Penguins might not be done dealing, latest on Tim Thomas, Jiri Hudler and Cory Sarich, Wild not ruling out trading for UFA rights, Blues interested in Garrison, and Stars need depth at center.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Joe Yerdon cited a “tweet” from Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi claiming Penguins GM Ray Shero, after trading away Jordan Staal, contacted Nashville Predators GM David Poile to discuss the rights of pending UFA blueliner Ryan Suter. Poile, however, isn’t trading Suter’s rights as he hopes to re-sign him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Shero has moved away from Suter to Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, though his dealing Zbynek Michalek back to the Coyotes last night could instead signal he’s clearing cap space to take a serious run at Suter via the UFA market on July 1.
BOSTON HERALD: Stephen Harris reported Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli claimed several teams had contacted him expressing interest in acquiring the rights to goalie Tim Thomas, who intends to sit out next season for personal reasons. Those teams are interested in landing Thomas aren’t hoping to convince him to play next season, but instead could use his $5 million cap hit to help them reach next season’s project salary cap floor of $54.3 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No indication so far if a Thomas trade is close, even though he’s waived his “no-movement” clause, which will expire on July 1. Those teams could be waiting to see if the cap rises again should the NHLPA use their five percent escalator clause.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland met briefly with Jiri Hudler’s agent and will meet again today, but it appears Hudler is headed for free agency on July 1. Holland also isn’t close to re-signing RFAs Justin Abdelkader and Kyle Quincey,but those deals are inevitable.
CALGARY HERALD: Vicki Hall recently reported Flames veteran defenseman Cory Sarich is prepared to face the uncertainty of free agency. Sarich is a pending UFA and the Flames aren’t expected to re-sign him.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is open to dealing for the negotiating rights of free agents he’s interested in signing. It’s believed Fletcher will pursue New Jersey’s Zach Parise and Nashville’s Ryan Suter if they’re available in the UFA market on July 1. Fletcher also hopes to re-sign RFA Guillaume Latendresse, whom he doesn’t intend to tender a qualifying offer for by the Monday deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks have asked me if the Wild’s rumored interest in Parise or Suter constitutes tampering. As long as Fletcher or any member of the Wild front office or coaching staff don’t specifically state who they’re interested in, it’s not tampering.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH’s Jeremy Rutherford “tweeted” the Blues are rumored to have interest in Florida Panthers defenseman Jason Garrison, though no team has inquired about acquiring his rights. Garrison is eligible for UFA status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s rumored Garrison could command up to $5 million on the open market, which the Panthers have no intention of paying him, leading to speculation they could shop his rights before July 1.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports the Stars shipping out Mike Ribeiro leaves them thin at center, meaning they’ll either have to turn to prospects or make another move to add depth at that position, perhaps by shopping winger Steve Ott or Brenden Morrow.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think GM Joe Nieuwendyk isn’t done dealing here. He’s got new ownership so he doesn’t have to operate on a shoestring anymore, and Ribeiro obviously wasn’t part of his future plans for the team. It’s believed there’s interest in Ott and Morrow, and if he can translate that into a good second line center, I have to believe he’ll do it.