The latest on the Bruins, Luongo’s market value may be improving, Blue Jackets need a starting goalie, and how dwindling goalie options could help the Sharks land Rick Nash.
BOSTON GLOBE/CSNNE.COM: Tim Thomas’ agent Bill Zito insists his client’s decision to sit out next season wasn’t an attempt to create trade leverage, but speculation to the contrary persists. Fluto Shinzawa of the Globe pointed out the Bruins attempted to trade Thomas – with his permission – in 2010 but couldn’t find a trade partner, suggesting the goalie used the trade rumors back then as motivation to elevate his play into a Vezina/Conn Smythe/Stanley Cup-winning performance in 2011.
YAHOO! SPORTS: “Puck Daddy” Greg Wyshynski speculated on the possibility of Bruins RFA backup Tuukka Rask receiving an offer sheet this summer, though he doubts it could happen, citing the fact superstars Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty never received any last summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The trade speculation about Thomas won’t be subsiding anytime soon. It’s possible a team which needs to spend to reach the cap floor next season could acquire his contract solely for that purpose, even if he doesn’t play next season. As for Rask, I concur with Wyshynski. Offer sheets have dwindled since 2007, because they’re rarely successful. With a new CBA on the horizon, it’s increasingly unlikely Rask, or any other RFA player, will receive one this summer.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher suggests the Penguins acquisition and signing of Tomas Vokoun reduces the depth in available goaltending talent this summer, which could sweeten Roberto Luongo’s market value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly couldn’t hurt Luongo’s trade value.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets are in need of quality goaltending depth, especially a starting goalie. He doesn’t rule out Luongo as a possible trade target, though his hefty contract is a concern. Another trade target could be Nashville’s Anders Lindback, though the Predators might prefer not to trade him within the division. Portzline also listed Philadelphia’s Sergei Bobrovsky as an option.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz wondered if the dwindling goalie pool could work in the San Jose Sharks favor in acquiring Rick Nash from the Blue Jackets, listing starter Antti Niemi and prospect Alex Stalock as possibilities.
SPECTOR’ S NOTE: Hat tip to GJ Berg for the Kurz link. The Blue Jackets can’t ignore their goaltending situation any longer. Steve Mason isn’t a reliable starter, and they’ve no one in their system to step in and fill that role.