The latest on Dan Boyle, Mike Richards, James Neal and Ryan Kesler, plus updates on the Maple Leafs, Jets and Flames.
NEWSDAY/DETROIT FREE PRESS/NBC SPORTS: Arthur Staple reports the NY Islanders, having yesterday acquired defenseman Dan Boyle from the San Jose Sharks, have until the end of the month to exclusively negotiate with him. Boyle’s agent, George Bazos, said his client is open to any and all options, and intends on educating himself about the Isles in the coming days. Helene St. James reports the Detroit Red Wings could target Boyle if he becomes a UFA on July 1. Jason Brough cited the Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch claiming, prior to the Isles’ acquisition of Boyle, could attempt to acquire his rights.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Islanders are unable to negotiate a deal with Boyle before July 1 they could shop his rights for a conditional draft pick. His agent acknowledged the Lightning, one of Boyle’s former clubs, could interest his client if he becomes a free agent. While it’s easy to assume Boyle won’t re-sign with the Islanders, the club moving to Barclays Center next summer could be used as a selling point.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wonders if this season could be Mike Richards’ last with the LA Kings. While he has six more seasons (at $5.75 million annually) left on his contract, his performance has declined, sparking speculation the Kings could use one of their compliance buyouts to shed his contract later this month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Kings hope to re-sign Marian Gaborik, who’s tearing it up alongside Anze Kopitar, they could buy out Richards and part of the savings toward a short-term, $5 million per season deal for Gaborik.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Rob Rossi recently reported sources claiming teams have already let the agent for Pittsburgh Penguins winger James Neal know they’re interested in working out a trade for him with the new Penguins general manager, whoever that may be.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hat tip to Denny for this link. While some readers could consider this tampering, Rossi is merely citing sources and hasn’t specifically named a team or a time when those discussions may have taken place. I don’t doubt there’s interest in Neal if the Penguins decide to move him.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma reports Canucks center Ryan Kesler met with new Canucks GM Jim Benning this week but neither side will elaborate as to what they discussed. The Pittsburgh Penguins had serious interest in Kesler leading up to the March trade deadline. The Anaheim Ducks could also come calling if Benning decides to shop the veteran center. Kuzma believes Ducks forward Devante Smith-Pelly is untouchable but forwards Mathieu Perreault and Kyle Palmieri could be available.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Expect Kesler’s name to remain in the rumor mill leading up to the NHL draft weekend in three weeks time.
SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos claims the Toronto Maple Leafs Leafs remain aggressive in the NHL trade market, writing only four players (Phil Kessel, Jonathan Bernier, Tyler Bozak and Morgan Rielly) aren’t being actively shopped. Mark Spector wonders if the Winnipeg Jets, who hold the ninth overall pick in this year’s draft, might try moving it for immediate help. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff actually teased that maybe his club could be the one which makes a blockbuster move, though he acknowledged that could be difficult. Spectors suggests Dustin Byfuglien and Evander Kane as possible trade chips.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Just because the Leafs are rumored to be actively shopping all but four players doesn’t mean they’re going to overhaul the roster and trade most of those players. Still, that suggests James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Dion Phaneuf, James Reimer and Jake Gardiner could be in play. As for the Jets, they have the pieces to swing a blockbuster, but is Cheveldayoff willing to make such a move? He’s resisted doing so over the past three years.
CALGARY HERALD: Scott Cruickshank reports Flames president Brian Burke admitted his club has looked at moving up from fourth overall in the NHL Draft, exploring the availability of the first overall pick. Burke said his club won’t pay a high price for that pick.