The latest on Ryan Miller, Jason Spezza, James Neal, Mark Fayne and more.
USA TODAY: Kevin Allen expects plenty of wheeling and dealing during next month’s NHL draft weekend. Panthers GM Dale Tallon admits he’s had “a few guys” making inquiries about his first round pick (first overall) and expects more interest in the coming weeks. The Senators will be listening to offers for Jason Spezza and the Maple Leafs could consider moving Dion Phaneuf. Defenseman like Vancouver’s Alex Edler or Buffalo’s Christian Ehrhoff could be dealt. The Hurricanes are expected to shop goalie Cam Ward, and Allen expects they’ll want a significant return if they put Eric Staal on the block.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We discussed this during last night’s Face Off Hockey Show. Given the number of teams which have changed management and coaches, the anticipated increase in next season’s salary cap plus the ability for teams to retain salary to facilitate a trade, and this summer could shape up to be busier than normal.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran recently listed potentila fre agent players whose playoff performances have affected their market value. Among those on the rise are Marian Gaborik, Jarome Iginla, Matt Niskanen and Paul Stastny.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports a source claims the Anaheim Ducks won’t pursue goaltender Ryan Miller via free agency, intending to stick with their young tandem of Frederik Andersen and John Gibson. The San Jose Sharks are out of the running, as their focus is upon adding younger talent.
NBC SPORTS: cites an interview Miller’s agent, Mike Liut, gave with Vancouver radio station News 1130, in which Liut said his client wants to win a Stanley Cup. Liut also didn’t rule out the Canucks as a possible destination.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the theory of his signing with a California-based club this summer. There was also talk of his signing with the Minnesota Wild, but GM Chuck Fletcher has indicated he could go with Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding and Darcy Kuemper for next season.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Ken Warren lists the Blues, Predators, Ducks and Panthers as four clubs who could deal for Senators captain Jason Spezza. Scanlan speculates the Senators could want Patrik Berglund and Ian Cole as part of the return from the Blues, perhaps Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson from the Predators, centers Andrew Cogliano and Nick Bonino from the Ducks and Dmitry Kulikov along the the first overall pick from the Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Warren is merely spitballing here, not saying those returns are what the Senators want. Those destinations also depend on Spezza approving them as possible destinations.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Joe Starkey offers up some advice for the new Penguins GM, like allowing Marc-Andre Fleury to play out the final year of his contract, trade James Neal to Winnipeg for Evander Kane, and trade defenseman Paul Martin for help up front.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Allowing Fleury to finish his contract and trading Martin for a forward are more likely than swapping Neal for Kane. I don’t see the Jets parting with him.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere recently reported Devils defenseman Mark Fayne is ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery to repair the core muscle in his left groin, but had yet to have meaningful contract talks with the Devils. Fayne is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.