NHL Rumors: Capitals, Panthers, Jets and Sabres

  • Katie Carrera of the Washington Post: The Capitals already have $58.4 million committed to 21 players for next season. They only have three players who saw regular action this past season that will be UFAs. Mikhail Grabovski is reportedly looking for three or four deal in the $5 million range. Whoever is the GM and coach next season will have to determine if they feel Evgeny Kuznetsov is ready for the second line center roll. If not, they may look to someone like Grabovski to fill that roll.

    It doesn’t seem likely that Jaroslav Halak will be back with the Capitals, though he is open to returning.

    “We have a really good group of guys over here, I came here to make the playoffs and obviously we didn’t make it,” Halak said. “I’ve got unfinished business here and I wouldn’t be against coming back so we’ll see what the future brings.”

    It’s unlikely that Dustin Penner will be back with the Capitals.

  • Harvey Fialkov of the Sun-Sentinel: Panthers GM Dale Tallon:

    “I’m disappointed in the year; I’m disappointed in a lot of things,” Tallon said. “I’m moving forward. We’re going to fix it. We’ve got great support now from [owner] Vinnie Viola and we’re going to move forward and add the pieces to help these kids get to the level that we need to get them to.”

    Tallon wants to add two veteran defenseman by the draft. He’s hoping to sign at least five veteran free agents, including a “sniper” to aid their power-play. He will tender qualifying offers to Dmitry Kulikov, Dylan Olsen, Brandon Pirri and Jimmy Hayes.

  • John Feinstein of the Washington Post: Two summers ago the Blue Jackets were looking to move Rick Nash. Nash went to Rangers for three reasonably good players. The Capitals had plenty of those and an extra first round pick from the Semyon Varlamov trade. Nash had six years and $62 million remaining on his contract. Caps owner Ted Leonsis didn’t want to spend the money.
  • Winnipeg Jets: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff: “Yes. Ondrej Pavelec is the number one goaltender going into next season.”
  • Winnipeg Jets: Kevin Cheveldayoff: “We still believe there’s room for us to improve at forward… Some of it might have to come from a trade.”
  • Jimmy Murphy: “People still doubt my source that told me prior to Olympics Habs and Devils were talking Gionta & 2nd rd pk was offered? He’s worth more!”
  • Hope Smoke: Sabres GM Tim Murray: “At the trade deadline I did suggest a deal with Bryan and it just didn’t work out. I think we both have the ability to make a deal” … “We may still end up making that same trade down the line.” …”Bryan may have won that trade off the bat because he was getting a guy who could make an impact right away…” … “…whereas down the road when he’s drinking a beer three or four years later these couple of players would be good for me”
  • Hope Smoke: Tim Murray: “I would love two top 6 picks this year. That would push us farther in the rebuild I have no idea what the Isles are going to do”