- Larry Brooks of the NY Post: The Rangers don’t have any young, blue chip prospects coming up that would need to receive big contracts once Marc Staal is done, so they don’t need to conserve money on that front. They need to sign Ilya Kovalchuk. Glen Sather has been in touch with Kovalchuk’s camp. If the Rangers don’t get Kovalchuk, they may look to Simon Gagne.
Tell me the Rangers’ top six forwards consist of a permutation of The Great Gabby, Erik Christensen, Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and maybe Vinny Prospal, Artem Anisimov or Sean Avery or Mats Zuccarello-Aasen, and then try to convince me Sather shouldn’t get in the game on Kovalchuk.
- Chris McCosky of the Detroit News: Mike Modano has heard from Detroit and will listen to offers from San Jose and Minnesota. The Wings have about $3 million to re-sign Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader and Derek Meech. Early last week it appeared Modano was just deciding if he wanted to retire or play for the Wings. As of late last week the ‘playing for the Wings’ part may have changed, according to Ken Holland.
- Michael Traikos of the National Post: Brian Burke isn’t finished with the Maple Leafs this off-season, as there are still some free agents that intrigue him, and there’s the Tomas Kaberle situation. As it stands, their top-6 appears to be Phil Kessel, Tyler Bozak, Nikolai Kulemin, Kris Versteeg, Colby Armstrong and rookie Nazem Kadri, with only Armstrong being over 25. Ideally Armstrong would be on the 3rd line, and Kadri brought along slowly. Kadri is currently pencilled in but …“But he has to prove it. He is indeed pencilled in, but that pencil’s not going to come out when training camp ends. If it comes out, it won’t be until the 20-game mark.”
- Darren Dreger via Twitter: Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray wants the speculation to end, he won’t be trading Bobby Ryan.
- Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe: How things could unfold before the start of the season for the Bruins: 1. Trade Marc Savard, Shinzawa thinks a Savard-for-Kaberle deal makes sense. The Bruins could put him on waivers, and if claimed, would only be gaining salary cap space. 2. Extend Blake Wheeler before their arbitration hearing, maybe between $1.8-2.2 million per season. 3. Re-sign Gregory Campbell and Adam McQuaid. 4. Assign Michael Ryder to the AHL, since they won’t buy out his $4 million salary. 5. Make sure Tim Thomas is healthy after hip surgery, and hope that he can prove to other GM’s that he’s worth trading for.
- Michael Russo via Twitter: There is a chance the Minnesota Wild trade James Sheppard.