The latest on Joe Thornton, Patrick Sharp, Ryan Miller, Thomas Vanek, Paul Stastny, Dave Bolland and more. 

Despite his agent's denials, trade speculation still dogs Patrick Sharp.

Despite his agent’s denials, trade speculation still dogs Patrick Sharp.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes the San Jose Sharks can’t undergo full rebuild until they can convince Joe Thornton to accept a trade. Toronto and Detroit are among the clubs thought to be interested in Thornton…Despite the denials of Patrick Sharp’s agent, speculation persists the Blackhawks’ winger is available….The Penguins have nine players to sign and only $13 million in cap space…The Canadiens hope to re-sign defenseman Mike Weaver, who’s believed seeking something in the ranger of $2 million per season…It’s believed the Panthers could target Toronto’s Dave Bolland via free agency…The Canucks could have interest in Ryan Miller or Jonas Hiller…Reports indicated the Wild are interested in pending UFAs Thomas Vanek and Matt Niskanen…There’s talk the Bruins could trade Chris Kelly to shed some salary…The Blues, Predators, Maple Leafs and Red Wings could make a push for Paul Stastny if he hits the UFA market.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Thornton has decided he’s not waiving his movement clause there’s no decision the Sharks can make…The Blackhawks got under the cap by trading Brandon Bollig yesterday to Calgary, but they have little wiggle room and certainly none to take on a second-line center. They’ll have to move out another salaried player this summer…If the Habs are shopping Josh Gorges that could work in Weaver’s favor…I think the Panthers will sign Bolland if he hits the market. He and Panthers GM Dale Tallon know each other from their days with the Blackhawks…I expect the Canucks will pursue Miller or Hiller. Let’s face it, a goalie tandem of Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom doesn’t inspire much confidence…The Wild reportedly want Vanek to agree to a one- to three-year deal in order to pursue Niskanen…Kelly has a no-trade clause, but could waive it for the right team…Stastny stands to be the most-pursued player in this summer’s UFA market.

ESPN.COM: Scott Burnside listed several teams which still have work to do following the NHL Draft weekend. The Senators, of course, still have to move Jason Spezza…The Predators could pursue affordable center options like Brad Richards, Mike Ribeiro and possibly Vincent Lecavalier…He wonders if Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau will agree to be dealt…With the Coyotes buying out Ribeiro and allowing Radim Vrbata to test the UFA market, Burnside wonders if they’ll shop defenseman Keith Yandle for a scoring forward…The Red Wings might pursue defenseman Dan Boyle…The Blues could look at Spezza or Paul Stastny…The Blackhawks need to shed some cap space if they hope to land a second-line center.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Predators will be busy via trade and/or free agency to add a playmaking center to play alongside recently-acquired winger James Neal…The Coyotes are clearing the decks to bolster their scoring via trade and/or free agency. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if they move Keith Yandle for a scoring forward. He has two seasons left on his contract at $5.25 million annually and lacks a no-trade clause.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers could pursue Devils pending UFA defenseman Mark Fayne as a potential replacement for Anton Stralman, who is expected to test the UFA market on July 1. They could also have interest in another Devils free agent, Ryan Carter. He would be seen as a replacement for Brian Boyle. It appears the Rangers won’t be re-signing 2014 Masterton winner and faceoff specialist Dominic Moore.

STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Jarome Iginla emerges as a free-agent candidate for the Minnesota Wild if he doesn’t re-sign with Boston. The Wild are also believed to have interest in Thomas Vanek and Matt Niskanen.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For all the talk linking the Wild to some of this summer’s notable free agent, Russo points out GM Chuck Fletcher isn’t about to blow his budget on them. Fletcher wants to ensure he has sufficient long-term cap space to re-sign his key younger players over the next couple of years. 

THE TENNESSEAN: Josh Cooper reports the addition of James Neal could help the Nashville Predators become a more attractive destination for free agent scorers this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly won’t hurt. Still, the Predators are known as a budget team, and free agents will want assurances they’re a club committed to building toward Cup contention. 

NJ.COM: Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan confirms his club has interest in soon-to-be UFA goalie Martin Brodeur.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t let your heads explode, Leafs fans. Shanahan said they expressed an interest but nothing more than that. If Brodeur sticks to his intent of signing with a contender, he won’t be joining the Leafs.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports sources claim the Flyers “left no stone unturned” trying to trade Vincent Lecavalier (who’s owed a $2 million bonus on July 1) during the draft. If they cannot trade him before July 1, Panaccio speculates the Flyers’ only choice will be to buy out the remainder of his contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It won’t be a compliance buyout as Lecavalier signed his current contract last summer. As per CapGeek, the buyout calculation is as follows:

  • 2014-15: $1,500,000
  • 2015-16: $3,000,000
  • 2016-17: $3,000,000
  • 2017-18: $2,500,000
  • 2018-19: $1,000,000
  • 2019-20: $1,000,000
  • 2020-21: $1,000,000
  • 2021-22: $1,000,000

WINNIPEG SUN: Ken Wiebe reports the Jets could have interest in pending UFA Jussi Jokinen.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika examined the Stars free agency options this summer.

DETROIT FREE PRESS: Helene St. James speculates Dan Boyle would be a more affordable free-agent option for the Red Wings than Matt Niskanen. Trade options include Arizona’s Keith Yandle and Buffalo’s Tyler Myers but the asking prices would be expensive.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Boyle is likely to sign with the Red Wings. 

TVA SPORTS: The Montreal Canadiens could have interest in pending UFA defenseman (and former Hab) Stephane Robidas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can understand the need to add a veteran blueliner if they’re shopping Josh Gorges, but Robidas is ageing and has been hampered by serious leg injuries. Not a good option.

TRIBLIVE.COM: Josh Yohe reports the Pittsburgh Penguins could have interest in Toronto’s pending UFA winger Nikolai Kulemin, who’s a friend of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.