Philadelphia Flyers needs in goal and defense, Dallas Stars might not tap into UFA market and the Carolina Hurricanes face changes on and off the ice.
Flyers’ goaltending and blueline needs.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio recently reviewed the Philadelphia Flyers’ goaltending and defense. He reports Flyers GM Ron Hextall wants to upgrade his backup goaltending. “In terms of unrestricted goaltenders at or near the salary of Emery ($1.0 million) this summer, the current list includes: Devan Dubnyk, Dan Ellis, Thomas Griess and Anders Lindback,” writes Pannacio.
The Flyers have a logjam on defense but lack a true No. 1 or No. 2 blueliner. The club would like to re-sign RFA Michael Del Zotto. Blueliner Nicklas Grossman is entering the final year of his contract ($3.5 million cap hit) and is a likely trade candidate this summer. Andrew MacDonald ($5 million annually) could also be moved in a cost-cutting trade if the right offer presents itself.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grossmann will be easier to move than MacDonald, who has five more years remaining on his contract. I’ll be very surprised if there’s any takers for that deal. As for affordable free-agent backups, Ellis, Viktor Fasth, Jonas Gustavsson, Michal Neuvirth and Jhonas Enroth could also be available for the Flyers.
No big UFA signings for Stars?
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika recently interview Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, who suggests his club could look at more affordable means to improve their roster than expensive free-agent signings this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That doesn’t mean the Stars won’t make any dips into the UFA pool this summer, but if we go by Gaglardi’s comments they won’t make a big splash. That means no pursuing big-ticket defensemen like Washington’s Mike Green, LA’s Andrej Sekera or Pittsburgh’s Paul Martin.
Hurricanes have work to do this summer.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander recently reported Carolina Hurricanes management has work to do to improve their roster for next season. Among the issues is discussing a new contract with captain Eric Staal, who’s eligible for UFA status next summer, and determining what to do with the remaining three years (at $7 million annually) of underachieving winger Alexander Semin. They must also decide what to do with goalie Cam Ward, who is also eligible for UFA status in 2016 and (like Staal) has a full no-trade clause. The Hurricanes must also boost their scoring and need some blueline help.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve noted before, I suspect the Hurricanes will try to trade Semin in June, but if they fail to find any takers could buy out the remainder of his contract. I think they’ll also want to get Staal’s situation sorted out as soon as possible to avoid questions over his future being an unnecessary distraction next season. If there’s a market for Ward, and if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause, I think they’ll move him this summer.