Check out the latest collection of NHL trade & free agent rumors from the Edmonton Journal, NY Post, Calgary Sun, Boston Globe and Buffalo News.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes Washington Capitals forward Alexander Semin is “virtually untradeable” even with his one year, $6 million contract…He “loves Jeff Carter” but consider Claude Giroux just as good, suggesting the Flyers offer up Carter to the Minnesota Wild for goalie Niklas Backstrom, or calling the LA Kings on Jonathan Quick and another body… Matheson also handicaps the Montreal Canadiens defence field on which guys they want to bring back, listing Andrei Markov, Hal Gill, James Wisniewski, Roman Hamrlik, Brent Sopel and Paul Mara, in that order…NY Rangers forward Chris Drury and Sean Avery could become buyout candidates…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Here’s why “Carter for Backstrom” won’t work: the latter carrying an expensive $6 million per season cap hit, plus the Wild have no one to step up and fill his shoes. They’d only be trading one problem for another. Yes, Carter would boost their scoring, but they’d struggle to keep the puck out of their own net. Quick, on the other hand, would be intriguing. It’s unlikely the Kings would trade him, but if the Flyers offered up Carter, you’d have to think their front office would give it some consideration. Not saying they’d make that move, but it would make them go, “hmmmmm…..”Anyway, Flyers management has been reluctant to move Carter so I doubt they’ll shop him for a goalie…I agree with his take on the Canadiens UFA defensemen, as well as the possibility of Drury and Avery as buyout material.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks suggests the Philadelphia Flyers should contact the NY Islanders about Evgeni Nabokov, whose one year, $570K contract the Isles intend to toll toward next season. Brooks dismissed the notion of signing Ilya Bryzgalov, citing the Flyers limited cap space as one reason, as well as the notion of the Flyers giving up either James van Reimdyk or Claude Giroux for Vancouver backup Cory Schneider or LA’s Jonathan Bernier, or finding takers for Carter’s 11-year contract or Mike Richard’s nine-year deal. The Isles apparently intend to move Nabokov before or during the June entry draft, and while he has a “n0-trade” clause in his contract he’d probably agree to waive it to go to a perpetual contender….Brooks also considers Semin’s contract virtually immovable…He also wondered if Patrice Bergeron’s recent concussion might give the Rangers pause in their anticipated pursuit this summer of Brad Richards, who also has a concussion history…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Nabokov would be the Flyers best bet if they don’t wish to give up a quality player for either an established starter or a potential one like Schneider or Bernier… Semin’s not going anywhere, due to his salary and his reputation for coming up small in the playoffs…I daresay Rangers management aren’t that concerned over Richards concussion history, which isn’t as severe as Bergeron’s.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis believes Flyers GM Paul Holmgren’s unwillingness to blame his goaltending for his club being swept out of the playoffs by the Bruins probably means Sergei Bobrovsky will return next season as their starter, and with limited cap space and key forward Ville Leino to re-sign, they lack the dollars to bring in anyone of note. Michael Leighton, who’s under contract for next season, could be Bobrovsky’s backup…Ilya Bryzgalov’s agent denied his client is in talks with SKA St. Petersburg, adding he’s meeting with Coyotes management next week to open talks on a new contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers could very well return with Bobrovsky and Leighton, but if they could land Nabokov they could waive and demote Leighton…If the city of Glendale agrees to cover the Phoenix Coyotes potential losses for next season while buying time to finalize the sale of the team to Matthew Hulsizer, that could have a positive impact upon the Coyotes efforts to retain Bryzgalov.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports the Buffalo Sabres could go shopping this summer thanks to new deep-pocketed owner Terry Pegula, plus the likelihood Tim Connolly and Mike Grier might not be re-signed. Dupont feels they’ll shop for depth on their blueline…He also suggested the Blackhawks might’ve been better off this season if they’d traded Patrick Kane rather than moving out players like Dustin Byfuglien and Antti Niemi. Marty Turco is not expected back with the Blackhawks next season…Marco Sturm’s days of earning $3.5 million per season are over, suggesting maybe a club like Ottawa or Columbus offers him a one-year, $800K contract this summer…
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t be surprising at all if the Sabres shop for blueline depth, as there’ll be some notable defensemen potentially available this summer, including Joni Pitkanen and Tomas Kaberle, though the latter’s poor performance since joining the Bruins could scare off potential suitors…The Blackhawks suffered this season due to moving out several depth players, but those players can and will be replaced. Niemi has already been replaced by Corey Crawford. Trading away Kane would’ve been foolish, as he’s one of the franchise’s cornerstones around which they rebuilt into a champion, and could do so again…Sturm likely will become an affordable depth signing this summer for someone, though his lengthy injury history will adversely affect his market value.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Bucky Gleason recently reported Sabres defenseman Shaone Morrisonn isn’t likely to crack the roster next season but still has another year at $2.075 million remaining on his contract, meaning he could be bought out or demoted….Unless the Sabres come up with an incredible pitch, they’re unlikely to sign Brad Richards.