With the start of the NHL Free Agency Period only a day away, here’s the latest on Stephen Weiss, Nathan Horton, Daniel Briere, Tim Thomas & more.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Senators hope to re-sign Daniel Alfredsson, who is getting calls from several clubs interested in signing him…LA Kings are still trying to re-sign defenseman Rob Scuderi, who is also getting some calls from other clubs…the Bruins and Patrice Bergeron are closing in on a contract extension which could be worth between $52-$54 million…Three teams have contacted Tim Thomas’ agent to express interest…It’s believed Nathan Horton has met with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
DETROIT FREE PRESS/MLIVE.COM: Helene St. James reports the Red Wings are interested in Florida Panthers center Stephen Weiss, plus they continue negotiations with Daniel Cleary and Damien Brunner. Ansar Khan reports the Wings have had “exploratory talks” with Weiss, Mike Ribeiro, Matt Cullen, Andrew Ference and Marek Zidlicky. They’re not prepared to make big offers for David Clarkson and Nathan Horton, but have some interest in Jarome Iginla.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings biggest need is for a second line center so I expect they’ll pursue Weiss and Ribeiro. They could use another experienced blueliner but I doubt they overpay for Ference or Zidlicky.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports former Bruins winger Nathan Horton was in Columbus yesterday to meet with Blue Jackets officials and tour their arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering Horton’s injury history and rumored asking price of six years, $36 million, if I were a GM, I’d think very carefully about this potential investment. Actually, if I were an NHL GM, I wouldn’t pursue Horton for his reported asking price. He’s undeniably talented, but his injury history scares me.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Matt Cullen has fielded calls from several teams but hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Wild. Russo also suggests the Wild could replace bought-out blueliner Tom Gilbert with former Canucks defenseman Keith Ballard, himself recently bought out of his contract. Other targets could include “Andrew Ference, Rob Scuderi, bought-out Mike Komisarek and Michal Rozsival.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I know the Wild really want to re-sign Cullen so I wouldn’t rule out his staying in Minnesota. They could use another experienced blueliner but they’re also pressed for cap space. It could come down to choosing between re-signing Cullen or pursuing a veteran defenseman.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins are searching for depth at right wing. Among their targets is Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson. There’s also talk of bringing back Jaromir Jagr. Jarome Iginla and Daniel Briere could also be options. They could also consider more affordable options like “Michael Ryder, Valtteri Filppula, Damien Brunner, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Brad Boyes, Ryane Clowe and Brenden Morrow”.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have limited cap space and must re-sign Tuukka Rask. Ultimately, they could end up going with considerably cheaper options on right wing.
THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports the Nashville Predators seek scoring in this summer’s free agent market. Among their targets could be Daniel Briere, Mike Ribeiro, Nathan Horton, Viktor Stalberg and Ryane Clowe.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators are reportedly on Briere’s short list so there’s a good chance they could land him. The Devils and Canadiens are also reportedly on that list. Speaking of Briere…
NJ.COM: The Devils, Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres are reportedly pursuing Daniel Briere.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those clubs have the advantage of being reasonably close to Briere’s off-season home in Philadelphia, where his sons live during the season.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Five centers the Stars could target for summer trades include Colorado’s Paul Stastny, Boston’s Tyler Seguin, Philadelphia’s Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier, and Edmonton’ Sam Gagner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apparently, none of those players are available, so the Stars will have to look elsewhere.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater doesn’t expect the Avalanche to be big players in this summer’s UFA market. If they do go fishing in the UFA pond, it could be for affordable defensemen like Toni Lydman, Douglas Murray, Rob Scuderi, Michal Rozsival,
Jordan Leopold, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Ian White.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Leopold was recently re-signed by the St. Louis Blues.
TBO.COM: Erik Erlendsson speculates if the Lightning dip into the UFA pool, it could be for an affordable forward.
WASHINGTON POST: John Feinstein believes the Capitals need more depth, but this summer isn’t the right one for them to make a splash via free agency.
CSNBAYAREA.COM: Kevin Kurz doesn’t expect the San Jose Sharks to add to their roster this summer via free agency.
POST-GAZETTE.COM: It seems increasingly unlikely Matt Cooke will return with the Penguins.