The latest on the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Marc Savard on the trade block?
SPORTSNET.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports the Boston Bruins could try to trade Marc Savard this summer, despite the fact he’s been sidelined since 2011 with concussion symptoms. Such a move could help the Bruins free up cap space (over $4 million annually) for trades and signings whilst helping a rival club reach next season’s salary-cap floor. Savard has not officially retired and remains on the Bruins’ payroll.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the past, the Bruins were able to gain some wiggle room by placing Savard on LTIR, but it will be much easier for them if they can simply shed most of his salary by trading his contract. To make this work, the Bruins might have to do what the Columbus Blue Jackets did with Nathan Horton and take back a toxic contract. As for teams in need of reaching the cap floor, most can do so quite easily by re-signing key players or adding depth via free agency.
Could the Panthers target the Blackhawks again?
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa speculates Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon will once again tap into his former team, the Chicago Blackhawks, via free agency or trades this summer. Former Blackhawks currently on the Panthers roster include “(Tomas) Kopecky, Brian Campbell, Dave Bolland, Brandon Pirri, Jimmy Hayes, Dylan Olsen, and Shawn Thornton.” Shinzawa speculates either Patrick Sharp or Bryan Bickell could end up shipped to the Panthers this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Tallon does target the Blackhawks again my guess is he acquired Bickell. Yes, he’s inconsistent but also younger than Sharp, who certainly appears to be on the decline this season.
Latest on the Maple Leafs.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wonders if the Toronto Maple Leafs will replace or retain general manager Dave Nonis following this season…Simmons believes the Leafs have only three untouchables: Morgan Rielly, Jonathan Bernier and James van Riemsdyk. He doesn’t share the Leafs’ front office optimism over Nazem Kadri and Jake Gardiner…Simmons also feels Phil Kessel can contribute to a Stanley Cup contender, albeit in a “Marian Gaborik-like role on an already-established winner.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It will be interesting to see what the Leafs do regarding their management. I believe they need to replace Nonis, but only if there’s obviously a much-better option available capable of rebuilding this club around its core of youth. The Leafs optimism over Kadri and Gardiner is understandable because they’re in the mid-twenties and still have room for improvement.