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BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports the Bruins overage penalties (approximately $4.75 million) have made it difficult to re-sign RFAs Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Even if they move out some salary to free up space, Shinzawa speculates the most the pair will get is a one-year deal, allowing them to become RFAs again next summer with arbitration rights. The Bruins already face re-signing Dougie Hamilton (RFA) next summer, while David Krejci, Johnny Boychuk, Carl Soderberg, Daniel Paille, Matt Bartkowski, Gregory Campbell, and Adam McQuaid will be unrestricted. The Bruins run the risk of losing a number of key players next summer, just as the New York Rangers did this past summer. Shinzawa also notes the Chicago Blackhawks will be in the same boat next summer, having to re-sign RFA (and blossoming star) Brandon Saad, while Brad Richards, Johnny Oduya and Michal Rozsival will be eligible for UFA status.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s expected the Bruins will trade one of their defensemen to free up additional space for Krug and Reilly. It will take a bold move indeed to free up sufficient room to re-sign the duo beyond this season, which would mean dealing away a player or two under contract beyond this season. It’s assumed GM Peter Chiarelli will be thinking short-term and deal with the consequences following this season.
NHL.COM: Derek Van Diest reports the Edmonton Oilers pursued an offensive center this summer to replace Sam Gagner, who was dealt earlier this summer to Tampa Bay and Arizona in a three-team trade. They were unable to find one, forcing them to look to within (Mark Arcobello, Leon Draisaitl, Anton Lander) to fill the role…Dan Rosen reports the Detroit Red Wings sought a right-handed, top-four defenseman this summer. They struck out in their pursuit of Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle, leaving them with seven left-handed shots on their blueline. Rosen believes GM Ken Holland still wants to address this issue…Alain Poupart reports the Florida Panthers could have another long season offensively if their promising young forwards fail to make an impact this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been suggested the Oilers could sign a veteran forward via unrestricted free agency, but as we can see, there’s really not many available who can address their needs. I’m assuming they’ll evaluate their lineup next month before deciding if a trade is in order. If those younger centers listed by Van Diest fail to pan out, Oilers management won’t have much choice but to swing a trade…The trade market has gone quiet over the past month but I have no doubt Holland remains keen on landing that right-handed blueliner. Don’t be surprised if he makes a deal later in the preseason. Keep an eye on Washington’s Mike Green as the Wings are believed very interested in him…Earlier this summer Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he was willing to move some of his assets (mainly prospects) to add an experienced sniper to his lineup. Tallon could step up his search during preseason.