Latest on Jonathan Bernier, Patrick Marleau, Mike Green, Joffrey Lupul and Andrew Hammond
Latest on Bernier, Marleau and Green.
SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman, in his recent edition of “30 Thoughts”, speculated over Jonathan Bernier’s future with the Toronto Maple Leafs. “Of all the players rumoured to be dealt in Toronto, the one with the biggest financial incentive to ask out is Jonathan Bernier,” writes Friedman. He notes the Leafs goalie’s time to cash in is this summer or next, which explains why management is hesitant to commit long term right now, especially after Bernier’s had a bad year… Friedman also noted the poor production this season of long-time San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who has a full no-movement clause…Mike Green’s desire to re-sign with the Washington Capitals could depend upon the cost of re-signing goaltender Braden Holtby…Friedman also believes the Ottawa Senators will re-sign goalie Andrew Hammond and then trade either Craig Anderson or Robin Lehner. It’s possible Lehner could be the odd man out, given his struggles and concerns over his mental game this season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bernier is a restricted free agent this summer. If the Leafs only re-sign him to a one-year deal, he’ll become eligible next summer for UFA status. The Leafs have to decide if Bernier’s their starter or not…Good luck moving Marleau. Like teammate Joe Thornton, he controls his future…Even if Green were to accept a pay cut, the Capitals probably can’t afford to re-sign him. Holtby’s going to get a big raise, plus they must also re-sign fellow RFAs Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov, as well as re-sign or replace UFAs like Joel Ward, Curtis Glencross, Eric Fehr and Jay Beagle…If Hammond carries the Senators into the playoffs he’ll almost certainly be re-signed, likely meaning Lehner hits the trade block.
Some interest in Lupul.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: TSN’s Darre Dreger reports there were some teams with interest in Toronto Maple Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul before the trade deadline, though he doubts there’s going to be clubs lining up for Lupul in the offseason. Dreger claims the St. Louis Blues were among those with some interest in the Leafs winger, plus the Ottawa Senators “kicked the tires.” He notes Lupul, when healthy, still has some scoring upside, but the trick is convincing a rival GM his injuries are due simply to bad luck.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lupul also has three years remaining on his contract at an annual cap hit of $5.25 million, though in actual salary he’ll earn $6.75 million next season. That, plus his injury history, won’t make him easy to trade this summer. The Leafs will likely have to pick up part of his salary.