Tarik El-Bashir via Twitter: El-Bashir gets confirmation from Nicklas Backstrom’s agent that his client hasn’t signed a 10 year extension with the Washington Capitals. The rumor was started by someone posting it in a forum or blog.
Eric Francis of Canoe Sports: There is a chance that the Calgary Flames will not be able to afford Eric Nystrom, who’ll be looking for a raise from his $775,000 salary. The New York Islanders are a possible destination, as his dad, Bob Nystrom, was a huge part of the organization in the 80′s. It also looks like the Flames will not be able to afford Ian White, who could receive an arbitration award of around $3.5 million. If he does go to arbitration, the Flames will have to accept it, and look to trade him. Would this be more mis-management by the Flames? I think so. I’m still scratching my head over the 4 year, $14 million extension 3rd line center, Flames #1 center Matt Stajan received. One other option I think the Flames may also look at, is dealing Robyn Regehr for some much needed scoring help, preferably someone young and cheap. If they could save a few million on a Regehr deal, they could at least keep White.
Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun: The Vancouver Canucks have 15 regulars signed for season with a cap hit of about $46 million, which includes 9 forwards, 5 Dmen and Roberto Luongo. That leaves about $10 million to fill out the rest of their roster. Willie Mitchell may be too expensive to bring back, and at 33 and his injury history, he might not be worth it. Also headed for free agency potentially are Pavol Demitra, Kyle Wellwood, Ryan Johnson, and Andrew Raycroft. RFA Mason Raymond will need to be re-signed. The Canucks need to add a top 6 defenseman and Gillis could make a pitch for Anton Volchenkov or a Dan Hamhuis, but both would be costly. Other defensive free agents that might interest the Canucks are Paul Martin, Dennis Seidenberg, Henrik Tallinder, Zbynek Michalek, Derek Morris, Carlo Colaiacovo, Joe Corvo, Shaone Morrisonn, Mark Eaton, Scott Niedermayer and Sergei Gonchar. Canucks RFAs this year are: Mason Raymond, Shane O’Brien, Aaron Rome, Tanner Glass, Jannik Hansen, and Cory Schneider. 2010 Unrestricted Free Agent list.
Matthew Sekeres of the Globe and Mail: With the Canucks having $10-11 million to spend on roughly 6 players, they could promote some within. If Cory Schneider is re-signed and not traded, he should be the backup. Cody Hodgson should be ready to make the jump, and fill a vacant center position. Jordan Schroeder and Sergei Shirokov are 2 others who could work their way into the lineup. They have plenty of wingers, which could be used as trade bait for a defenseman.
George Malik of MLive: Brad May might retire from hockey unless he can play in Toronto and be close to his family. It’s unlikely the Maple Leafs will want to sign him (as they didn’t re-sign him last off-season), but he could play or maybe even a player-coach (‘player-coach’ was my own 2-cents, not Malik’s) for the AHL Toronto Marlies.
John Glennon of the Tennessean: The Nashville Predators may not be looking to bring in much from the free agent market, and could look to promote from within.