- Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: New Flyers GM Ron Hextall may go looking for a left winger for Claude Giroux. Pending UFA left wingers could include: Matt Moulson, Benoit Pouliot and Mason Raymond. Jets Evander Kane could be a trade possibility.
“I really like our group of forwards. Whether it’s a perfect fit, that’s a thing I tend to look at — the lines and the fit,” said Hextall, whose team would have to clear some cap space to acquire Kane. “There’s a couple things. We had a lot of guys move around the lineup this year. I’d like to find one or two guys that are a little better fit. I don’t know if that will be out there or not. That would be one priority, and I think on defense, we’d like to upgrade. But I’m not going to do something rash to upgrade short term. We’re building this thing. Like I said, we’ve got some good, young defensemen coming, and defense is going to be a priority.”
- Sarah Baicker of CSN Philly: Flyers GM Ron Hextall plans to build the team from the ground up.
“I like young players and I like draft picks,” Hextall said. “My vision is to build this team and to continue to make this team better through the draft. That doesn’t mean we won’t make trades. At some point if it’s a good enough player, and we’ve got to trade a young player, we may look at that. But it’s not a vision of mine to trade young players for older players. It would have to be a really, really strong deal for us.”
“The problem is that if something does come along [via a trade like] a No. 1 defenseman, you’re giving up two or three young players, two or three draft picks,” he said. “You fill one hole and then you create three or four others. And that’s the whole thing, trying to get all those holes filled at the same time.”
- Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington: Pending Capitals UFA Mikhail Grabovski has said he’d like to re-sign but wants to see who will be named as head coach first. He could get a long-term deal in the $4 million range if he hits the open market. If the Maple Leafs fire Randy Carlyle, Grabovski could end up back in his wife’s home province.
- Adam Vingan of NBC Washington: (mailbag) There is no timetable for the Capitals naming a new GM and head coach. President Dick Patrick didn’t rule out hiring a head coach first, though hiring a GM first if preferred. Vingan thinks the Capitals should go after Paul Stastny if he hits the open market. The Capitals need at improve their defense, but free agent market is slim this offseason.
- The Fourth Period: Ray Whitney is unlikely to re-sign with the Stars. He recently bought a home in Phoenix, and if he’s willing to sign at a discounted rate, the Coyotes could sign him to a one-year deal.
- Chris Botta: The Islanders and Jaroslav Halak’s camp have just started talking contract.
- Hope Smoke: Ben Bishop: “We knew Marty was unhappy with how the Olympics went down and that he wanted out” … “It would have been nice to see Marty and Stamkos back together but Callahan came in and gave us things that we were missing”
- Dave Isaac: Isaac learned yesterday that the Flyers essentially traded Dean Lombardi to the Kings for a second round pick.