Kovalchuk and the Devils … Modano, Wings or retirement … Family concerns...

Kovalchuk and the Devils … Modano, Wings or retirement … Family concerns for Nabokov

  • Mark Everson of the NY Post: Nothing much has changed with Ilya Kovalchuk and the New Jersey Devils the past couple days. They are still considered the leading NHL candidate (maybe the only NHL candidate) to sign the Russian super-star. One thing that might be holding this up is that the Devils need to shed some salary before they can sign him, possibly as much as $6 million. The Devils have 8 players that have no-trade/no-movement clauses. Bryce Salvador ($2.9 million) and Dainius Zubrus ($3.4 million) are the most likely candidates. The Devils could sign now, and would have all summer to shed the excess salary (teams are allowed to 10% over the salary cap during the summer, but have to be under by day 1 of the regular season).
  • Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Bill Guerin is still hoping to play next season. He’s had ‘minimal discussions’ with the Penguins and a few other teams. The Penguins are considering moving Malkin or Staal to the wing, and using a young winger or bringing back Guerin for the 3rd line. Everything still status quo on Kovalchuk according to Lou Lamoriello. The Anaheim Ducks are going to sit back on the Bobby Ryan front after he turned down a 5 year $25 million deal, and a 4 year $18.4 million deal. The Ducks are ready to wait and see if a team sends him an offer sheet, then decide to match it or take the compensation. See – Compensation for signing a RFA. Maxim Afinogenov is the 2nd highest UFA scorer, but still remains unsigned. John Madden is still available and not going to rush things, wants to make sure it’s a good fit.
  • Jeremy Rutherford via Twitter: If New Jersey is looking to make some trades to sign Kovalchuk, he’s sure the Blues are looking into it. However, neither team is looking to take on salary.
  • Dmitry Chesnokov via Twitter: Next set of negotiations for Evgeni Nabokov and SKA St. Petersburg is set for today. His concerns aren’t about money but over his family.
  • Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune: Former Wild Kim Johnsson is contemplating retirement due to concussions. Johnsson received a concussion with the Blackhawk that ended his season in March,  is still suffering symptoms, and has no “immediate plans to play” according to his agent. Pierre-Marc Bouchard is exercising at a slow, easy pace in hope of being ready for training camp. Russo thinks the Wild will add another defenseman, and he wouldn’t be surprised if the Wild make a big trade.
  • Chip Alexander via Twitter: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford has said they are considering 2 options: 1. Signing a Top 4 defenseman and allowing Jamie McBain to “ease into things” or option #2 having McBain as a Top 4 defenseman and re-signing Brett Carson or Alexander Picard. Re-signing Brian Pothier is an “outside possibility” but isn’t being ruled out.