Latest on Joe Thornton, Marc-Andre Fleury, the Sedins,Dion Phaneuf, Ryan Miller and more.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun wouldn’t be surprised if the Penguins add a veteran number three goalie as insurance,believing GM Ray Shero will ride out his current tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Jeff Zatkoff and re-evaluate them after 20-25 games…The sticking point in Henrik Lundqvist’s contract talks with the NY Rangers isn’t money but term, as the Blueshirts may be uncomfortable investing in the 31-year-old netminder for eight years…The Anaheim Ducks may be in the market for a young defenseman and would be willing to move a forward in return. LeBrun suggests Pittsburgh, Toronto and Philadelphia (teams with blueline depth) as possible trade targets…Joe Thornton’s agent will soon reach out to the San Jose Sharks to talk contract, but there’s no timetable to getting a deal done. Thornton, 34, is eligible for UFA status next summer. As with Lundqvist, LeBrun believes term, not dollars, will be the main issue in negotiations…The Sedin twins have yet to sign contract extensions but the Canucks have made re-signing them a priority. The two sides could negotiate during the season.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: John Thornton, agent and brother of Joe Thornton, sees the Sharks captain staying in San Jose. While acknowledging Joe would receive big offers on the open market, John doesn’t see him going for that.
SPORTING NEWS: Sean Gentille suggests the Pittsburgh Penguins could make Marc-Andre Fleury a compliance buyout candidate next June if he struggles this season. Fleury has one season remaining on his current contract at a cap hit of $5.75 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: For the time being, the Penguins will stick with the Fleury-Zatkoff tandem…If Lundqvist has another strong performance this season, the Rangers will have little choice but to re-sign him to the maximum eight-year deal…The Leafs would probably love to move John-Michael Liles to the Ducks, but he wouldn’t fit that description of “young defenseman” the Ducks apparently seek…Fearless prediction: Thornton signs a three-year deal with the Sharks for just under $7 million per season…Another peerless prediction: the Canucks will re-sign the Sedins during this season, probably for the same terms and salary. Discuss!
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox believes the Maple Leafs have more leverage in their negotiations with Dion Phaneuf than they had with Phil Kessel, suggesting Cody Franson could replace Phaneuf if he departs via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s as may be, but the Leafs also happily overpaid Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson. If they really want Phaneuf to stay, it wouldn’t surprise me if they inked him to a five-year deal at $7 million per.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson responded to a reader’s e-mail about Ryan Miller or Jonas Hiller replacing Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk if he departs next summer via free agency. Matheson believes Miller could be a good replacement though he’s no longer the goalie he was three years ago. He also noted the Ducks were trying to move Hiller this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers would have better luck landing Hiller via free agency than Miller, who I believe wants to play closer to Los Angeles, where his actress-wife works. If Dubnyk play well this season I believe the Oilers will re-sign him. Better the devil you know…