- Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Predators GM David Poile says “no” every time he’s asked if he’ll trade defenseman Shea Weber. Weber will make $14 million, with a $13 million lump sum. Poile says the Predators are in a “rebuild on the fly.” Weber is owed $42 million in bonuses over the next four seasons. Cooper wonders if it is the right time to trade him. Weber’s salary won’t get down to $6 million until 2018-19. From a hockey standpoint it might make sense, but maybe not from the business side of things.
“It is often in the best interest of mid-market teams to trade one star player for many younger players of equal value on the ice. This strategy reduces payroll and diversifies risk,” Vanderbilt University sports economics professor John Vrooman said. “There is a trade package that would make sense for the Preds as they reload, but the package must fill Weber’s gigantic skates on the blueline and provide offense and youth. This is probably not going to happen.”
The Predators need young, offensive NHL ready forwards. Weber has a no-trade clause. The Oilers could use a top defenseman and have plenty of young NHL ready forwards.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Stars will probably not re-sign Ray Whitney and Vernon Fiddler. They may also look to shakeup their blueline. They have seven defenseman already under contract for next year.
“We’ll study all of our options, and we’ll do whatever we can to improve the team,” Nill said when asked about potential changes. “We have plenty of time to evaluate right now, so we’re in the process of evaluating.”
With the rising salary cap, the Stars have options to add through the free agent or trade market, but GM Jim Nill doesn’t expect to go crazy.
“We know what we need and we understand the market, so we’ll study all of our options, and we’ll be open to whatever possibilities are out there,” he said. “We know this is a process and it’s going to take time, and we’re not going to force anything.”
- Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago: Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes is in no rush to sign with the team according to his agent, Robert Murray.
“Because Boston College’s season ended so late, there’s no urgency to make a decision right away,” Hayes’ agent Robert Murray said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We just decided to sit back and take our time. When Kevin gets back from the World’s, we’ll kind of follow up.
“There’s no decision made on any of that right now. There’s no decision that he’s not going to sign with Chicago. I’ve tried to stress that with Chicago. That’s not the intent — because he hasn’t signed yet, [he won’t sign ever.] That’s not the case.”
Murray and GM Stan Bowman have talked. If he’s not signed by August 15th, he’ll be a UFA. Kevin’s brother Jimmy was traded by the Blackhawks to the Panthers, and is said to not be a factor in Kevin not signing as of yet.
“There are a number of issues we’re trying to evaluate,” Murray said. “Depth of organization has some bearing on it. There’s just a bunch of criteria we’re trying to take a look at. The situation is there’s no urgency for sign for Kevin. He’s not going to play anywhere until training camp in September. Whether he signs today or two weeks from now or a month from now, it doesn’t make any difference. There’s no reason in our mind to rush into something until he can decide something and see where things are at.”
- George Richards: A big splash by the Panthers could be coming. They say they have money to spend on players and a coach this offseason. Michael Traikos responds that if could be a landing spot for Maple Leafs Joffrey Lupul.
- Helene St. James: Red Wings GM Ken Holland said they will likely use a compliance buyout on Jordin Tootoo if they are not able to trade him.
- Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “Eugene Melnyk is very sensitive to how the Spezza situation unfolds because he doesn’t want to go through what they did with Alfredsson”
- Juha Hiitela: Ducks Teemu Selanne on KHL rumors: “No comments.”