Jeremy Rutherford: It’s unlikely the Blues re-sign any of their own pending UFAs until after July 1st. Their UFAs include: Steve Ott, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, Carlo Colaiacovo and Ryan Miller. Pending RFAs that don’t have any deals imminent include: Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz.
“Our payroll has consistently climbed due to the success of our team. Right now we have enough dollars to make it, (but) we’re going to sign all of our restricted free agents. So that pushes you to an area where you want to make sure if you’re going to get into the free-agent pool, you have the cap space and dollar space to do that.”
The Blues sit about $49.3 million with 18 players signed. They have a bonus overage penalty of about $700,000. Blues GM Doug Armstrong hopes to get a deal done with Steve Ott before July 1st, but there is no guarantee they can get it done.
Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen: If Paul Stastny hits the open market, he could end up in Toronto if they decide not to re-sign Dave Bolland to a long-term deal. The Avalanche have said that they need to maintain “structure” with their contracts and they also have to re-sign Ryan O’Reilly. The next group of UFA centers includes Olli Jokinen, Mikhail Grabovski and Derek Roy. Trading for a center should draw more interest with Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza and Ryan Kesler available. There are rumors that the Maple are interested in defenseman Dan Boyle. Penguins Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik could find new homes.
Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press: Three things the Jets need to consider with regards to Dustin Byfuglien.
1. As much as he can still be a difference-maker, is a third-line winger/power-play specialist worth $5.2 million a season?
2. He is 29 and has always been criticized for his fitness level. (He has missed time in each of his three seasons in Winnipeg; 25 games total, which actually isn’t that alarming, given the minutes he had been logging).
3. Noting all the above, is there a potential trade market for him leading up to the draft? No player, outside of Evander Kane, has had his name linked to more trade rumours than No. 33.
Louis-Andre Lariviere of TVA Sports: (via google translate) Sharks Joe Thornton has a no-trade clause and holds the final say on where he ends up, and he may not be going anywhere.
“San Jose is the only team on his list,” informed the agent and the player brother, John Thornton, in an interview with TVA Sports Sunday.
His agent hinted that he could decide to move on “if he feels that supporters do not want him.”
James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: Mirtle looks at the goaltender market, and it looks like there are only 10 spots open, with all being backups: Coyotes, Bruins, Flames, Blue Jackets, Stars, Devils, Islanders, Flyers, Capitals and Jets. Notable free agent goalies include: Ryan Miller, Jonas Hiller, Martin Brodeur, Tim Thomas, Justin Peters, Al Montoya, Chad Johnson and Thomas Greiss. Goalies that could be on the trade market: Cam Ward, Antti Niemi, James Reimer, Peter Budaj and Anders Lindback. Notable free agent goalies: James Reimer, Darcy Kuemper, Antti Raanta, Niklas Svedberg, Robin Lehner, Anders Lindback and Michael Hutchinson.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: The Penguins could look at pending UFA Manny Malhotra to fill out their bottom-six. He’d be a good fourth line center to kill penalties and to be a faceoff specialist. The Bruins have until June 30th to qualify Jordan Caron. If they qualify him, they could look at moving him, as a split could be best for both sides.
Aaron Portzline: There is no need for the Blue Jackets to cut off the talks between the Oilers and Nikita Nikitin unless they have another team calling about him.
Jim Matheson: Don’t see the Oilers offering Nikita Nikitin more than a three year deal. The Oilers would likely have to offer Nikitin $3 million or more.
Darren Dreger: “The Leafs perspective on this is, why present an offer that chances are Bolland & his agent will sit on until free agency?” … “I think this will play out very similar to Bozak where they get into the real hard push of negotiating in the 11th hour” … “The Leafs are comfortable waiting to find that out. They want Bolland. I don’t think there is any question about that”
Darren Dreger: “You also have to look around the room at the other free agents. Raymond was a terrific find at a $1 million” … “I know that there has been no dialogue with Raymond’s group either to whether or not they want to re-sign him. I’m sure they would” … “Raymond isn’t going to play for $1 million. He’s going to be in that class of $2.5 to $3 plus” … “It’s not just Bolland, there is a lot of work that needs to be done in Toronto.”
Darren Dreger: “the Leafs are focused on re-signing Franson. Is he going to get a bump? Obviously he is. It’ll probably be in the $3s” … “I’m not sure what the term would be but there is a strong appetite to keep Franson in the fold” … “The Leafs are open to moving Franson if the offers sweeten between now and the draft” … “You have to look at the upside of Franson. What he brings offensively and defensively. The man’s a workhorse” … “There’s terrific interest in Franson around the game. Leading up to the trade deadline there were lots of calls coming in on him” … “That’s a pretty good indicator. When you have a player that other GMs are calling about & persistently looking for chances are you better do what you can to hold onto that player”