Tidbits on Price, Parise, Thornton, Marleau, Luongo and more, courtesy of the Ottawa Sun and Toronto Sun.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports it could be a difficult task for the Montreal Canadiens to re-sign goalie Carey Price, a restricted free agent currently making $3 million who could double his money when the dust settles. Price has arbitration rights but could still be of interest to teams in need of goaltending, like Toronto and Tampa Bay. Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and Nashville’s Shea Weber are two other notable RFAs who could be of interest to rival teams this summer…If the Sharks miss the playoffs, could they part ways with Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau?…Some observers have suggested Devils UFA winger Zach Parise might be a good fit with the LA Kings, but “many wonder” if the Kings acquisition of Jeff Carter lessens the chances of landing Parise. The Minnesota Wild “has emerged as the favorite to sign Parise”…Garrioch also wondered if the Maple Leafs could land Roberto Luongo if the Canucks fall apart in the playoffs and Luongo doesn’t get the job done again…If Scott Howson is still GM of the Blue Jackets on draft day, he apparently could use the first overall pick to select Swedish winger Filip Forsberg, rather than Russian RW Nail Yakupov…Garrioch also recently speculated the Senators might consider re-signing pending UFA blueliner Filip Kuba if he carries over his strong play this season into the playoffs.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Price and Karlsson will get their money from their current clubs, as could Weber, depending of course on how the Predators fare in the playoffs, and how much they’re willing to spend…Thornton and Marleau are signed through 2013-14 to expensive ($7 million and $6.9 million respectively) contracts, with full “no-movement” clauses. I have my doubts…Folks keep saying the Wild are the favorites to sign Parise, because of course he’s a Minnesota boy, but they overlook one key factor: Parise has stated he wants to play for a Stanley Cup contender. The Wild look anything like that…If the Canucks were to shop Luongo this summer, he controls his destination (full “no-trade” clause), plus there’s reportedly bad blood between the Leafs and Canucks management, so any swap between those two teams seems unlikely…If Kuba’s willing to accept a one-year deal for less than the $3.7 million he’s making this season, the Senators will keep him.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons believes the Blue Jackets have no choice but to trade the first overall pick, as it would be counterproductive not to use it to select one of the top three prospects, all of which are Russians, whom the Jackets could shy away from because of their previous bad experiences drafting Russians with first round picks…The Maple Leafs might have interest in Anaheim Ducks prospect, and Jake Gardiner’s former college defense partner, Justin Schultz…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets will be the team to watch in the days leading up to the entry draft weekend, as they’ll also be shopping team captain Rick Nash around that time.