James O’Brien of Pro Hockey via Michael Russo Audio: Indications are that Ducks prospect Justin Schultz won’t be signing with the Ducks. Russo said that a Ducks may look into tampering charges and could go after a “team that already has gotten to Schultz.” Russo “guesses” that Schultz already knows who he’ll sign with and it could be the Maple Leafs. Schultz was drafted by Burke and played with Jake Gardiner.
Larry Brooks of the NY Post: The Rangers could have $20 million in summer cap space if the cap goes up to $76 million. Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi will be UFA after 2 more seasons. The Rangers will look for a defenseman to play with Marc Staal. If the Rangers were to add a Ryan Suter or scoring help in the likes of Rick Nash or Zach Parise, they would need to get rid of a big contract or two. They will look to re-sign Martin Biron and Brandon Prust.
Steve Zipay of Newsday: Zipay thinks the Rangers were missing offensive creativity and skill. Management knew they needed to add scoring at the trade deadline, which is why they offered a package of Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, JT Miller and other prospects and picks for Rick Nash. The Rangers have 8 UFAs: Martin Biron, Brandon Prust, Ruslan Fedotenko, John Mitchell, Stu Bickell, John Scott, Steve Eminger and Jeff Woywitka and 3 RFAs: Michael Del Zotto, Anton Stralman, Mats Zuccarello.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: A month of trade talks surrounding Rick Nash should begin this week, but don’t expect a final decision until late June or early July. Nash’s 5 team trade list may have now been expanded, though the Blue Jackets will move forward as if the list doesn’t exist. A deal could be done around the June 22nd draft. If he’s not traded at the draft, they may wait for the losers of the Ryan Suter and Zach Parise sweepstakes.
Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald: The Boston Bruins have traded for Ray Bourque’s son, Chris. The Bruins send the Capitals center Zach Hamill.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: There are 4 likely scenarios for Zach Parise: He stays with the Devils, he signs with the Red Wings, he signs with the Rangers, and he signs with the Wild. The Rangers know they’d give up much less to sign Parise than trade for Rick Nash. Matheson ranks it Wings, Rangers, Devils and Wild. If the Rangers sign Parise, they may look to move Brandon Dubinsky and his $4.2 million cap hit for the next 3 years. Matheson isn’t buying the Dominik Hasek return, and that he wouldn’t come back to be a backup. Matheson thinks teams should look at sending Capitals John Carlson an offer sheet. Wild’s Devin Setoguchi may become expendable as they have some prospects coming and coach Mike Yeo wasn’t happy with his play last season. Oilers prospect Oscar Klefbom will stay in Sweden for one more year. Matheson wonders if the Wild would consider signing Dustin Penner. GM Chuck Fletcher was with Ducks on 2007. Matheson thinks the Avalanche should be offering up Paul Stastny to the Coyotes, maybe for Brandon Gormley and another piece like Mikkel Boedker.
Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: The Maple Leafs will be looking for a veteran goalie. Trading for Roberto Luongo is one option. Dave Nonis on if Dominik Hasek could be an option:
“I think we’re looking for a veteran — I don’t know if we’re looking for that much of a veteran,”
“We’re going to explore (acquiring a veteran goaltender) as far as we can,” Nonis said. “I don’t think you ever want to guarantee that you’re going to find something because you never know what’s going to become available. But our objective is to see what becomes available and then measure that against what we have in net at this point.”
UFA options could be Tomas Vokoun, Scott Clemmensen, Martin Biron and Alex Auld. Through the trade market, Tim Thomas and Jonathan Bernier could be options.
Mike Johnson of Sportsnet: Dave Nonis said the Maple Leafs Ben Scrivens won’t change the Leafs search for a veteran goalie, and he’d be surprised if they went with a Reimer-Scrivens combo. Nonis added: (complete audio of Nonis interview)
“The UFA market, there are some pieces there that might be able to help (but) generally you don’t want to build your team with UFAs. Not because it’s not good players there, but you’ve got to spend more, generally, for those players,” Nonis explained.
“For us, yes we’ll look at (unrestricted free agency), we’ll probably jump in for a couple pieces, but overall we’re going to approach the trade market as a primary source of improvement.”