Latest on Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby, Tim Thomas, Alexander Radulov, Guillaume Latendresse and more.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports several teams have expressed interest in Pittsburgh Penguins center Jordan Staal, but if he’s shopped, LeBrun believes the Carolina Hurricanes would have the most interest…Sidney Crosby’s agent acknowledged preliminary contract discussions have begun with the Penguins…An NHL team executive suggested one way the Boston Bruins could get Tim Thomas off their books would be to trade him to a club struggling to reach the cap floor, even if Thomas makes good on his vow to sit out next season…Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray has touched base with defenseman Filip Kuba. Murray’s interested in retaining Kuba, but said it would have to make sense financially for the club…LeBrun speculates Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Suter could test this summer’s UFA market, but keep the Predators in the mix.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Penguins GM Ray Shero said his intent was to re-sign Staal and Crosby, but if the Penguins decide they can’t keep Staal, I would certainly expect the Hurricanes to be very interested in him…If the Bruins were to explore shopping Thomas to a team needing help to reach the cap floor, they’ll have to do it before the current CBA expires on September 15th, as a new CBA could put the kibosh on making such a move…Interesting bit about Kuba, as reports out of Ottawa earlier this week claimed he and the Senators were parting company. If Kuba hopes to stay, however, he’ll have to accept a pay cut…Remains to be seen how the Suter situation plays out, but I could see him fielding offers after July 1 from rival clubs, then giving the Preds a chance to match or beat the best one.
TSN.CA: Responding to reader e-mail, Darren Dreger doubted the NY Rangers had serious trade interest in Nashville’s Alexander Radulov, and dismisses the notion of the Chicago Blackhawks shopping Patrick Kane.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The NY Post recently reported the Rangers had contacted the Predators about Radulov, but didn’t indicate how serious their interest might be. As for Kane, the trade rumors are based upon his recent off-ice partying habits, but that’s no reason to trade him, unless they start to affect his performance.
DELCOTIMES: Rob Parent suggests the Philadelphia Flyers should make a serious pitch for Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber, a pending restricted free agent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Weber seeks a trade, the Predators intent is to re-sign he and Ryan Suter. Negotiations with the latter currently have priority, with the result of those talks becoming a determining factor in Weber’s negotiations. He’s a restricted free agent, so they’re not facing the same deadline to re-sign him as they are with Suter. Yes, the possibility exists Weber could get an offer sheet, but given how infrequently that tactic is employed, and with a new CBA looming, I doubt the Predators are concerned about that possibility.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild winger Guilluame Latendresse claims to be free of concussion symptoms and is hoping to return with the club. Latendresse is a restricted free agent, but given his recent injury history, Russo believes the Wild could either cut him loose, or re-sign him to a one-year, bonus-laden contract. Latendresse is certain he won’t get a qualifying offer from the club, but remains hopeful of getting a new deal with them. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher also plans to meet with pending UFA Josh Harding’s agent. If Harding decides to test the market, the Wild could seek a backup goalie.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Wild decide to pass on Latendresse, I believe he could find another NHL team to sign with, though it’ll be a one-year “show me” bonus-laden deal similar to that suggested by Russo. If the Wild do need to go shopping for a backup goalie, there’s plenty of good ones available in this summer’s market.
WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals will not be re-signing forward Jeff Halpern, who is eligible for UFA status on July 1.