Latest on Phil Kessel, Tom Gilbert and Daniel Cleary, plus the latest moves by the Flyers & Capitals could result in trades.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reports chatter around the league pegs the asking price for Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel at $8.5 million per season, comparable to the eight-year, $69 million contract recently signed by Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry. Shinzawa considers that “fair value” for Kessel, believing if the winger hits next summer’s UFA market he’ll get a seven-year deal worth over $8 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree. Yes, I’ve read the opinions of some fans (including readers of this site) rejecting that evaluation. Trust me, if he doesn’t get over $8 million per season from the Leafs, he’ll get it elsewhere next summer. If the Leafs can get him to agree to a deal worth $7 million per season (front-loaded, of course, as salary variance still allows for that, albeit at a much reduced rate), consider it a bargain.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio wonders why the Flyers would offer Hal Gill a training camp tryout, unless they’re planning “on trading at least one player of significant salary and replacing that player with someone with a far lesser cap hit.” Panaccio cited a club source claiming the Flyers hope another team in need of defense so they can shed some salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Braydon Coburn ($4.5 million per season, modified NTC) was reportedly being shopped in June, and there was some talk Andrej Meszaros ($4 million) could be available once he’s medically cleared to play. Failing that, Gill might not earn a roster spot with the Flyers, but if he has a strong camp could be signed by another team.
WASHINGTON POST/CSNWASHINGTON: report the Capitals re-signing of Marcus Johansson leaves the club with a little over $665K in cap space. If prospect winger Tom Wilson makes the club, it could force the Capitals to shed salary to make room for his $1.29 million salary. Possible trade candidates could include “Mathieu Perreault [one-year, $1.05 million], Jason Chimera [one year, $1.75 million], Aaron Volpatti [two years at $575,000 each], and defenseman John Erskine [two years at $1.962 million each].”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Keep an eye on the Capitals over the course of training camp. If they need to free up salary, they could also demote Volpatti and perhaps Perreault to free up cap space if they can’t find any takers via trade or waivers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently reports former Minnesota Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert could wind up in Switzerland if an NHL team doesn’t sign him. Matheson also believes Daniel Cleary could sign with the Dallas Stars, noting former Red Wings assistant GM Jim Nill is now the Stars GM, plus Cleary’s friend Shawn Horcoff now plays for the Stars.