- Bob McKenzie via twitter: Anaheim prospect Justin Schultz has reportedly filed his paperwork to leave the University of Wisconsin. If he is leaving school, the Ducks have an exclusive 30 day window to sign him to an entry-level deal. He’d become a UFA if not signed in the next days. If he becomes a UFA, he won’t be able to sign a deal until July 1st, but is able to talk with other teams after the 30 day window. Eric Stephens of the OC Register: The Ducks still believe that they will be able to sign him. He may be able to move right into a teams top 4. If they are able to sign him, Lubomir Visnovsky could become available.
- The Fourth Period: ESPN Chicago is reporting that the Blackhawks Dave Bolland may be interesting trade bait to upgrade their roster. He’s an excellent two-way, 3rd line center that may help fetch a 2nd line center. They could take a look at Penguins Jordan Staal. It would obviously take more than just Bolland to land Staal, possibly Brandon Saad and 1 or 2 first round pick. The Penguins may also look at Nick Leddy or Niklas Hjalmarsson.
- Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: It appears Alex Semin days in a Capitals uniform are over. Translated from a Russian interview:
“I can’t say anything concrete at this time,” he said. “I’m waiting for July 1st, until the negotiations in the NHL open, for now I am unemployed.”
When asked if he’ll be playing in Russia or North America, he responded:
“I can’t answer. I don’t know.”
- Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times: Leading up to free agency, GM Steve Yzerman said he’ll take a look at the trade market.
“My preference,” Yzerman said Thursday night, “is to go with a little bit younger guy that maybe has a little less experience that can step up and play well for us now.”
“And if we can’t do anything in that way, we look forward to July 1,” Yzerman said of the start of unrestricted free agency.
Tampa Bay holds the 10th and 19th over pick in this years draft. Young goalies that might be available through trade are Jonathan Bernier and Anders Lindback. A UFA target could be Josh Harding.
- Jason Brough of the Pro Hockey Talk: New Canadiens assistant GM Rick Dudley told the Globe and Mail that if the Maple Leafs make “three moves and maybe two to become a really, really good hockey organization.” Adding an established goalie is their top need. “The whole team gets better [with good goaltending],” Dudley said. “It took me a whole lifetime in hockey to realize that. But it puts confidence in your players and makes them all better.”
- Adrian Dater of the Denvoer Post: The Avalanche are starting talks with several of the their UFAs, though it’s not known which ones. Their UFAs include: David Jones, Jay McClement, Cody McLeod, Shane O’Brien and Matt Hunwick. They haven’t started talks with RFA Ryan O’Reilly yet.
- Sporting News: The 47 year old Dominik Hasek is reportedly interested in returning to the NHL. His agent did not know if any negotiations are going on, but according to Hasek:
“My agent, Ritch Winter, knows what I want,” Hasek said. “We’re working and will see how it goes, I don’t know.
“It’ll probably be decided in June.”
- Allan Walsh via twitter: Tomas Vokoun hasn’t accepted the KHL offer at this time, as he’s focused on playing in the NHL next season.
- Greg Brady via twitter: Dave Nonis strongly suggested in his radio interview yesterday that the Maple Leafs won’t go with a James Reimer and Ben Scrivens tandem next season.