- Jeremy Rutherford: It’s unlikely the Blues re-sign any of their own pending UFAs until after July 1st. Their UFAs include: Steve Ott, Brenden Morrow, Derek Roy, Carlo Colaiacovo and Ryan Miller. Pending RFAs that don’t have any deals imminent include: Vladimir Sobotka, Patrik Berglund and Jaden Schwartz.
“Our payroll has consistently climbed due to the success of our team. Right now we have enough dollars to make it, (but) we’re going to sign all of our restricted free agents. So that pushes you to an area where you want to make sure if you’re going to get into the free-agent pool, you have the cap space and dollar space to do that.”
The Blues sit about $49.3 million with 18 players signed. They have a bonus overage penalty of about $700,000. Blues GM Doug Armstrong hopes to get a deal done with Steve Ott before July 1st, but there is no guarantee they can get it done.
- Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen: If Paul Stastny hits the open market, he could end up in Toronto if they decide not to re-sign Dave Bolland to a long-term deal. The Avalanche have said that they need to maintain “structure” with their contracts and they also have to re-sign Ryan O’Reilly. The next group of UFA centers includes Olli Jokinen, Mikhail Grabovski and Derek Roy. Trading for a center should draw more interest with Joe Thornton, Jason Spezza and Ryan Kesler available. There are rumors that the Maple are interested in defenseman Dan Boyle. Penguins Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik could find new homes.
- Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press: Three things the Jets need to consider with regards to Dustin Byfuglien.
1. As much as he can still be a difference-maker, is a third-line winger/power-play specialist worth $5.2 million a season?
2. He is 29 and has always been criticized for his fitness level. (He has missed time in each of his three seasons in Winnipeg; 25 games total, which actually isn’t that alarming, given the minutes he had been logging).
3. Noting all the above, is there a potential trade market for him leading up to the draft? No player, outside of Evander Kane, has had his name linked to more trade rumours than No. 33.