- Craig Custance of ESPN: Some things the Blackhawks will have to handle this offseason.
1. Sign Kane and Toews to gigantic contract extensions – both have one year left on their $6.3 million deals. They will need a raise and the Blackhawks won’t want to have both get close to unrestricted free agency next summer. Evgeni Malkin’s eight-year, $76 million ($9.5 million salary cap hit) is a comparable.
2. Shore up the backup goalie spot – Antti Raanta is a UFA and may be the most logical choice. Needs to improve on his .897 save percentage.
3. Lay low for a while – They’ve played a lot of hockey in the last two years and they need to get away for a while to heal up and then get ready for next season.
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: The Stars should look for a younger goalie to battle 22-year Jack Campbell as their backup instead of veterans like they’ve used in the past (Tim Thomas, Dan Ellis, Andrew Raycroft or Cristopher Nilstorp). 27-year old Chad Johnson is a UFA, same with Devin Dubnyk. They could look at trades: Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban (BOS), Sami Aittokallio (COL), Petr Mrazek or Tom McCollum (DET).
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: The Canadiens may like to pay P.K. Subban something similar to Kris Letang’s eight years and $58 million. Drew Doughty got eight years and $56 million from the Kings. Letang’s no-trade cluase kicks in on July 1st and he could be dealt before.
The Panthers are looking at Tom Renney, Marc Crawford and Ron Wilson for their head coaching vacancy. They may be waiting to see what happens to Dan Bylsma in Pittsburgh. If they go with Renney, Perry Pearn could be an assistant as the two worked together with the Rangers.
Matheson thinks there is a 75 percent chance that Capitals Mike Green gets traded at the draft or this offseason. He has one-year left at $6.25 million. He’s dealt with concussion and groin issues in the past. The Lightning, Panthers, Red Wings and Flyers could be options.
Would Ray Shero take on an advisor role with the Bruins?
Lightning assistant GM Julien BriseBois could be the leading candidate for the Penguins GM position.
The Blues signing free agent winger Joakim Lindstrom may not be good new for Magnus Paajarvi. The Blues are looking for a defensive partner for Kevin Shattenkirk on the second pairing, and have Patrik Berglund to offer up.
Matheson doesn’t see the Martin Brodeur landing starting job anywhere next season. He may have to split time again somewhere next year.