Darren Dreger: If the Penguins lose in 4 or 5 games, they could have an interesting offseason. Some people think that Evgeni Malkin could become a trade target. Bruce Arthur points out that Malkin had 10 shots last night and was “magnificent” and doesn’t think he’ll be traded. Dreger responds that it’s hard to imagine, but after the cap goes down for next year, it likely won’t be going up the following year that much and it will force the Penguins into a tough decision with Malkin or Kris Letang.
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal: Staples thinks the Oilers should consider trading down from the No. 7 slot in this year’s NHL draft unless they are convinced that they are “seven truly remarkable players” in the draft. There is about a 40% chance of drafting a star to a good consistent 2nd liner when drafting in the 6 to 15 range. There is a 60% at each of those slots that he’ll be just average or a bust. About a 20% chance they turn into “top-line aces.” Staples looked at the players drafted from 1990 to 2009. Staples goes into more detail, it’s worth checking out the piece.
Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province: Gallagher looks at nine possible destinations for Roberto Luongo: Flyers, Panthers, Oilers, Capitals, Sabres, Blues, Lightning, Flames and the Wild.
Slava Malamud: Sergei Bobrovsky’s agent wants to wait until the Vezina Trophy is announced to get a better deal according to sport express.
Andy Strickland: Blues prospect Jori Lehtera re-signed for two years with the Novosibirsk in the KHL.
Andy Strickland: The Flames agreed to terms with goalie Karri Ramo. He can’t officially sign with the Flames until July 5th.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Red Wings: In the Red Wings group of unrestricted free agents are: Damien Brunner, Daniel Cleary, Valtteri Filppula and Drew Miller. They have 11 forwards already under contract for season, including Tomas Tatar. That number would jump to 13 after re-signing RFAs Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson. They plan on carrying 14 forwards. Brunner and Cleary will be their top priorities. Filppula could be gone unless he wants to take less to stay with the Wings. The Wings might go as high as $4.25 million, but Filppula knows he’ll likely get at least $5 million on the open market.
TSN: Oilers GM Craig MacTavish on Team 1260 radio in Edmonton on Ales Hemsky and Shawn Horcoff:
“I think both those players are at a similar crossroads,” MacTavish told the radio station.
“Sometimes change is good for both the organization and the player, but at the same time they’re valuable players and we’re not in a position where we’re able to move them without getting something substantial in return…I have a lot of allegiance and a lot of loyalty to ‘Horc’ and to Ales. I have a lot of respect for both those players. But from both those perspectives, I think the ideal scenario would be to move them on and wish them the best in their next destination.”
Hemsky has one year left at $5 million. Horcoff has two years left at $5.5 million.
“Would we welcome those players back if the right circumstance presented itself? Absolutely,” added MacTavish. “But I think in talking to both those players, I think the best situation would be to move on.”
Jason Gregor: In any Hemsky and Horcoff trade, the Oilers would have to take some salary back. The Oilers could use some veterans.
Jonathan Willis: Sounding like Oilers Shawn Horcoff wants a trade. Add a top-nine forward to GM MacTavish’s shopping list if he’s moved.
Cody Nickolet: The Oilers seem keen on trading the No. 7 pick. MacTavish saying many GM’s want to wait, but he might be ready now.
Dylan Howlett: (RT from @ToddCordell) Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford said on the Mark Spector Show that multiple teams are interested in moving into the top 5. The Hurricanes have received several inquiries. Rutherford said on The Team 1260 on Tuesday that the Hurricanes would entertain offers for the 5th pick in hopes of landing a top-four defenseman.
Darren Dreger: There is speculation that Evgeni Malkin could command $15 million a season from the KHL, all tax free.
Bruce Garrioch: Senators UFA Sergei Gonchar has an offer from Metallurg of the KHL. Waiting to see what his NHL options are. The Senators would like to bring him back at a lower salary. Magnitogorsk’s offer is higher than $6 million a season. He made $5.5 million last year.
Tom Gulitti of the Bergon Record: The Devils deal with Andrei Loktionov is “imminent.”
“He will be coming back,” Lamoriello said. “He will not be going to Russia.”
Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: Joey Crabb won’t be back with the Capitals next season.
“He has no intentions to sign back with the Capitals,” Crabb’s agent, Kevin Epp, wrote in an e-mail to the Post. “I don’t think it worked out for either party.”
The Fourth Period: Sources are saying some of the Devils top free agents won’t be back next season. David Clarkson and Patrik Elias will get the most attention. Clarkson and Elias are expected to test the waters and it’s unclear if they’ll be able to come to terms with the Devils after July 5th. Clarkson is thought to command over $5 million per season. Elias could get something in the $5 to $6 million range. Both would like to return, but there is the ongoing financial issues.
Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times: Bryan Bickell’s free agent stock is on the rise while Viktor Stalberg’s is falling.
‘‘Certainly there’s more eyes on you at this point of the year,’’ Stalberg said. ‘‘You try not to think too much about it. It’s about winning right now and doing everything you can for the team. Whatever happens will take care of [itself]. Right now, it’s about this group, winning right now.’’