier…He also wondered if the Maple Leafs would have interest in Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff if the veteran Flames goalie became available via trade…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Smyth hopes to finish his career in Edmonton, he could have little choice but accept the Oilers offer, even if it’s less than what he’s seeking. He’s not dealing from a position of strength…It was rumored the Red Wings had significant interest in Moen prior to this year’s trade deadline, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they sign him this summer…Huet might be willing to return as a backup at a bargain basement price, but the question is, can he still play at the NHL level?…If Kiprusoff became available this summer, you bet your butt the Leafs would be interested, but I doubt the Flames shop him unless “Kipper” demands a trade, which doesn’t seem likely.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch suggests the Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins could be suitors for New Jersey Devils pending UFA winger Zach Parise…Talk is Montreal’s Carey Price is seeking a contract comparable to that of Nashville’s Pekka Rinne (seven years, $49 million).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yes, there will be considerable interest in Parise. Where he ends up remains to be seen, as July 1st is still less than two months away…As for Price, don’t get too worked up over that rumor, Habs fans. Nobody really knows for certain what Price is seeking, but I daresay he won’t get the same salary as Rinne, because his numbers aren’t comparable to Rinne’s, who also has a Vezina nomination on his resume. Best guess: Price gets a five year deal worth between $5-$6 million per season.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks also reported the Wild and Red Wings could have interest in Parise, as well as Nashville’s pending UFA blueliner Ryan Suter. He also casts doubt on the Pittsburgh Penguins trading Jordan Staal before at least being aware of what’s to be contained in the next CBA.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Brooks’ take on the Staal situation, though some in the Pittsburgh media believe there’s a chance he could be dealt, perhaps to Carolina to join his brother Eric with the Hurricanes. It’s an intriguing tale, but only guesswork at this point. Remember, Staal isn’t a UFA until next summer, not this one, and depending on what’s contained in the next CBA, there’s a possibility the Penguins could retain him beyond next season.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov reports the Florida Panthers will have to decide if they’ll re-sign pending UFA goalie Scott Clemmensen, or allow him to walk via free agency and turn the goalie duties full-time to Jose Theodore and Jacob Markstrom.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clemmensen played well as a backup, but the Panthers are committed to Theodore for another season and Markstrom is NHL-ready. I believe they’ll let Clemmensen walk.