Capitals seeking a defenseman and a backup goalie, updates on Dominic Moore, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle, plus a look at which players the Oilers should consider pursuing this summer.
WASHINGTON POST/CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Alex Prewitt and Chuck Gormley report Capitals GM Brian MacLellan intends to seek a veteran backup for starter Braden Holtby this summer. MacLellan also said he has no immediate plans to trade defenseman Mike Green, though he admitted he’s open to trading anyone. He acknowledged there are a couple of defensemen in this summer’s UFA market he’s interested in, but won’t know until June 25th if there’s a shot at landing them.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious the Capitals want to help Holtby regain his groove after struggling through last season. Adding a reliable veteran backup is a good idea. It also sounds as though MacLellan wants to add a complimentary blueliner for Green. Depending on who they get could also determine any trade plans for Green. If they should acquire a defenseman of equal or greater value than Green, he could end up on the block.
NORTHJERSEY.COM/NEW YORK POST: Tom Gulitti reports pending UFA Dominic Moore hopes to return next season with the Rangers. Brett Cyrgalis reports pending Rangers UFAs Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle hint they could be moving on. Stralman is seeking security for his family after playing for four teams in seven years and seeks between $4-$5 million annually for at least three years. Boyle wants a greater role than playing on the fourth line and could seek $3-$4 million annually on a two-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of the Rangers pending UFAs, re-signing Stralman is the priority, but he could prove too expensive, especially with Marc Staal eligible next summer for UFA status. Unless the Rangers decide to move Staal, they could re-sign him this summer and let Stralman walk. Boyle probably won’t get a bigger role with the Rangers and this summer is a great opportunity for him to both move on to a club where he’ll get that chance, as well as earn a significant raise. Moore should be an affordable re-signing for the Blueshirts.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis believes Anton Stralman would be a good fit for the Oilers, while David Staples speculates about the Oilers perhaps pursuing Winnipeg’s Evander Kane, who’s once again rumored to be available. Staples also suggests the Oilers target cap-strapped teams like the Flyers, Blackhawks and Bruins. He lists the Flyers’ Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann, the Blackhawks Patrick Sharp, Bryan Bickell, Brent Seabrook and Niklas Hjalmarsson, and the Bruins Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuck and Chris Kelly as possible trade options.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stralman would indeed be a good fit with the Oilers, but they’ll have to win a bidding war for his services if he hits the market this summer. While the Jets could be open to moving just about anyone, it’ll take a helluva lot more than offering up Nail Yakupov (as Staples suggested) to land him. The Jets aren’t interested in players with promise, they want impact players who can immediately help them.
Forget about landing Voracek, Simmonds, Sharp, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson and Marchand. Ain’t happenin’. Coburn is a possibility but given their defense I’m not entirely convinced they’ll shop him. Schenn, Grossmann, Bickell, Boychuk and Kelly are better possibilities, though some of these players carry no-trade clauses.