More speculation the Hurricanes could target Zach Parise in this summer’s UFA market, Oilers Linus Omark takes to Twitter to request a trade, and Saku Koivu hopes to return with the Ducks.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock recently reported Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford confirmed he’d spoken with team ownership regarding the possibility of adding a top-line player in the off-season, stoking speculation Rutherford could target New Jersey’s Zach Parise if the winger tests this summer’s UFA market. “If it’s available by free agency or trade, we’re going to do everything we can to make that happen this year”, said Rutherford.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rutherford never said he’d pursue Parise, as that would be tampering, but TSN reported several weeks ago the Hurricanes could make a serious push for a top line player like Parise. It’s interesting to note Rutherford isn’t ruling out a trade, which might be his best option if Parise becomes a UFA and wants to sign with a Cup contender like the Red Wings or Rangers. It could cost Rutherford a couple of good young players, but don’t expect Jeff Skinner to become trade bait.
EDMONTON SUN/EDMONTON JOURNAL: It’s appears Linus Omark’s days with the Oilers are done, as he recently took to Twitter to say, ““I really hope edm let me have a chance in another nhl team.” GM Steve Tambellini declined to say if Omark, a restricted free agent, will be on the trade block. In other Oilers news, contract talks between the Oilers and Ryan Smyth appear to have stalled, and Tambellini said it would be “business as usual” for the Oilers goalies next season, meaning the current tandem of Devan Dubnyk and Nikolai Khabibulin will return.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: To trade Omark prior to July 1st, the Oilers must qualify his rights, or he’ll become a UFA on that date. It wouldn’t cost much to qualify him, especially if Tambellini gets some interest in Omark from other clubs. As for Smyth, it sounds as though Tambellini isn’t going to waiver from a previous offer, suggesting the decision now rests with Smyth. Things might pick up again in June, but Tambellini knows Smyth wants to finish his career in Edmonton and will try to use that to his advantage. Can’t say I blame him.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Eric Stephens recently reported Anaheim Ducks center Saku Koivu, an unrestricted free agent this summer, hopes to return with the Ducks.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson recently claimed the Ducks plan to move Koivu to their third line, putting them in the market for a second line center. Matheson wondered if the Ducks might have interest in Oilers center Sam Gagner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if the Ducks, or anyone else, are interested in Gagner, or if he’s even available. It’s more interesting that Matheson claims the Ducks want to move Koivu to their third line, as that would indicate their intention is to bring Koivu back next season.