Which Leafs could be on the bubble? What are their goalie options for next season? How busy could Flames GM Jay Feaster be this summer?
TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan considers “Mike Komisarek, Matthew Lombardi, Joey Crabb, Nikolai Kulemin, Tim Connolly and Jay Rosehill”, along with goalies James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson, among the Maple Leafs “bubble boys”, who’ll have to prove their worth if they hope to stick with the club after this season. Koshan believes GM Brian Burke’s top priority this summer must be landing a quality starting goalie.
Mike Zeisberger, meanwhile, examined the potential UFA market for goalies this summer, but doesn’t find much worthwhile. “Brodeur, Roloson and Hedberg are in the twilight of their careers. Vokoun puts up respectable numbers but always seems to miss the playoffs. Do you take a chance on Nabokov? Emery? Montoya?” Zeisberger suggested a trade is the better route, but given the bad blood between the Leafs and Canucks management, doubts Burke could land Cory Schneider from Vancouver. He also wondered about how much it would cost to land Jonathan Bernier from the LA Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Komisarek has two years at a cap hit of $4.5 million per left on his contract, Connolly has one year at $4.75 million, Lombardi one year at $3.5 million. Won’t be easy to move those contracts. As for a goalie, Burke might have to look beyond Schneider and Bernier, especially the latter, who’s yet to prove himself as an NHL starter. Of the UFAs, Vokoun might be the best bet, but his uneven performance this season with the Capitals is troubling.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun, in a recent response to a reader’s comments about the Calgary Flames, noted GM Jay Feaster has nine pending free agents (6 UFAs, 3 RFAs), giving him a window of opportunity to bring about some real change to an aging organization which is in need of an overhaul.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only one of those free agents worth re-signing is Olli Jokinen, but he’s 33, so Feaster must be careful not to overpay. Otherwise, I’d expect Feaster to start rebuilding his roster this summer. I don’t, however, believe Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff will be shopped in the off-season, unless they ask to be dealt.