Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Coyotes Mike Smith, GM Don Maloney and coach Dave Tippett don’t have contracts for next season. Smith is seeking $6 million a season.The Sabres could fire GM Darcy Regier and replace him Rick Dudley. Regier could be kept on in a consultants role.The Canucks won’t amnesty buyout Roberto Luongo. GM Mike Gillis still believes that someone will trade for him. Luongo may have to expand his list. The Oilers made a pitch last summer, but he didn’t want to go there. Same with Toronto.
Players in St. Louis may be getting tired of coach Ken Hitchcock’s antics. The picking them apart and calling them out is getting old for some.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish may look to make a trade that has immediate results. Two players that teams may target are Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky.
Jarome Iginla could end up signing with the Kings after July 5th.
James Mirtle: It seems unlikely that the Maple Leafs won’t re-sign Phil Kessel before his contract runs out after next season.
Pierre LeBrun: NHL announces that the Bruins-Penguins game will definitely be played today at 12:30.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: The Coyotes uncertainty will play a role in where UFA Mike Smith will end up. He might be interested remaining in Phoenix, but what if they end up relocating somewhere else? A comparable for Smith could be Jimmy Howard, around $5.3 million.
“From February of last year and through the playoffs, Mike was as good as any goaltender in the league,” said Maloney, one of the NHL’s sharpest minds. “This year, not quite so good. We’re not a cap team and we have to be careful when we’re talking a contract with a five or six in term. We can’t make a mistake.
“You look at the top goalies, the Lundqvists of the world … They’ve done it for three, four, five years in a row and they’ve attained a certain level.
“The long and short of it is Mike is a terrific talent, and if you take a snapshot of what he did last season with what he’s done in his career … we have some, I wouldn’t say uncertainty, but there is a bit of caution there.”
Daren Millard: Ken Daneyko said that the Devils probably can’t afford to pay UFA David Clarkson $5 to $5.5 million a season. They might have to let him walk.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The NHL has rescinded the match penalty that was assessed to Blue Jackets Brandon Dubinsky at the end of Thursday’s game.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: Senators owner Eugene Melnyk won’t talk about the forensic investigation involving the incident where Matt Cooke sliced Erik Karlsson’s Achillies tendon.
“Look, it’s got nothing to do with settling down,” said Melnyk. “I’ve committed to not say anything about it until we’ve completed everything we need to do, and speak to the league about it.
“I’ll do anything I have to do to protect my players. It’s as simple as that, and that’s exactly what I’m doing there, and after that I can’t really comment.
“It’ll take a couple of months before anything really comes out.”
Sasm Donnellon of the Philadelphia Daily News: Donnellon wonders if the Flyers should use an amnesty buyout on Daniel Briere or Ilya Bryzgalov. Briere is due $5 million total over the next two years, but carries a $6.5 million salary cap hit. Briere wants to stay in Philadelphia, Bryzgalov doesn’t seem to care. The 33-year old is under contract till he’s 40. The Flyers have Steve Mason under contract next season at $1.5 million.
Tom Gulitti: Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils against the Panthers.