- Craig Custance of ESPN: Areas of focus for the Avalanche this summer:
1. Sign Paul Stastny – the Avs are deep down the middle, but Patrick Roy wants to bring him back for his veteran presence. Signing him won’t be cheap.
2. Extend the contract of Ryan O’Reilly – he’s due for a $6.5 million qualifying offer if the Avs don’t sign him before.
3. Add an impact defenseman through trade or free agency – the Avs need to re-sign Tyson Barrie and to bring back Andre Benoit at the right price. Matt Niskanen is the best free agent option, so they could look at the trade market. They could revisit Dmitry Kulikov talks with the Panthers.
- Craig Custance of ESPN: Some things the Sharks will have to look at this offseason:
1. Seriously consider a starting goalie change – Alex Stalock outplayed Antti Niemi during the season, but he may not be the guy you want to lean on going forward. If they move some salary and Niemi ($3.8 million), they could look at Ryan Miller.
2. Add a top-four defenseman – bringing back Dan Boyle at a discount and little term would be ideal. If they could move Martin Havlat and his $5 million salary, would create some space to add another defenseman.
3. Don’t make Todd McLellan the scapegoat – McLellan needs to return.
- Luke Fox of SportsNet: Canucks president Trevor Linden on Ryan Kesler.
“I have a lot of respect for Ryan, as I do all the players. It was a good, healthy conversation,” Linden said of his exit interview with him. “There’s many decisions that will unfold here in the next several months, and for me it’s important that I strategically assess every decision. They all have significant ripple effects throughout the organization. That’s an important decision, and it will play out as we move along here.”
- Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: Former Capitals GM George McPhee on when he felt the Caps needed to hit the re-set button:
But when you think you can win a Cup you owe it to the players in the room and all your fans, you’ve got to go for it. So I was trading second-round picks and prospects, and second-round picks and prospects and at some point you get a touch thin. It doesn’t mean we weren’t good teams the last two years, we just weren’t injury proof. When you’ve got good young guys coming in, if you lose a guy you can pull somebody up and you keep winning games. At one time we were calling up the [Tomas] Fleischmanns, Brooks Laichs, [Karl] Alzner, [John] Carlson, those guys. Now they’re veterans and I didn’t have a complete group like that to go to again. When you’ve been doing it for a while your instincts tell you some things and I thought we were a playoff team. I thought this should have been our seventh year in a row of making the playoffs and I’m disappointed we didn’t. But it doesn’t mean it’s not a good team. Those kids are sort of here now to help and it’s unfortunate the last two years that we lost a guy like Brooks Laich [groin issues] for almost the entire season both years, then Jack Hillen [broken collar bone, broken leg] almost the entire season both years. Those guys were very good for us, good veteran players and I didn’t have the kids to fill in.
And it’s hard to make a trade in this league during the season now, but that would have required giving away some future and I didn’t want to do that. Last summer was really tough because there was sort of gridlock around the league, it was hard to make any moves.