Should the Carolina Hurricanes consider trading Jeff Skinner? Will Mike Ribeiro re-sign with the Capitals? Which Devils free agents could return?

Should the Hurricanes shop Jeff Skinner for a skilled defenseman?

Should the Hurricanes shop Jeff Skinner for a skilled defenseman?

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock suggests it might be worth some serious thought for the Carolina Hurricanes to consider shopping forward Jeff Skinner to see what he might fetch in return, especially if it could be an elite defenseman. “With his issues defensively, continuing susceptibility to concussions, a contract that jumps to $5.75 million this season and the Hurricanes’ relative depth at forward – especially if they bring in an immediate-help player with the fifth overall pick in a deep draft – this might not be a bad time to trade the former Calder Trophy winner if, and only if, it means adding a defenseman of comparable quality.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if the Hurricanes front office consider that option, but Skinner might indeed land a quality defenseman. Still, the very issues DeCock noted about Skinner (defensive shortcomings, concussions, salary) could also work against a trade.

WASHINGTON TIMES: Stephen Whyno recently reported a strong playoff showing could help Capitals center Mike Ribeiro land a lucrative long-term contract. Earlier this season, Ribeiro rejected a three-year, $14 million offer from the Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed Ribeiro prefers a five-year deal. A strong playoff showing could help him get it, either with the Capitals or another club via the UFA market.

NJ.COM: Rich Chere believes UFA Patrik Elias “will likely stay” with the New Jersey Devils, but fellow UFA David Clarkson is “probably leaving, maybe to Toronto”. He believes the Devils need forward Dainius Zubrus but wondered if he’d be too expensive and noted they don’t have a blueliner like Marek Zidlicky, though he’s mistake-prone. It appears other UFAs Alexei Ponikarovsky, Steve Sullivan and Tom Kostopoulos will be back.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Clarkson could depart for Toronto this summer, but that’s not a certainty. Other clubs will certainly be interested in him, and we can’t dismiss the possibility of his re-signing with the Devils.