On the Tampa Bay Lightning …
Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Lightning: The 34-year old Peter Budaj will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1st, but the Lightning are interested in bringing Budaj back next season to backup Andrei Vasilevskiy.
“We were very pleased with the finish to the season Peter had, we’d very muuch be interested in bringing him Peter back,” GM Steve Yzerman said Thursday on 620-AM. “As the offseason winds down here, we get closer to July 1, we’ll figure out what wer’e going to do for backup and goaltenders in Syracuse.”
Budaj said after the season that he’d be open to re-signing with the Lightning.
Nikita Kucherov has two years left on his contact that pays him $4.76 million and GM Steve Yzerman knows it will cost them a lot more on his next deal.
“We’ll have to make sure we have the cap space available, assuuming he continues on the career path he’s on,” Yzerman said on 620-AM Thursday. “I expect him to be even better. We’ll be prepared for that when the time comes.”
On the Detroit Red Wings …
Ansar Khan of MLive: (mailbag) The Red Wings traded Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott and Brendan Smith at the trade deadline and they could have some level of interest in bringing them back once free agency gets underway on July 1st.
Teams may not be sold on Vanek and he might have to take another one-year deal. If the Red Wings can sign him on a one-year deal at around $3 million, they should do it.
Teams that might be looking to trade a defenseman before the expansion draft include the Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets and the New York Islanders.
The Islanders might need to trade a defenseman, maybe Calvin de Haan. The Red Wings have been rumored to be interested in de Haan.
It’s doubtful that the Red Wings will buy anyone out. The Red Wings still owe Stephen Weiss $7.5 million over the next four years. Jonathan Ericsson has three years left at $4.25 million. A buyout would be a $1.6 million cap hit next year and $1.3 million for the next five.