- Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News: Nicklas Lidstrom decision to either retire or continue playing for the Red Wings should be made known by next Wednesday’s NHL Awards Show. “Nick said he’ll have a decision by then,” said Holland.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: The Canucks may have a plan to keep both Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff, but both would have to slight discount. Keith Ballard has 4 years at $4.2 million per season, and would be hard to trade on his own, but if they packaged him with Cory Schneider a deal might be able to get done.
- Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province: Kevin Bieksa could remain with the Canucks. “The unrestricted free agent is expected sign a contract extension with the Presidents’ Trophy winners because his play has dictated that consideration. And he’s willing take a discount, too.”
“I think everybody takes less to be play here,” the 30-year-old Bieksa said Friday. “It’s such a great organization that you want to be here. It’s the culture. It’s like Detroit. If you want to win, you take less. It’s a great team and a great one for a long time and you want to be a part of that. The bonus is the core guys I’ve grown up and the strong friendships. That factors into the decision-making process.
“There’s no need to draw anything out. I’m pretty optimistic we can reach an agreement.”
Sami Salo could be thinking the same thing. Canucks GM Mike Gillis has shown interest in bringing Salo back. They currently have 13 players signed for $45.6 million.
- Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald: Many think that Tomas Kaberle won’t be re-signed by the Bruins, but Conroy thinks that may not be a good idea,
They’ve been hunting for a puck-moving defenseman and it’s an element the B’s need. They might not match his current salary of $4.25 million, but there aren’t a lot of options. He’s no shutdown defenseman, but the B’s have those in Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara.”
- Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News: Ilya Bryzagalov spent a couple days in Philly, and left without a contract. Both sides agreed to continue talking next week. Bryzgalov reportedly has been looking for 6 years at $6 million per season. The Flyers would like to have a deal in place by the NHL Draft next Friday. A deal wouldn’t be able to be signed until some cap space has been shed. They have about $59 million tied up so far for next year, with the cap going up to about $63.5 million.
- James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail: The Maple Leafs have around $23 million in cap space with 3 notable RFAs to sign (Luke Schenn, Clarke MacArthur and Tyler Bozak). They obviously would like to find a centerman for Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul. They could also use a puck-moving, power play defenseman. Options could be Christian Ehrhoff, James Wisniewski, Joni Pitkanen, Kevin Bieksa, and Andrei Markov. If Toronto is going to sign one of their needs on July 1st, it’s likely on the blueline. The Leafs could free up more cap space by making a trade and having Ben Scrivens as the backup, or by demoting Brett Lebda. They may be stuck with Mike Komisarek and his $4.5 million. Burke won’t be drafting by position, and priorities are “character” and “footspeed.”