- George Richards of the Miami Herald: Even after trading for Brian Campbell, the Panthers are still $24 million below the salary cap floor. GM Dale Tallon plans on speaking with Tomas Vokoun this week. Vokoun is expected to test the free agent market, but Tallon hopes the acquisition of Campbell can increase the chances of him remaining with the Panthers.
“I think the moves we’re making right now will help lure guys here on July 1,’’ Tallon said. “We have some things in the fire as we move forward this week. Things are good, we’ve put ourselves in a good position. We’re just going to move forward. There’s a lot of talk, a lot of chatter. We’re hopeful this starts to steamroll.’’
The Panthers only have 4 forwards on 1-way contracts for next year.
- Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford hopes to sign Brandon Sutter to a 2 or 3 year deal soon. Rutherford was hoping to re-sign Joni Pitkanen, Jussi Jokinen, Erik Cole and Chad LaRose, but is not as optimistic as he once was. He could have a couple players done soon. “I’m a little disappointed in a couple of cases, but that’s what the players have a right to do,” he said.
- Jesse Spector of the NY Daily News: Multiple sources are saying that it is unlikely that the Rangers could find a taker for Wade Redden’s salary. Redden still has 3 years left on his contract, and his $6.5 million cap hit will count against the cap this summer. The Rangers have until Thursday to buyout Chris Drury.
- Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch: Matt D’Agostini wasn’t qualified by the Blues. They’ve been negotiating and a deal could happen, but it’s looking for likely that he’ll test free agency.
“We had good dialogue leading up to making this decision,” Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. “Arbitration is very inflationary. The comparable group (of players to D’Agostini) is a small group. We felt that it was best to negotiate with a larger pool of players, without the backdrop of arbitration.
“We still think he’s a valuable NHL player, and we’d like to continue to talk to him, but not with the backdrop of arbitration. We’re going to continue to talk and hopefully he’ll still be a Blue.”
Armstrong on TJ Oshie,
“There’s continual diaglogue, but not to the point where there’s comfort with the other side’s position.”
On trade rumors as Oshie talks drag on,
“The goal is to sign him. The goal is for him to be part of the team. This isn’t exclusive to T.J. Oshie, but the goal is (also) to get the team better. That being said, every fiber (of the situation) right now is that he’s going to be in the opening night lineup and have a really good season.”
- AP in New York Times: New ownership in Buffalo has change the way this off-season will be handled.
“It’s both different and exciting,” Regier said. “In the past, it was largely about trades and drafting and developing your own players. So a third area has been opened up on the unrestricted side where we can compete for the best, top unrestricted free agent.”
The Sabres will be looking for a top line center and a veteran defenseman. Possible forwards could be Brad Ricahrds, Brooks Laich, Ville Leino and Simon Gagne. Possible defenseman as Christian Ehrhoff, James Wisnewski and Ed Jovanovski. Regier has had talks with Tim Connolly and Cody McCormick.
- Howard Berger: The Maple Leafs are reportedly interested in rugged winger Mike Rupp. The 6-foot-5, 230 pounder has scored 22 goals and added 244 penalty minutes the last 2 years.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Matheson doesn’t think that new Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff will look to move Zach Bogosian this summer.
- Aaron Portzline via twitter: Asked if Pascal Leclaire could be brought back to Columbus, Portzline responded by saying he’d be lucky to stick in the NHL.
- Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Predators forward Steve Sullivan was informed at their end of year meetings that he wouldn’t be brought back by the team. The 36 year old will be a UFA and he still thinks he has something to give.