Latest on the Flyers, Red Wings, and Blackhawks, plus speculation on Daniel Briere, David Clarkson and more
PHILLY.COM: The addition of Vincent Lecavalier could force the Flyers to shed some salary by shopping a defenseman, which could explain why GM Paul Holmgren was shopping Braydon Coburn to the Edmonton Oilers during the draft. Coburn has the best value of the Flyers blueliners and thus would be the easiest to move.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio cites sources claiming former Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is “intrigued” by the Flyers but remains uncertain if he’d be a good fit there. Though Thomas is suspended by the NY Islanders for not reporting to them last season after his contract was acquired from the Bruins, the Islanders don’t intend to toll his contract forward to this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Flyers GM Paul Holmgren is in the market for a veteran goalie, preferably one with only a year or two on their current contracts. There’s not much available in this summer’s UFA market, with Thomas (who sat out last season) arguably the best of the bunch. Holmgren could try to land a goalie via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders and Sabres could be a good fit for Briere as he would be close to his sons in Philadelphia during the season.
NORTHJERSEY.COM/TORONTO SUN: Winger David Clarkson has reportedly rejected a significant offer from the New Jersey Devils and intends to test the UFA market. Mike Zeisberger wonders if the Maple Leafs can exploit Clarkson’s local connnections to lure him to Toronto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarkson would certainly fit into the Leafs “truculent” image, but given the Leafs need for a top-line center (especially if Tyler Bozak departs), it might be wiser to pass on Clarkson and pursue a scoring center.
DETROIT NEWS/MLIVE.COM/DETROIT FREE PRESS: Valtteri Filppula seems likely to test the free agent market, which could put the Red Wings into the market for a second-line center. Possibilities include Florida’s Stephen Weiss, Washington’s Mike Ribeiro, Minnesota’s Matt Cullen, Toronto’s Tyler Bozak and Vancouver’s Derek Roy. Of this group, Weiss appears the most attractive free agent target.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings reportedly contacted the Panthers in early-June expressing interest in acquiring Weiss’ rights. They weren’t willing to pay Valtteri Filppula $5 million per season but could be willing to go that high for Weiss.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Emery could attract considerable interest in this summer’s free agent market, but it appears he’d like to remain a Blackhawk for the right price.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: The Florida Panthers may part ways with Stephen Weiss and Peter Mueller.