Richards update … Lightning have plenty of free agents to deal with...

Richards update … Lightning have plenty of free agents to deal with … All quiet in Leafland … Jets, Wings, Sens, Hurricanes, Caps and Flyers rumors

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  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post:

    If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times during this Entry Draft weekend in Minnesota: ” Richards told he wants to come to New York.”

    And this, too: “Slats is going to blow his brains out to sign Richards.”

    Brooks thinks a front loaded ($11 million) $32.5 million for 5 years should be enough. Richards is coming off a concussion, but is worth the risk.

  • Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman will be busy this week. Steven Stamkos will be an RFA on July 1st if a deal isn’t struck by then. Speculation grows that Stamkos may not be back in with the Lightning, the longer remains unsigned, though it is an unlikely scenario. An offer sheet could cost 4 1st round draft picks. Yzerman did meet with Stamkos’s agent at the draft, and will talk again this week. Yzerman will also speak with Dwayne Roloson’s agent.

    “I’ve been in touch with virtually everybody’s agent, everybody will travel (Sunday) and get settled in to their offices and we’ll get back on the phone this week,” Yzerman said. “I’m optimistic, I believe that we will get things accomplished. We were able to get Eric (Brewer’s) done this week and we’ll chip away at our restricted guys and go from there.”

    The Lightning have 14 players that they could send qualifying offers to, which must be done today. They may look at goaltending during free agency if Roloson doesn’t re-sign. Sean Bergenheim may sign elsewhere. Simon Gagne and Adam Hall are unlikely to return. The Lightning may be looking for a top 6, possibly Brad Richards.

  • Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun: All is quiet from Brian Burke and team management with regards to their interest in Brad Richards. The Rangers, Flyers and Leafs are all expected to take a long look at signing the 31 year old free agent. Richards suggested after the season that he might take a discount to head back to Tampa Bay. Richards is likely looking for an 8 year deal in the $7 million range, which may be more than Burke would want to go. Burke believes that winger Matt Frattin may be able to make Leafs next fall.
  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff had a few trade discussions with his former boss Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman, but nothing materialized.

    “Stan and I chatted on a couple of things, but Stan had some big things on the go that were maybe a little bit not in the direction I was looking at at this point in time,” said Cheveldayoff. “We had some good conversations, they gave me some good support along the way and we had a good couple of laughs.

    “We’ll have to wait for our first Chicago-Winnipeg deal.”

    Cheveldayoff had some “feeling out” discussions with other teams. Cheveldayoff wouldn’t comment if they were one of the teams interested in Mike Richards. One report was saying the Flyers were looking at a package of Evander Kane, the 7th overall pick and possibly Alexander Burmistrov.

  • Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News: Red Wings GM Ken Holland would like to add a top 4 calibre defenseman and possibly a backup goalie. Jaromir Jagr remains a possibility for the Red Wings and Penguins, but neither team wants to give him a huge salary. Holland is “in the same ballpark” with Jonathan Ericsson’s agent, and are getting closer to a deal. Negotiations with Patrick Eaves and Drew Miller aren’t going as smoothly. Kris Draper and Chris Osgood’s days as a Red Wing could hinge on how the free agency period plays out.
  • Tim Baines of the Ottawa Sun: The Senators have about $20 million in cap space, but won’t be going after a Brad Richards or Kevin Bieksa or Dwayne Roloson. If the price is right, Baines thinks the Senators should go after Zenon Konopka. If Brooks Laich is wanting 4-5 years at $3.5 million, that may be too pricey.
  • Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer: Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford met with the agents for Joni Pitkanen and Jussi Jokinen in the past week, and that “I’m at the point now that I do have hope that we’re going to be able to sign both players,” he says.