The latest on Rick Nash, Jordan Staal, Bobby Ryan, and Teemu Selanne, plus the Blues seek a defenseman.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell examined the six potential suitors (NY Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, San Jose Sharks, Philadelphia Flyers, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs) for Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan cites “multiple solid sources” have confirmed speculation the Ottawa Senators have contacted the Blue Jackets expressing interest in Nash. One source told Brennan the Senators were prepared to part with “2011 first-round pick Mika Zibanejad, winger Nick Foligno and goalie Ben Bishop.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of Campbell’s list of suitors, I believe the Rangers, Hurricanes and Sharks have the most interest. I don’t think Nash is a good fit with the Flyers, given his huge salary ($7.8 million average annual salary) to 2018, especially when they’ll have to re-sign Claude Giroux to big money in two year’s time. The Flyers are already deep in offensive talent, but their defense could be a bigger area of concern. Sure, it’s possible, maybe if they package Sergei Bobrovsky and James van Riemsdyk, but that’s still a big, fat salary to be carrying for one player with Giroux due big money soon. Reports out of Boston suggest the Bruins are out of the running, while the Maple Leafs need to address their goaltending and depth at center.
As for the Senators interest, it would be a big change of thinking from their ownership and management, who over a year ago swore they were going to rebuild from within and wouldn’t pursue expensive talent. I could see the Senators “kicking the tires”, but I have my doubts as to the seriousness of their interest. If they are serious, it would take more than a package of Zibanejad, Foligno and Bishop. Pretty sure the Rangers could beat that offer.
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: Josh Yohe reports Penguins GM Ray Shero said he isn’t interested in trading center Jordan Staal, who’ll be an unrestricted free agent next summer and has been the subject of trade speculation in recent weeks. Teams have been inquiring daily but Shero said he has no plans to move him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible Staal could be moved later in the summer, or as Yohe suggests, perhaps Shero is trying to drive up Staal’s trade value, but to me it sounds as though Shero isn’t in any hurry to move him. Why should he? Staal is under contract for one more year, and they’ve got the summer to work out a deal. Shero can also wait to see what the outcome of the next CBA would be, and go from there. I don’t believe Staal will be dealt this weekend.
TSN.CA: reports it appears Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan could be on the market again.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looking forward to reports out of Anaheim about this. It’s coming from the reliable Bob McKenzie, so I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss this. Ryan was the subject of several weeks of rumor speculation in late-November/early-December, but was apparently taken off the market back then. Perhaps the Ducks are willing to listen to offers from those falling out of the Rick Nash bidding, or unwilling to get into the Zach Parise sweepstakes come July 1.
PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski cited a report in a Finnish paper claiming 41-year-old Teemu Selanne could be returning to the Ducks next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No official word out of Anaheim, but this tends to be the pattern. A Finnish paper reports it first, then several weeks later (usually after July 1), the confirmation comes from the Ducks. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if “The Finnish Flash” decides to return for another year.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reports Blues GM Doug Armstrong is in the market for a top-four defenseman.