Teams line up to pursue prospect Justin Schultz, the lack of depth in this year’s UFA market, the reason for a lack of trades, and updates on Matt Carle, Benoit Pouliot and Martin Biron.


UFA prospect Schultz will have lots of NHL suitors.

FACEOFF.COM: Ben Kuzma believes  the “Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers will be front-runners” for former Anaheim Ducks prospect defenseman Justin Schultz, while “the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks” will also get into the bidding.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports the Detroit Red Wings have begun pursuing Schultz.

CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports the Flyers are expected to get into the bidding for Schultz.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports Senators assistant GM Tim Murray believes his club has a shot at landing the young blueliner.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson reports the Oilers will try to sell Schultz on joining their young, rebuilding team.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Khan observed, it’s opportunity, not money, which will determine where Schultz lands, as he’s bound for the next two seasons by the limitations of an NHL entry level contract.  I hope, for Schultz’s sake, he’s as good as the hype. Blake Wheeler did the same thing a few years ago, and while he now appears on the verge of becoming a quality scoring forward with the Jets, it took him several years and two NHL teams to reach that point. Schultz could face the same adjustment period as Wheeler, only higher expectations, which would be worse.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan examines the slim pickings beyond Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in this year’s UFA market. Among the notables: PA Parenteau (Islanders), Brandon Prust (Rangers), Dustin Penner (Kings), Jason Arnott (Blues) and Paul Gaustad (Predators).

THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington reports trades are scarce with the start of the UFA period approaching, but that could change after the best available free agent talent is signed.

PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports the focus of Flyers management now is upon re-signing pending UFA defenseman Matt Carle. GM Paul Holmgren suggests he probably won’t be in the market for a defenseman if he gets Carle re-signed.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Carle wants to stay and Holmgren wants to re-sign him, but can’t do it before July 1st lest he violate the league’s salary “tagging” rule for this season. Don’t be surprised if Carle is re-signed on July 1.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Damian Cristodero reports the agent for recently-acquired Lightning forward Benoit Pouliot expects his client will re-sign with the Bolts.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers hope to re-sign backup goalie Martin Biron. They’re also expected to pursue UFA blueline prospect Justin Schultz.