The latest Leafs speculation, the latest musings on potential coaching changes, and updates on the Sedins, Cam Ward, Tomas Vanek and more.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Adam Proteau believes the Canucks should stage a serious rebuild by shopping the Sedins and Ryan Kesler for as much as they can get in return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I concur with Adam, as the Canucks don’t want to turn into a steadily declining team as the Flames were during Jarome Iginla’s final seasons. However, they’ll likely keep the Sedins and move Kesler.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the Maple Leafs must re-sign center Dave Bolland, even if it means overpaying him…Simmons wonders how much impact MLSE CEO Tim Leiweke could have on Randy Carlyle’s future as Leafs head coach…If the Predators fire long-time head coach Barry Trotz, how long until another club hires him? If the Penguins suffer an early playoff exit, could head coach Dan Bylsma lose his job?…The Leafs, Avalanche and Lightning could have serious interest in signing former Leaf Leo Komarov as a UFA this summer…Terry Koshan reports of speculation Leafs goalie James Reimer could request a trade this summer…Koshan also speculates Leafs defenseman Cody Franson could be dealt this summer if the Leafs miss the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Re-signing Bolland could cost the Leafs $5 million per season on a six-seven year deal…Komarov’s indicated his preference is to return with the Leafs. They have over $22 million in cap space, but there might not be much of that left once they’re dong re-signing or replacing other key players…I still believe Reimer’s as good as gone this summer, probably by the NHL Draft weekend in June. I could also see them move Franson.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes either Canucks GM Mike Gillis or Canucks head coach John Tortorella could lose their job at season’s end…The top candidates for the position of Flames general manager are Capitals GM George McPhee, Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman, and Maple Leafs assistants Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle… Prior to the Islanders dealing Thomas Vanek to the Canadiens he spurned their seven-year, $50 million contract offer. Garrioch believes that could be the starting point for offers Vanek could receive as a UFA this summer…It’s believed three groups have interest in purchasing the Islanders before their move next year to Brooklyn…Capitals coach Adam Oates could lose his job at season’s end…The Hurricanes could shop goalie Cam Ward this summer. While the Oilers seem an obvious destination they recently added Ben Scrivens and Viktor Fasth. The Flames, Islanders, Sabres and Capitals could be seeking a goalie this summer…Garrioch believes the Hurricanes must decide if they’ll buy out the remaining four years of Alexander Semin’s contract, claiming if they don’t this summer they won’t get another chance…If the Blues suffer another early playoff exit, coach Ken Hitchcock could lose his job…Serious contract talks between the Canadiens and P.K. Subban could take place in the off-season…The Panthers hope to re-sign RFAs Dmitry Kulikov and Erik Gudbranson. They could take a run at Toronto’s Dave Bolland and Minnesota’s Matt Moulson if they become UFAs this summer…The Oilers are expected to bring back Dallas Eakins next season as their coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Vanek will almost certainly get another expensive, long-term deal this summer as a UFA, probably in the ballpark of that seven-year, $50 million range…I think the Hurricanes will have to pick up part of the remaining two years of Ward’s contract ($6.3 million annual cap hit) to move him this summer…As for a Semin buyout, I think Garrioch is referring to a compliance buyout when he said if they don’t do so this summer they won’t get another chance. This June is the last time teams can avail themselves of their compliance buyout options. Regular buyouts are still allowed and will continue over the remainder of this CBA.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks also believes either Gillis or Tortorella lose their job at season’s end. He claims Tortorella is quietly spreading word former Flames and Lightning GM Jay Feaster is a general manager he can work with…Brooks believes Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller will be replaced this summer.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports the Bruins are expected to carry a $4.5 million cap penalty into next season for exceeding this year’s $64.3 million cap ceiling due to bonuses to Jarome Iginla, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug. Even by placing Marc Savard on LTIR again for next season, they must re-sign those three, as well as RFAs Matt Bartkowski, Reilly Smith, Jordan Caron and Niklas Svedberg…Shinzawa believes the NY Rangers should re-sign pending UFA Benoit Pouliot, who’s been a good fit this season on their third line.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Without subtracting Savard’s $4.027 million cap hit, the Bruins have a little over $9 million in cap space next summer. Even by subtracting Savard’s cap hit, they’ll be no further ahead by being hit with $4. 5 million in cap penalties. So, either Igina goes unsigned, or the Bruins trade or use a compliance buyout to shed some salary, meaning they won’t be major players in this summer’s UFA market.