The latest on Brad Richards, Rick DiPietro, Roberto Luongo, Ian White, Jeff Schultz and more.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont wonders if new Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pushes Avs executive VP of hockey ops Joe Sakic to trade their first overall pick for “a young bonafide goaltender”, suggesting Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings as “the obvi0us target”…Though doubting it happens, Dupont mused about Joe Thornton playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs with Joe Colborne as his understudy for the next two or three years, feeling Thornton could also turn Phil Kessel into a fifty-goal scorer…Ryane Clowe will probably have to take a pay cut from the $3.625 million he made this season if he wants to remain with the NY Rangers…Sergei Gonchar would have to take a pay cut to re-sign with the Senators. Dupont believes he’ll most likely move on to a team like Dallas or Phoenix where he’ll make 25 cents on the dollar.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs reportedly (see below) would entertain trading down but it would take a huge offer for them to consider going lower than third overall. It’ll take more than Bernier for the Kings to tempt the Avs into parting with that first overall pick…I doubt the Sharks part with Thornton. Though I recently advocated shopping him, I believe the Sharks will try to re-sign Thornton to a shorter, less expensive contract. He loves living and playing in San Jose…Clowe won’t take a pay cut. He’ll move on for bigger bucks…I agree Gonchar would have to accept less money to remain with the Senators. Not sure if he wants to do that.
CBC.CA (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports the agent for Tim Thomas said there’s nothing new to report on the status of his client, but Friedman claims there’s some speculation Thomas could try to stage a comeback, either in the NHL or in Europe…Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said the Avs are willing to consider trading the first overall pick, but it would take a significant offer for them to consider trading past third overall…Friedman also reported the NY Islanders have let other NHL teams know if they’re willing to take Rick DiPietro’s contract off their hands, they’re willing to discuss an asset exchange to make it work.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Thomas wants to make a comeback there will be interest in him around the NHL, though considering his age and the fact he took a year off, he’ll have to accept a short-term (1-2 year) bonus-laden contract with a base salary around $3 million…Just because the Avs are saying they’re willing to consider shopping the first overall pick doesn’t mean they will, but it doesn’t hurt to see what kind of offers they could get. It would have to be significant (at least one good, young, established NHL player, a top prospect and a first round pick) for the Avs to move it…The Isles would have to toss in a decent young player or a prospect to tempt a rival club to take DiPietro’s contract and then buy it out.Not saying a deal can’t be done, but it certainly won’t be easy. There was talk of a Luongo-for-DiPietro swap, but the Canucks would certainly want a decent player thrown in, and their ownership would have to be willing to buy out DiPietro.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports it’s still possible the NY Rangers use their remaining compliance buyout on Brad Richards, but management might consider retaining him for next season to see if he can rebound under their new head coach.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap space is the issue, as well as the need to improve their scoring. With Ryan McDonagh, Carl Hagelin and Derek Stepan to be re-signed and $13.5 million in cap space, there doesn’t appear to be enough to address those needs without buying out Richards, unless Sather can shed salary elsewhere. We’ll see.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: recently cited an interview by TSN’s Darren Dreger in which he suggests Roberto Luongo might refuse to attend training camp this fall if the Canucks haven’t traded him by then…It also appears Ian White might not be returning with the Detroit Red Wings.
CSNWASHINGTON: Ben Raby reports Capitals GM George McPhee will do what he can to accommodate Jeff Schultz’s trade request.
THE TENNESSEAN: The Nashville Predators will listen to offers for their first round pick, which is fourth overall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Shea Weber and the fourth overall to Colorado for the first overall. Whaddya say? Kidding, of course, just beating some of the wackier rumormongers to the punch.