Check out the latest on the Oilers (yes, again!), Flyers, Sabres and Panthers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson, responding to a reader’s e-mail, doubts the Boston Bruins would move Milan Lucic, and doesn’t believe the Oilers could
pry the first overall pick in this year’s draft away from the Colorado Avalanche. He also dismissed the notion of the Oilers landing Blues winger Chris Stewart by offering up Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky and a prospect.
Matheson also doesn’t expect the Oilers top five young players – Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz – will be moved this summer, though he noted GM Craig MacTavish wasn’t specifically asked about Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber if he were made available in late-July. MacTavish said he’s opened contract talks with center Sam Gagner. MacTavish didn’t rule out trying to attract pending UFAs like David Clarkson or Viktor Stalberg to Edmonton. He also declined to talk about Ales Hemsky’s future with the club.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Boy, Jim Matheson is really, really hoping Weber will be available this summer. Sorry, Jim, but Predators GM David Poile insists he’s rebuilding around Weber and Pekka Rinne, and I see no reason to doubt him. Unless Weber demands a trade (and in a recent interview, he gave no indication he’d do that), I don’t believe the Predators shop him this summer. If MacTavish were crazy enough to offer up Gagner, Hemsky and a prospect for Stewart, the Blues would jump all over that. “MacT” shows no signs of insanity. Though MacTavish will play up the advantages of Edmonton as a hockey town, he’s going to have a tough time attracting top free agents. I’m not saying he can’t do it, but in several player polls in recent years, Edmonton was not a prime destination for free agents.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio wonders if the Flyers might go the offer sheet route again, this time by pursuing Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having failed to sign away Ryan Kesler from Vancouver and Shea Weber from Nashville, and considering their limited cap space this summer, I doubt the Flyers go the offer sheet route this summer.
MIAMI HERALD: George Richards recently reported Florida Panthers pending UFA center Stephen Weiss could return if the money’s right. “It’s just a matter of the numbers game. It’s a business. Sometimes those things don’t fit and don’t make sense. I understand that. We’ll see what we can do.’’
BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Sabres GM Darcy Regier could offer up no insight on the futures of Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek. Regier didn’t rule out making a trade for amnesty buyout candidates. “You can acquire a player and buy him out if somebody wants to pay you enough to do that, some other currency other than the dollars,” Regier said. “Whether it happens or not, it’s one of the options.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting idea. As Vogl noted, the Sabres could pick up a draft pick or prospect doing that. Other teams might also consider that possibility this summer.