Will the Penguins continue their pursuit of Canucks center Ryan Kesler in the off-season? What could the Flyers do this summer to bolster their defense? What does the future hold for Jets winger Devin Setoguchi?
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi recently reported the Pittsburgh Penguins will continue their pursuit of Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler this summer. Rossi claimed GM Ray Shero wants to re-establish the depth at center he once had when Jordan Staal was part of their lineup. That’s why Shero is believed to have offered up “a prominent roster player (Brandon Sutter), two draft picks (first and third in 2014) and Vancouver’s choice of defensemen Simon Despres or Brian Dumoulin.”
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio recently reported sources claimed the Philadelphia Flyers’ only interest in Kesler was to drive up the asking price for the Penguins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can read my take on this in my recent THN.com column.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi believes the Flyers addition of Andrew MacDonald while shipping Andrej Meszaros to Boston seems to slightly upgrade their third defense pairing but didn’t drastically alter the roster. He also examines how much cap space the Flyers could have by re-signing MacDonald and once again placing Chris Pronger on LTIR. Carchidi also wonders if the Flyers will revisit their previous interest in Nashville’s Shea Weber.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming the salary cap comes in at $68 million instead of $71 million, the Flyers will have $9.5 million in cap space. If they re-sign MacDonald for less than the $5 million per season he was rumored to have sought from the Islanders, it still won’t leave much to re-sign or replace Kimmo Timonen, Brayden Schenn, Ray Emery, Steve Downie and Erik Gustafsson, even with the cap relief they’ll get by placing Pronger on LTIR. It’ll take a trade to land a true top-two defenseman. Even then, they’ll have to free up sufficient cap space to make that move. Once again, it could be another interesting summer for the Flyers.
WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe recently reported Jets winger Devin Setoguchi (linked to the Sharks before the trade deadline) was relieved not to be dealt at the deadline. He’s hoping to help the Jets clinch a playoff berth.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Setoguchi’s been a disappointment for the Jets this season, who hoped he could provide additional punch to their offense at an affordable price. He’s a UFA this summer. Unless he lights it up down the stretch and helps the Jets clinch a playoff berth, I don’t expect he’ll be re-signed.