- Elliotte Friedman of CBC: It wouldn’t be a surprise if the Penguins tested James Neal’s trade value. Kris Letang’s health scare may keep teams away.
Scott Howson was in Vancouver for a second interview. Jim Benning has had two interviews as well.The Bruins may lose another piece of their management as Don Sweeney has interviewed with the Capitals. Predators Paul Fenton also interviewed with the Capitals. Ray Shero would make sense in Washington. The Capitals have had talks with Wayne Gretzky. Doug MacLean was mentioned by Chuck Gormley of CSN Washington.
At the GM meetings after the Stanley Cup, it will be proposed to offer a 2nd round draft pick as compensation for a team losing a hockey employee.
Hurricanes GM Ron Francis on Eric Staal’s future with the team: “It depends on our budget.” The budget should be known in the next week or so. Francis added that he liked seeing Eric on the left wing as it is easier to double shift him.
The Panthers coaching search should start up this week as GM Dale Tallon is returning from the World Championships.
Wild GM Chuck Fletcher will meet with Mike Yeo about a contract extension. Ducks Bruce Boudreau’s contract is up after next season, with his assistants being up in a month.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on Hockey Night in Canada
“When you’ve been in a place nine years like I have, going into my 10th year, it becomes a mutual thing. You want to be someplace where they want you. If they don’t want you, you move on. I’m going to coach in the league for a long time yet, there’s going to be opportunities for me. I like what we’ve done in Detroit; we’ve rebuilt on the fly…I think we have a chance to be better next year and better in the future. So, I tell people all the time: I’ve got a good place to hunt, I’ve got a good place to water ski, my family’s happy, my youngest girl is finishing school next year so I’m free that way. But there’s no reason to move if you don’t have to move or if it doesn’t excite you to. I’ve always been a believer that the grass is greener right here at home as long as you fertilize and water.”
Friedman thinks Marian Gaborik won’t get to free agency.
Friedman thinks that one of the reasons that the Maple Leafs extended Dion Phaneuf as it would help increase his trade value at some point. It is easier to trade a player with term and eating some salary than a UFA. They are probably looking at his trade value.
- Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson confirmed that R.J. Umberger has requested a trade. Davidson added that an Umberger trade would only be made if it strengthens their roster.
“We don’t get into speculation regarding trades, but I do know this much – when we run a professional sports organization, and you have to look at improving your club – you’re going to look to do anything you possibly can to improve your club,” Davidson said. “If it means moving somebody out, somebody on (to a different team) you do that.
“If a player talks to you as an organization that he needs a change of scenery, you try to help him and you try to do the right thing. We’ve appreciated what R.J. has done for us, but it has to be something that makes sense for our club.”
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: The Bruins may look at if they want to deal with Brad Marchand’s lack of playoff production and lack of discipline anymore. The 26-year old has three years left at $4.5 million and has trade value. The Bruins may need some cap space this off-season as Torey Krug and Reilly Smith will need new deals. There was talk last off-season involving Marchand, and it may be louder this off-season.
- Slava Malamud: Vladislav Tretiak said that Alex Ovechkin didn’t suffer a knee tear: “Diagnosis didn’t reveal a serious ligament damage. The worst is avoided.” Added that Ovechkin is sore and they are considering a special knee brace. He’ll remain in Minsk even if he isn’t playing.
- Slava Malamud: IIHF president: “Gary Bettman said in Sochi it was unbelievable and if same happens in Korea, (NHL) will come. Puck is in players’ hands.”