- Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: Cooper ranks his three worst contracts for the Predators.1. Shea Weber: 14 years, $110 million with a cap hit of $7.857 million. 12 years left. He gets a $13 million lump every July 1st round 2015-16. For two years after that, he gets a lump sum of $8 million.
2. Paul Gaustad: Four years, $13 million, two years left. A lot of money for a third/fourth liner.
3. Pekka Rinne: Seven years, $49 million. Five years left. He missed most of last season. He’s 31 years old and his prime years are shortening.
- Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times: With one year left on their deals, Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman’s top priority this summer is to lock Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane long-term.
“That’s been our No. 1 objective all along,” Bowman said Wednesday following the league’s GM meeting. “And I’m expecting to meet that.”
Though prospect Teuvo Teravainen is the Blackhawks long-term plan for their second line center, Bowman said that trading for or signing one is an option. Joe Thornton and Ryan Kesler appear to be available, but the cost to acquire them would be high. Paul Stastny is a free agent option, but will cost over $5 million a season.
“I wouldn’t just limit it to [second-line center],” Bowman told the Sun-Times. “We’re always looking to improve our team, whether it’s at center, or wing, or defense. It’s not one position that we’re fixated on. There’s a lot of talk, starting now. We had some discussions today and I’m sure it’ll pick up leading into the draft. Whether we’ll make a trade or not, I can’t say at this point. We’re not close to closing anything.”
It might mean a big trade, moving Patrick Sharp or Brent Seabrook. Johnny Oduya (one year left at $3.375 million) could be moved to clear cap space. Ben Smith, Antti Raanta and Jeremy Morin are expected back next season.
- Chris Johnston: The Leafs will have organizational meetings next week and will start making decisions on their pending UFAs.
- Chris Johnston: Leafs GM Dave Nonis doesn’t see how they can financially fit in Leo Komarov.
- Jonas Siegel: Nothing new with the Leafs and pending RFA James Reimer. He’s likely on the move this summer.
- Steve Simmons: Simmons is thinking the Maple Leafs would love to draft Nikolaj Ehlers from the QMJHL, but they don’t think he’ll be their at No. 8.