The latest on Evander Kane, Cam Ward and Ales Hemsky, plus the latest on the Panthers and Maple Leafs.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jim Matheson believes the Jets won’t get full value if they trade Evander Kane but believes they have little choice. He suggests shipping Kane to his hometown of Vancouver for Alex Edler and a prospect…the Oilers will try to bring back Matt Greene via free agency this summer…Matheson also wonders about the chances of George McPhee becoming the Flames GM if he’s fired by the Capitals…He believes the Islanders could be a destination for Hurricanes’ goalie Cam Ward, suggesting the Isles could offer up forward Josh Bailey and a young defenseman…Matheson expects the Coyotes to shop for a scoring winger for center Mike Ribeiro. He thinks Ales Hemsky could be a good fit if he doesn’t re-sign with the Senators.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Jets shop Kane (and that’s a big “if”) they’ll probably try to ship him to an Eastern Conference club. If they were to deal him to a Western team, I have my doubts it would be Vancouver. I also doubt they would have interest in Edler, nor do I see him agreeing to be dealt to Winnipeg. He has a no-trade clause…The Kings could try to re-sign Greene…McPhee’s been linked to the Flames for some time, but we don’t know yet what the future holds for him…I also think the Islanders would be interested in Ward, but he has a no-trade clause and I can’t see him waiving it to join the Long Island circus…As Matheson noted, Hemsky’s future in Ottawa could be tied to what the Sens do with Jason Spezza, who has a year left on his contract and of late has become the subject of trade rumors.
MIAMI HERALD/SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon is promising to bring in pieces to turn the Florida Panthers into a winner. He intends to sign five free agents this summer, including a sniper and two defensemen to bolster his team’s scoring and defensive play. Tallon believes his club’s reacquiring Roberto Luongo will serve as a selling point to free agents that his club is serious about rebuilding into a winner. He also intends to meet with veteran blueliner Ed Jovanovski, who returned from career-threatening hip surgery, to discuss his future.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The addition of Luongo and the promise of youngsters Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov are decent selling points, as is the fine weather and relative anonymity for a hockey player living in Florida. Still, given the club’s long history of losing, the Panthers will be a difficult sell. Tallon must be careful not to add veterans who are solely interested in one last big payday with a Sunbelt team. They need more than names, they need leadership and skill.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran joins the growing list of pundits who believe goalie James Reimer will be dealt this summer. He also believes defenseman Jake Gardiner could be on the move for a top center, and lists Mike Keenan, John Hynes, Peter Laviolette and Kevin Dineen as possible replacements for coach Randy Carlyle.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen, of course, who becomes the Leafs coach if Carlyle is fired. Reimer is almost certainly gone, but it’ll take more than Gardiner to land a top center. He’ll have to be part of a package deal for that type of return.