- Todd Cordell: According to Darren Dreger on TSN, the Ducks are looking for a defenseman and the Leafs, Penguins and Flyers have been involved. The Ducks could part with a young forward for help on the blueline.
- Damien Cox: One difference between the Phil Kessel free agent situation compared to Dion Phaneuf is that the Maple Leafs didn’t have a replacement for Kessel if he left. With Phaneuf they may have more than one. Cody Franson’s early play is looking like he could take over the No. 1 role. It’s hard to see the Leafs wanting to pay Phaneuf more than $6.5 million he’s making this year. The Leafs are deep in young defensemen: Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Stuart Percy, Andrew MacWilliam and Petter Granberg.
- Craig Custance of ESPN: Some teams will have some decisions to make about their big named pending free agents. The Sabres will have to figure out what they want to do with Ryan Miller and Tomas Vanek. There have been no talks between the sides.
“Right now, I”m not interested in an extension,” he said. “That doesn’t mean I’m not willing to [discuss it] in a few months. But it takes two sides to make a deal. Right now, the two sides are just focused on winning games.”
The Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist remain apart in both term and money. Ryan Callahan would likely be worth more than $6 mllion on the open market.
Dion Phaneuf doesn’t have a problem with contract talks during the season.
“I really like what we’re doing here, what direction the team is headed in,” Phaneuf told LeBrun, saying talks are now in the hands of Newport. “They’ll get together and talk, they’ll handle it.”
Marian Gaborik’s status with the Blue Jackets may depend on where they sit at the trade deadline and if Gaborik is a part of that success. Gaborik’s agent has indicated that his client would like to stay.
“We’ll see how it goes. We have to analyze this whole thing and see how we are and how it goes,” Davidson said when we spoke last week. “We need a scoring threat. We need him to play hard which we hope he will. I think he will… we expect some scoring. Obviously that’s what he likes to do best.”
The Sharks will have three big UFAs to deal with: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle. Thornton is the likeliest to get an extension done, and there is not rush for it.
“I still think Joe is a franchise player but he’s not going to go for those big numbers,” his agent and brother, John Thornton, said Wednesday afternoon. “On an open market, he would get large offers. I don’t think that’s what he’s looking for. I still see him being in San Jose after this year.”
Term for Thornton will be interesting. The Sharks and Boyle talked over the summer, but nothing is imminent. It may be the 37-year old’s last contract, so term may be important to him, three or four years maybe. Marleau has said that a hometown discount has “been done already.” He could be the hardest deal for the Sharks do get done.