Latest on the Oilers, Flyers, Blue Jackets and Devils.
Are any of the Kings UFAs of interest to the Oilers?
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis wonders if any of the Los Angeles Kings’ current crop of unrestricted free agents might interest the Edmonton Oilers this summer. He notes former Oiler Jarret Stoll’s offensive game has dried up while there’s little need to add a right winger like Justin Williams. Andrej Sekera is among this summer’s best available blueline options while Jamie McBain could be an affordable third-pairing defense option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The better question is, would any of the Kings’ pending UFAs consider signing with a club as poorly managed as the Oilers?
Flyers’ Hextall has decisions to make.
PHILLY.COM: Sam Carchidi reports Flyers GM Ron Hextall has decisions to make regarding the futures of young forwards Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier. Both have shown promise but haven’t developed as quickly as the Flyers hoped. Carchidi believes Hextall is leaning toward giving both players more time to develop. Carchidi also recently noted the Flyers’ glaring need for a No. 1 defenseman, but because of salary-cap constraints Hextall said that player will have to come from within. The Flyers GM also doesn’t anticipate any problem re-signing blueliner Michael Del Zotto.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schenn and Couturier will be given another season to prove themselves. If they fail to make significant improvement, I believe one or both could hit the trade block before the 2016 trade deadline.
No roster blowup for Blue Jackets.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets president John Davidson said management isn’t about to get silly and blow up the roster because they missed the playoffs this season. “We feel pretty strongly about this group. Going forward, we’re going to try to improve it, for sure, but we’re not going to tear it down to improve it,” said Davidson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Everyone knows it was injuries which killed the Blue Jackets’ season. Now that the roster is healthier we’re seeing what they’re capable of, as they’ve just won eight straight games. I don’t believe they need to shake things up, apart from perhaps adding an experienced top-two defenseman. With a healthier roster next season, the Blue Jackets are a playoff club.
Can the Devils attract free agents?
NJ.COM: Rich Chere wonders if the New Jersey Devils’ recent decline will adversely affect efforts to attract unrestricted free agent talent this summer. The Devils have a solid defense corps and last summer inked Michael Cammalleri to a five-year deal. They’ll also have plenty of cap space. Still, the club’s decline, and being overshadowed by the New York franchises could hurt efforts to bolster their depth via free agency.