The latest on Tim Thomas, Zach Parise, Jeff Carter, and Sam Gagner.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports Tim Thomas’s decision not to attend the White House ceremony honoring the Bruins Cup championship because of his political views could be the first step in Thomas and the Bruins parting ways. Thomas’ “no-movement” clause expires at the end of this season, and he has one season left on his current contract, while Tuukka Rask, a restricted free agent this summer, should be ready to assume the starter’s job next season. Shinzawa suggests the Bruins could reap a significant return for Thomas if he maintains his current performance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Prior to Thomas’ snub of the White House ceremony, there was no thought anywhere of the Bruins shopping him. With all due respect to Shinzawa, I think he’s over-reacting here. Sure, it’s possible Thomas could be moved this summer, but it simply makes no sense to trade the guy who carried your team to a Stanley Cup title, who’s won the Vezina trophy as the league’s top goalie two of the past three years, is a likely nominee for it again this season, and could well backstop the Bruins to another Cup this season, because of his political views.
NEW YORK POST: Yet another report suggesting the New Jersey Devils have to decide if they’ll re-sign Zach Parise or trade him at the trade deadline rather than risk losing him for nothing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I stand by my previous comments: I don’t see the Devils trading Parise as long as they remain in the playoff hunt.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports Columbus Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter is “100 percent available”, though his hefty contract could prove difficult to move. Dreger said the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite recent rumors, have not spoken to the Blue Jackets about Carter, nor are they interested in him, as GM Brian Burke wants nothing to do with that contract. The Jackets apparently want a return similar to what they gave up for Carter, that being a good young player and a first round pick…Dreger also reported Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner might be moved at the trade deadline. He said the Oilers aren’t shopping Gagner or saying he’s available, but every time GM Steve Tambellini talks to other teams about a defenseman, Gagner’s name comes up.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s that contract which leads me to conclude the Jackets, if they are shopping Carter, won’t find any takers…Gagner, on the other hand, could be a moveable piece if the Oilers hope to land a quality defenseman, though that might not occur during the trade deadline, but perhaps in the off-season if it appears they can’t bring in one via the free agent market.