Roberto Luongo’s contract not as bad as others, a suggestion for the Senators to pursue David Clarkson, and the Habs could pursue a first line forward this summer.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher scoffs at the notion Roberto Luongo’s contract is, as one Sportsnet analyst recently referred to it, “the most unmovable deal in the league”, pointing out NY Rangers center Brad Richards, Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin and New Jersey’s Ilya Kovalchuk are far tougher to move.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I get Gallagher’s point, that there is some interest in Luongo’s contract and a possibility it could be moved. Doesn’t mean it’s any easier to move. I believe the Canucks will be forced to pick up part of Luongo’s salary in order to get a deal done. Rival clubs know the Canucks are dealing from a position of weakness, as they desperately need to shed salary this summer, and would prefer to trade Luongo rather than simply buy him out.
OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan recently suggested the Senators should pursue New Jersey Devils’ forward David Clarkson if he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: But will they? Sure, Clarkson would be a good fit, but if he tests the market, the Senators will face stiff competition from several clubs keen to sign him, which could push up his free agent value. He’s currently earning $3 million for this season (the cap hit is just over $2.66 million), and could get over $5 million per season on the open market. The Senators currently have over $43.5 million invested in 19 players for next season, and if owner Eugene Melnyk is willing to spend up to next season’s $64.3 million, they could afford him. Again, however, the question is, are they willing to overpay for the privilege?
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reports Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin’s shopping list this summer will include “at least one top-line forward”, suggesting the Habs might be unwilling or unable to match the offers Michael Ryder could get from rival clubs on the open market this summer. Hickey expects Bergevin will use his second amnesty buyout to shed the final year of Tomas Kaberle’s contract, giving the Habs GM $7 million in cap space to work with.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ryder and Colby Armstrong are the only players who would prove expensive to retain. The rest (including Davis Drewiske and Ryan White) are affordable. It could cost $5 million per season to retain Ryder, which could price him out of the Habs market. Bergevin proved himself a savvy GM in his first year on the job. He’ll need that savvy for his second off-season.