Updates on Daniel Briere, Marek Zidlicky and Johan Hedberg.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Danny Briere could be playing his final home game with the Flyers as they face off tonight against the NY Islanders. Because of his $6.5 million per season cap hit, Briere is expected to be bought out or traded in the off-season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s less speculation about Ilya Bryzgalov being bought out and more about Briere becoming a buyout candidate. The Flyers could trade him, but they could be expected to pick up part of that cap hit. An amnesty buyout seems more likely.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports pending UFA blueliner Marek Zidlicky would like to return with the Devils. Neither he or teammate and fellow Czech Patrik Elias have had contract negotiations yet with Devils management. Chere also reports 40-year-old goalie Johan Hedberg, who has one year remaining on his contract, is looking forward to returning next season. Chere doubts the Devils will buy him out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils typically don’t open contract talks with their pending UFAs until season’s end. I daresay they’ll start within the next couple of weeks. I expect they’ll put the priority upon re-signing David Clarkson and Elias over Zidlicky, but given the Devils lack of skilled puck-moving defenseman, they could try to retain him on a short-term, cheaper deal. As for Hedberg, I also don’t believe the Devils will buy him out.