John-Michael Liles days with the Maple Leafs may be numbered, the Flyers could make a salary-dumping deal, and an update on the Sedins contract talks.
SPORTSNET.CA/NATIONAL POST: It appears increasingly likely veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles could lose his spot with the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s anticipated Liles, 32, could be placed on waivers this weekend. If he’s sent to the minors, the Leafs will receive $925K of salary cap relief. The remainder of his $3.875 million annual average salary still counts against the Leafs cap, but his demotion could make them cap compliant in time for the regular season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As both articles noted, it’s not that Liles skills have declined, but his style of play doesn’t mesh well with the more aggressive physical style of head coach Randy Carlyle. The Leafs would love to trade Liles but his salary and limited no-trade clause could make him difficult to move at this point in the year.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reports Flyers GM Paul Holmgren admitted having trade conversations with other teams, though he wouldn’t elaborate as to which teams he was speaking with and which players were discussed, claiming it was just “general talk”. The Flyers currently have nine defensemen under contract and Holmgren said he’s not demoting Erik Gustafsson as he’d have to pass through waivers, where another team could claim him. It’s believed the Flyers will simply make a “paper transaction” by demoting Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn (who are waiver-exempt) for one day, then recall them after placing Chris Pronger on LTIR (as he must appear on their opening day roster before he can be placed on injured reserve).
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater speculates Schenn our Couturier “might get dealt”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was talk of the Flyers shopping Andrej Meszaros, but his $4 million salary and injury history could make him a tough sell. I don’t believe Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier will be dealt. Worse comes to worse, the Flyers go the paper transaction route in order to put Pronger on LTIR. Schenn and Couturier won’t even have to leave town.
SPORTSNET’s Nick Kypreos reports the following on the Sedins via Twitter: “Sedin’s contract extension in the hands of #Canucks. If ownership accepts latest proposal an agreement could be done b4 start of #NHL season”.