Flyers owner Ed Snider weighs in on his team’s goaltending, the latest on the Coyotes efforts to re-sign key free agents, plus a contract signing could have a domino effect upon the Canadiens defense corps next season.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Sam Carchidi reported Flyers owner Ed Snider wasn’t pleased with his team’s numerous goalie switches during this year’s playoffs, and appeared to imply adding a goaltender could be high on the team’s priority list. Adding a marquee name could be difficult as the Flyers are tight against the salary cap but Snider didn’t see that as a problem, adding if they were to add a goalie via trade or free agency they could make it work, even under the cap. Snider did however singled out young Sergei Bobrovsky for praise, believing he’s the club’s goalie of the future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting comments from Snider, and you have to believe he’s passed along his opinions to management. Adding a marquee name means dumping salary to make room for a top goalie, either via trade or free agency.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Jim Gintonio reported Phoenix Coyotes GM Don Maloney will once again have to work with a budget devised by the NHL while the team is still awaiting new ownership, which could make things difficult in their efforts to re-sign Ilya Brygalov and defenseman Keith Yandle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Coyotes operated close to the league minimum salary the past two years, and currently have just under $30 million committed to 13 players for next season. If the cap minimum is around $46 million for next season, that would give them just over $16 million, which sounds like a lot, unless you consider it could cost $6-$7 million per season to re-sign Bryzgalov, and perhaps another $4.5-$5.5 million to re-sign Yandle. Suddenly, most of that cap space disappears, leaving little to re-sign RFAs like Kyle Turris, Lauri Korpikoski and Mikkel Boedker, plus either re-sign or replace Radim Vrbata, Eric Belanger, Vernon Fiddler and Jason LaBarbara.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/CTV MONTREAL/LA PRESSE: reported the Canadiens efforts to finally sign Russian defenseman Alexei Yemelin probably means the club also intends to re-sign UFA Andrei Markov, noting they’re both clients of agent Don Meehan, and the Habs wouldn’t discard Markov to replace him with Yemelin, who would join the Habs blueline right away. The move would create a “domino effect”, which would see Yemelin, Markov, P.K. Subban and Jaroslav Spacek under contract, along with probably RFA Josh Gorges and UFA Hal Gill, which would mean bidding farewell to James Wisniewski and Roman Hamrlik to free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yemelin, 25, has played seven pro seasons in Russia and at 6-2, 225 would bring considerable size and experience to the Habs blueline, depending of course on how quickly he adjusts to the NHL game. He’s also got a reputation for physical play, which would also make him a welcome addition. That would also mean Yannick Weber would be the Habs seventh defenseman or could also be used as a winger as he was at times this past season. It remains to be seen if his signing does indeed mean Markov will be re-signed, but it is a promising sign.