The latest on Bobby Ryan, James Neal, Kris Letang, Vinny Prospal, Sergei Kostitsyn, Damien Brunner and more.

Should the Senators pursue Daniel Briere?

Should the Senators pursue Daniel Briere?

OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren believes if the Penguins re-sign Kris Letang they’ll need to dump salary, suggesting winger James Neal could be available. If so, the Senators should target Neal…The Anaheim Ducks could be in the same boat with Bobby Ryan, whom Warren also suggests as a trade target for the Senators…He also suggests soon-to-be former Flyer Daniel Briere might be a good fit if long-time Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson opts to retire.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Neal or Ryan become available in the trade market, the Senators won’t be the only clubs with serious interest in them. Same goes for Briere. Still, it would be worthwhile for Senators GM Bryan Murray to make inquiries.

POST-GAZETTE.COM: Shelly Anderson reports Penguins GM Ray Shero has opened contract talks with Kris Letang (eligible for UFA status next summer) and Pascal Dupuis (eligible for UFA status this summer).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent rumblings suggest the Penguins could re-sign Dupuis but shop Letang if the latter won’t accept a hometown discount. We should have a clearer picture on their respective statuses by this time next week.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports Blue Jackets pending UFA forward Vinny Prospal and his family have moved their furniture out of their rented home into storage and headed back to the Czech Republic. He would like to re-sign with the Blue Jackets but contract talks have reportedly stalled. Portzline also reported the Blue Jackets management has no intention of using their compliance buyouts this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The priority is getting Sergei Bobrovsky under contract. They must also re-sign RFA forward Artem Anisimov, plus either re-sign or replace Michael Leighton. It’s possible Prospal may have played his final game with the Jackets.

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper noted a report out of Russia claiming Predators winger Sergei Kostitsyn is in contract talks with Avangard Omsk of the KHL, suggesting the Predators wouldn’t object to Kostitsyn leaving.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the KHL continues to honor existing NHL contracts, Kostitsyn wouldn’t be allowed to join Avangard Omsk unless the Predators agreed to either suspend Kostitsyn or “loan” him to the KHL team. His salary wouldn’t count against the Predators cap space if he’s suspended, and as he’s one year away from UFA status, the Predators probably wouldn’t fight to “toll” that final season forward. If he’s loaned overseas, I believe under the new CBA the Predators would only get around $1 million in cap relief.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James reports the Red Wings and pending UFA forward Damien Brunner continue to work on a new contract.  She wonders if the Wings try to re-sign him to another one-year deal, or a multi-year one, as well as how much he’s worth based on this season’s performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think there’s a mutual desire to get a deal done here. Perhaps a two-three year deal worth just over $2 million per could suffice.

NJ.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello isn’t contemplating any compliance buyouts this summer. There was some speculation blueliner Anton Volchenkov could become a compliance buyout candidate. It’s also believed the Devils will make every effort to re-sign pending UFA forward Patrik Elias.