Latest on Lubomir Visnovsky, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Justin Schultz, and Dustin Penner, plus updates on the Flyers and Stars.
ISLANDERS POINT BLANK: Kevin Schultz cites a Slovakian site suggesting Islanders recently-acquired defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky might play in Europe next season, as he was weighing offers from the KHL as well as a Slovakian club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Visnovsky has one season remaining on his NHL contract, and it’s my understanding there’s a “gentleman’s agreement” between the KHL and NHL not to sign away players currently under contract, so he’d have to honor his NHL contract. It could be Visnovsky is merely keeping his options open in case there’s an NHL lockout. Hopefully, we’ll have more clarification over his intentions in the near future.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Adam L. Jahns reports Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson remains in play and the Edmonton Oilers are among the teams who could have interest. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman apparently talked trade with Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon, and recently chatted with Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. The Blackhawks are also believed shopping defenseman Steve Montador.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not surprising the Oilers could have interest in Hjalmarsson as they need experienced depth to the blueline. Wouldn’t surprise me if Hjalmarsson were moved this week. Not sure how much interest there could be in Montador.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Highly touted Anaheim Ducks defense prospect Justin Schultz is headed to free agency, where there is expected to be considerable interest in his services.
LAKINGSINSIDER.COM: Rich Hammond reports Kings GM Dean Lombardi is waiting for a medical report on pending UFA winger Dustin Penner, who may need surgery for a wrist injury, and intends to meet with Penner this week.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers trading away James van Riemsdyk for Luke Schenn creates a hole at forward which must be addressed. The Flyers will face stiff competition if they get into the Zach Parise sweepstakes. Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan and Columbus’ Rick Nash are available, but Flyers management doesn’t want to part with young forwards Sean Couturier, Matt Read, and Brayden Schenn.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could push the Flyers to re-sign ageing winger Jaromir Jagr.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports Stars owner Tom Gaglardi hasn’t set a budget yet for his club for next season, but added there would be “in there on any player” in free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, add the Stars to the list of suitors for Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Alexander Semin in this year’s UFA market.