Are the Bruins planning some major moves? Could the Red Wings forego free agency for the trade market? Is Sharks GM Doug Wilson losing patience with his veterans?
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg hopes there won’t be many tweaks to the lineup this summer. Despite public assertions by management only minor changes will be considered, Haggerty cites sources claiming the Bruins will be very active leading up to the NHL Draft weekend on June 27 and 28. He believes players like Brad Marchand ($4.5 million annual salary) and/or Johnny Boychuk ($3.66 million cap hit) could be moved to free up cap space for other re-signings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have a projected $9.1 million in cap space (assuming the cap reaches $71 million for next season), and must re-sign or replace Jarome Iginla, Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, Shawn Thornton, Matt Bartkowski and Chad Johnson. They can go over the cap by 10 percent in the offseason but must be cap compliant when the season opens. While they will get over $4 million in relief by placing Marc Savard on LTIR, they cannot do that until the start of next season.
DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports the depth of talent in the unrestricted free agent market isn’t what it used to be. He notes the limited success the Wings have had with their recent free agent additions. He considers pending UFAs like Thomas Vanek, Matt Niskanen, Matt Moulson and Paul Stastny to be gambles.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan responds to reader e-mails about potential trades for the Red Wings. Though he acknowledges the Wings would be very interested in Nashville’s Shea Weber if he were shopped this summer, Khan doesn’t believe the Predators are willing to part with Weber. Noting the Wings seeks an experienced right-handed defenseman, he lists “Matt Niskanen (likely cost prohibitive), Dan Boyle (short-term option), Anton Stralman, Derek Morris, Tom Gilbert and Matt Greene” as free agent options. Trade possibilities could include Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien, Washington’s Mike Green and Toronto’s Cody Franson, though he doubts the Leafs deal Franson to a division rival.
As for possible trade bait, Khan considers Gustav Nyquist ” virtually untouchable” but considers Tomas Tatar a possibility, though Wings management would have to think long and hard about parting with him. Khan considers Canucks president Trevor Linden sincere when he said he sees defenseman Alex Edler as part of the Canuck’s future. If the Canucks change their mind, Khan believes it could cost the Wings a player who can help Vancouver now. Phoenix’s Keith Yandle might cost a good prospect and a first-round pick. He also doubts the Wings have interest in Senators’ center Jason Spezza, or that the Sens would ship Spezza to a division rival.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Good stuff here from Khan. If the Wings are to acquire a skilled right-handed shot for their blueline it could cost them a good young player like Tatar as part of the deal. GM Ken Holland may be unwilling to part with too many of his promising youngsters right now. If Dan Boyle doesn’t re-sign with the Islanders, I wouldn’t be surprised if he signed a short-term deal with the Wings. Stralman might be another option.
TORONTO SUN: Mike Zeisberger reports San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson said his club is in a rebuild phase where they’re turning the core over to younger players. He said he spoke to his veteran players about it, adding it’s up to them to decide if they wish to stay. Long-time Sharks veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau have been subject of recent trade speculation. Both re-signed three-year extensions with no-movement clauses earlier this season. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman believes they might be only be willing to move to a Cup contender.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that’s the case, moving Thornton and/or Marleau won’t be easy to do. Sure, the thought of Thornton on the same line as Patrick Kane in Chicago sounds great, but much easier said than done.