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Morning Hits: Briere, Smith, Bryzgalov, Elias, Iginla, Laviolette, Byfuglien, Whitney and the Hurricanes

  • Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: If the Flyers buyout Daniel Briere, he could end up in Montreal.Coyotes Mike Smith is looking for $6 million a year and has refused to sign a deal with the Coyotes.

    Smith could be an option in Philadelphia if they buyout Ilya Bryzgalov. Flyers management is split on buying him out now or waiting to see how he does next year, and if it’s not good, then buy him out next spring.

    Garrioch has heard there is about a 50/50 chance that Patrick Elias returns to the Devils. The Flyers, Canadiens, Maple Leafs, Red Wings and Sharks will all be looking for help upfront.

    Jarome Iginla signing with the Stars could be a good bet.

  • Dave Isaac of the Courier Post: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said you can expect Peter Laviolette back as the Flyers coach next season. They will keep the same system in place, and there won’t be an overhaul of players.
  • Dave Isaac of the Courier Post: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has said that Ilya Bryzgalov’s eccentric personality isn’t a problem. Forward Daniel Briere understands the situation. If the Flyers buy him out, it would cost them $3.3 million over four years.
  • Derek Van Diest of the Edmonton Sun: Oilers UFA defenseman Ryan Whitney thinks it’s probably in his best interests to get a fresh start somewhere else next season.

    “I think I can still play, I’ve proven that I can,” Whitney said. “Obviously there were some games where I didn’t play well, but there were a stretch of games where I thought I did play well. It’s been a tough couple of years here, I’m just kind of looking forward to a fresh start.”

  • Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Hurricanes Tuomo Ruutu will have hip surgery. GM Jim Rutherford likes his core group, but there will be some new faces next year. They have to decide on their UFAs: Chad LaRose, Tim Brent, Joe Corvo, Bobby Sanguinetti, Marc-Andre Bergeron and Dan Ellis. Their blue line will be a priority for Rutherford.