Updates on Rick Nash, Shea Weber, Shane Doan, and Matt Duchene, plus the latest on the Flyers and Blues.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline has the latest on the Rick Nash trade saga, where a large gap remains between his value to the Blue Jackets and the rest of the NHL. Of the six teams (Boston, Detroit, the New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Jose) believed on Nash’s list of preferred trade destinations, Porzline believes the Rangers and Flyers have the depth in assets to get a deal done.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets management are hoping the reduction of quality talent in the UFA market would increase the chances of getting the return they seek for Nash from teams still seeking a first line scorer. They’re willing to play the waiting game, but so are the clubs who have interest in Nash. I’ll be very surprised if this situation is resolved by the end of August.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes Nashville Predators captain Shea Weber would be a great fit with the Rangers, believing he’s more worth of a king’s ransom than Rick Nash, and speculated upon what it might take for the Rangers to pry him away from the Predators via trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Weber would be a great fit with every NHL team, and it’s possible the Predators could shop him if they’re unable to re-sign him to a long-term deal. For now, however, he’s not on the market.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Paola Boivin feels Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan deserves better than to have his sixteen year association with the club end via free agency due to ongoing uncertainty over its sale to the Jamieson group. Doan has given the Coyotes until July 9th before he being seriously entertaining offers from other teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doan doesn’t want to leave the Coyotes, nor does management want to lose him, but he doesn’t want to risk re-signing with a club which could be playing in another NHL city in a year, one in which he wouldn’t want to play. You can’t blame him if he does decide to sign elsewhere.
DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla believes the Colorado Avalanche should trade Matt Duchene, as they currently have three outstanding center in Paul Stastny, Ryan O’Reilly and Duchene, meaning one of them has to go. Kiszla duly notes Avs fans would prefer Stastny be shopped, but believes Duchene is the better choice as trade bait, perhaps to land someone like Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan or Columbus’ Rick Nash.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an intriguing suggestion, as Duchene’s potential and affordable salary would certainly make him attractive trade bait. That being said, Avs management doesn’t appear to be seriously considering that possibility.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the Flyers have been linked to Shane Doan and Mike Knuble, but the former hopes to re-sign with the Coyotes if they remain in Phoenix, while it appears Flyers management intends to stick with their younger players. They won’t pursue Nash or Ryan unless their respective teams lower their asking prices.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Flyers stick with their current lineup heading into training camp and gauge from there if they need to address any weaknesses.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford reported the Blues did have interest in Matt Carle and Jason Garrison prior to their signings with Tampa Bay and Vancouver respectively. They’re believed to have interest in Calgary’s Jay Bouwmeester and Phoenix’s Keith Yandle.