Latest on Jason Spezza, Vincent Lecavalier, Brad Marchand, Brian Boyle, Ville Leino and Ryan Johansen.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren lists the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks as the favorites to land Jason Spezza, with the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars considered dark horse. Warren expects the return for the Senators will be young players, continuing the club’s theme of rebuilding. He speculates the Senators could have interest in Andrew Cogliano or Nick Bonino of the Ducks, or Patrik Berglund, Kevin Shattenkirk or Ian Cole of the Blues.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Matt Larkin includes the Toronto Maple Leafs among the list of possible destinations for Spezza, though he notes the Senators would prefer to send the center to a team they won’t face very often.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Spezza wants out of Ottawa because he’s unhappy with the pressure he faces from the fans and media there, he definitely won’t approve of being dealt to the Leafs. The Senators won’t send him to their arch-rival. I believe the Ducks and Blues are the front runners, as they possess the depth in young players, prospects and draft picks to tempt the Senators. I doubt the Blues part with Shattenkirk.
TVA SPORTS: Several NHL sources claim there’s talk of the Boston Bruins shipping winger Brad Marchand to the San Jose Sharks for Patrick Marleau.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau’s recently signed a three-year contract extension worth $6.66 million annually with a full no-movement clause. He’ll have to agree to be dealt. Second, the cap-strapped Bruins can’t afford to take him on unless the Sharks agree to pick up part of his salary. Third, he’ll be turning 35 this fall, and the Bruins appear to be focusing on their younger players. Sorry, I don’t see this one happening.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio lists Nashville, Ottawa, Florida, Dallas and Calgary as possible trade destinations for Vincent Lecavalier.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers could make it easier to move Lecavalier by picking up half his contract. Still, I don’t think there’s much of a market for an aging (34) center whose best seasons are behind him, especially one who has four more years left on his contract. The Senators and Flames are rebuilding with youth so I don’t see Lecavalier as a fit with those clubs. He won’t address the Predators offensive needs. He might be a fit with the Panthers and Stars, provided he’s willing to accept being dealt to either club.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports there hasn’t been much discussion between the Sabres and the agent for Ville Leino, who remains the NHL’s most likely buyout candidate.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher believes the Canucks should pursue NY Rangers forward Brian Boyle via unrestricted free agency, even if they have to overpay to get him.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets intend to match any offer sheet sent to RFA Ryan Johansen.