- Will DePaoli of Insider Pittsburgh Sports: Penguins GM Jim Rutherford:
“Some people came after me today and there’s ideas out there,” said Rutherford, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston. “I haven’t been throwing any ideas out, but I’ll listen. Obviously there’s going to be some new players there because just the position we’re in with the cap.”
The Maple Leafs are said to be one of the teams that has checked in on James Neal. Rutherford doesn’t have a mandate to trade Kris Letang. Re-signing Matt Niskanen won’t be easy, but the likelihood of it happening would increase if they could clear some cap space out. Rutherford won’t bring in an enforcer to play two or three minutes. Upgrading their bottom-six is a priority, especially their bottom-three. Rutherford is comfortable with Marc-Andre Fleury in net.
- Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Penguins GM Rutherford:
“I’d prefer to [clear some cap space], but I’m not going to look at it as being ‘urgent,’ ” he said. “I’m not going to do it just to do it.”
On their blueline:
“We have to look at what we think we have as a top four or five,” he said. “If we get a comfort level with that, I’m not sure we have to bring anyone in right away.
On trade calls:
“Teams are going to be calling,” he said. “They always do. If we could get a little more grit up front to be able to be prepared for a couple of those teams in the East that are a little tougher to play, I may make a deal sooner than later.”
- Joe Haggery of CSNNE: The Bruins are focusing on Jarome Iginla contract talks before they turn to their other free agents. Both sides are trying to close a deal. The Bruins have about $9 million for three forwards, two defensemen and a backup goalie. If/when they get Iginla’s deal done, they’ll turn to RFAs Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Source said the Bruins haven’t had contact with pending UFA Shawn Thornton.
- Jonas Siegel of TSN: Leafs GM Dave Nonis on the draft:
“You’ve got a pretty good chance of getting a good player at eight or four,” he said. “For us to move up the price tag would have to reflect that fact.”
“I wouldn’t say it’s a priority that we’re going to go for the most skilled player,” Nonis explained, “but I think the players that are going to be available in the top eight by and large are skill players so because of that fact there’s a good chance that’s what you end up with.”
The Leafs have held preliminary talks with Dave Bolland. Nonis wouldn’t rule out the return of Mason Raymond, Nik Kulemin, Bolland and Jay McClement. Leo Komarov could be bought back at the right price.