Brad Richards’ buyout could affect the Senators efforts to trade Jason Spezza, the Lightning remain hopeful of re-signing Ryan Callahan, and the Red Wings are reportedly interested in Joe Thornton.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports the Senators efforts to trade Jason Spezza could be affected by the addition of Brad Richards into a crowded market for centers this summer. Richards is now an unrestricted free agent, Colorado’s Paul Stastny could become one on July 1, the Canucks are shopping Ryan Kesler and there’s talk the San Jose Sharks could move Joe Thornton. The Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues are believed to have the most interest in Spezza.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators will likely trade Spezza by next Friday (the opening day of the NHL Draft), but there are other options for teams interested in the Senators captain to consider. It could affect his market value. That being said, I think the only real concern is the Canucks’ shopping Kesler. Richards is 34 and definitely slowed by this year’s Stanley Cup Final, the Avs hope to re-sign Stastny and there’s little indication out of San Jose the Sharks are actively shopping Thornton.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Lightning GM Steve Yzerman has had some “really good discussions” with Ryan Callahan’s agent and remains hopeful of signing the winger, who is eligible for UFA status on July 1. He’s also still in talks with RFA goalie Anders Lindback, who could return as Ben Bishop’s backup next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve frequently said, if Callahan still seeks the same six-year, $39 million deal which got him traded by the New York Rangers, I believe Yzerman will let him walk.
DETROIT NEWS: ESPN columnist Pierre LeBrun reports the Detroit Red Wings are interested in Sharks center Joe Thornton, who wants to remain in San Jose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Like the Maple Leafs reported interest in Thornton, I believe the Wings were doing due diligence to inquire into Thornton’s availability. I don’t expect they’ll acquire him. Thornton seems intent on staying in San Jose.