- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Brad Richards,
“You always keep an eye on that first day of July, you see what teams do and where players go. It’s always interesting,” Richards told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “There’s always something that surprises you. That’s why I want to keep everything open-minded. I’ve talked to people that have been through it and there’s always things that come out of nowhere and you want to be open-minded to receive all that stuff. It’s probably my last contract, so you want to set yourself up where you have a chance to win and feel comfortable.”
“Every day, it gets closer. I’m starting to think about it a lot,” Richards said. “It’s a very unique time, but also a little bit stressful. It’s going to be a very important decision. It’s exciting in a good way. It’s a big moment. It’s starting to hit me that it’s getting close, whereas a month ago, I would sit back and not really worry about it.”
Petr Svoboda, Jaromir Jagr’s agent,
“We had more discussion yesterday with Detroit and Pittsburgh,” Jagr’s agent, Petr Svoboda, told ESPN.com on Wednesday morning. “Jags may be talking with [Pens GM] Ray Shero and maybe [owner] Mario [Lemieux] today, so hopefully we’ll be further along after that. Hopefully we’ll have some news, one way or another, soon.”
On Jagr using NHL interest to get more money from KHL,
“It’s absolutely not true,” said Svoboda. “I’ve heard that, but it’s not true. I mean, there’s always that option if things don’t work out with [the NHL], but this is not about trying to get more money from [the KHL]. I know Jags wants to come back to the NHL and for the right reasons.”
On Teemu Selanne’s future,
“Teemu hasn’t decided whether he’s going to play or not,” Selanne’s veteran agent Don Baizley told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “If he plays, it’s going to be in Anaheim.”
Paul Kariya may play it safe and retire. Talks between Kevin Bieksa and the Canucks are progressing. The Coyotes and Bryzgalov don’t have a deal and are still far enough apart that a deal could go either way.
- Philadelphia Flyers via twitter: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren “We are continuing to try and reach an agreement with Ilya, but it is safe to say that we are not close to achieving this.”
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: The Red Wings have made their pitch to Jagr and are in a wait-and-see mode. GM Ken Holland would like to know by July 1st.
“We’re intrigued,” Holland said, “like we were with Dominik Hasek and Mike Modano. He was an elite player in his prime. He’s 39 years of age. If he decides to come back to the NHL, he’s coming back for all the right reasons. Whether he comes to Detroit or another destination, the great ones, even when Father Time is against them a little bit, they’re still pretty good players.”
Holland has made an offer to free agent Jonathan Ericsson of around $2 million a season. He’s in talks with Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller.
- Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: The Blue Jackets hope to begin their offseason makeover at the draft this week. They are looking for a skilled defenseman, a top 6 forward, and a backup goalie. Howson has spoken with many teams about possible deals. Their 8th overall pick is up for grabs.
“I’m going to do what’s in the best interest of the team,” Howson said. “It may turn out that taking the pick is in the best interest of the team.
“I want to make changes. I want to add high-end skill guys who can make an immediate difference. But you can’t force people to do something that you want them to do. So we’ll see how it plays out.”
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk said the odds of them trading up are slim, odds of trading down are pretty good.
“I think moving down is a more realistic possibility,” Nieuwendyk said. “Our guys feel that after a certain point in this draft there are a number of good players and you’d be happy with acquiring any one of them. We don’t have our third round pick, so trying to get an additional pick is something that will definitely be discussed.”
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: If the Senators are able to move up in the draft, they could be looking to grab winger Gabriel Landeskog, who could be selected 2nd overall. Whoever they pick could end up playing in the NHL next season. The Sens haven’t ruled out packing their 21st overall pick with 1 of their 3 2nd round picks to move up in the draft.
- Slava Malamud via twitter: Dmitri Orlov said that if he doesn’t make the Capitals next year, and they want him to go to the AHL, he’ll go there and not return to Russia.
- Larry Brooks via twitter: Jagr says that he didn’t not reach out to the Rangers, “If Glen thought I could help he would have told me.”
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Rumors are circulating that the Oilers have “NOT firmly decided” on draft Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. If the Oilers don’t take him, Dater thinks the Avs should draft him. If they do get RNH, it could make Paul Stastny available. With the Avs not showing interest in re-signing Tomas Fleischmann, it might mean they are looking at draft Gabriel Landeskog or Jonathan Huberdeau, both can play on the left wing. If RNH is taken by the Oilers, Dater thinks the Avs should take Huberdeau.