Latest on the Canadian teams, as well as the Flyers.
TSN.CA: Darren Dreger reports the Columbus Blue Jackets would like to move Rick Nash now, but if New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise hits the open market on July 1, they might have to wait until beyond that date to get a “true sense” of what the trade market has to offer…The Maple Leafs refute trade rumors about blueliner Luke Schenn and aren’t willing to part with promising Jake Gardiner, but teams “are aware” they have extra d-men available…The Canadiens hope to get bigger and stronger, wishing to add a left wing to play with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta, as well as a top-four defenseman…If Senators owner Eugene Melnyk could be convinced to part with the cash, they could take a run at Rick Nash, though that could be a longshot. They could move a goalie (Robin Lehner or Ben Bishop) along with draft picks…The Jets hope to re-sign RFA goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who’s reportedly getting interest from the KHL. Jets management and Evander Kane’s agents say he has not sought a trade and there’s been no trade talks with teams who’ve expressed interest in him…The Canucks are in “listening mode” regarding Roberto Luongo and there’s a good chance he won’t be dealt this coming weekend. GM Mike Gillis is warning off anyone thinking of pitching an offer sheet to Cory Schneider…The Oilers seek two young top four defenseman, and could try to sign soon-to-be UFA blueliner Justin Schultz. Their first round pick is only in play for teams willing to part with a top blueliner. Dreger also suggests they’d be interested in Nashville defensemen Ryan Ellis or Shea Weber if they became available via trade…The Calgary Flames are willing to consider all trade scenarios not involving Jarome Iginla or Miikka Kiprusoff, among those being Mikael Backlund and Jay Bouwmeester.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger obviously put his time lounging beside his pool this weekend to good use! Just kidding…Regardless of when Nash is moved, it’s certain he will be dealt at some point this summer…The Leafs would probably love to dump Mike Komisarek’s contract, but they probably would get more interest in Carl Gunnarsson or Cody Franson…The Habs’ priority is probably on adding more size and scoring up front, and could be forced to consider trade options rather than the thin free agent market to do so…I don’t believe Melnyk is interested in acquiring Nash and his big contract, as the Sens seem content to maintain their rebuilding process…Finally! Someone addressed the Evander Kane rumors! And as expected, they were baseless…The Canucks aren’t in any rush to move Luongo, but it doesn’t mean they won’t do it. They’ll want a deal, however, that make sense, rather than just dumping him and his salary…Sounds like the Oilers will be keeping that first overall pick, and I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for Ellis or Weber to become available…Could Jay Bouwmeester be on the move for the second draft weekend in four years? Can’t say I’m surprised that Feaster isn’t keen to move Iginla or Kiprusoff. Doesn’t mean he won’t, but it would have to be a significant offer, and I don’t believe there will be one coming for either player.
PHILLY.COM: Frank Seravalli reported Flyers GM Paul Holmgren met with the media on Monday to discuss his club’s draft and free agent plans. Among the highlights: Holmgren laughed off a rumor claiming his club wasn’t on Columbus winger Rick Nash’s supposed list of preferred destinations; it’s unlikely he’ll deal for the rights of any pending UFAs before July 1; he expects to be “proactive” in efforts to improve his club this summer; he expressed confidence in winger James van Riemsdyk’s development, adding he “is our player right now”; league salary tagging rules prevents him from re-signing defenseman Matt Carle and forward Jaromir Jagr; he remains confident of getting a deal done with Carle, and has interest in Jagr, though it’s now believed the veteran forward will test this summer’s UFA market.
Sam Carchidi, meanwhile, cited “an NHL source” claiming the Flyers will make inquiries about Zach Parise and Ryan Suter if they hit the UFA market on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see why the Flyers would want Nash, when in my opinion it’s their defense which could need bolstering, especially if Chris Pronger can’t return next season. Holmgren won’t just sit on his hands and will gauge what’s available, and if he could land Suter, I think he’d go for it. As for Matt Carle, I believe it’s already a done deal and will be officially announced on July 1st. Jagr, on the other hand, might be playing elsewhere by the sound of things.