New Bruins GM Don Sweeney has some decisions to make, Robin Lehner could be odd man out in the Senators’ crease, and a suggested goalie target for the Oilers.
Sweeney faces tough decisions with Bruins.
THE BOSTON GLOBE/BOSTON HERALD: Fluto Shinzawa and Stephen Harris listed what they consider as offseason priorities for new Bruins GM Don Sweeney. Both agree Sweeney must determine left wing Milan Lucic’s future with the Bruins. Lucic becomes eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency and could command over $7 million annually on the open market. One agent suggests he could get as much as $8.5 million. Sweeney could gauge Lucic’s trade value this summer. The new Bruins GM could also acquire a new backup goaltender and must decide if he’ll re-sign pending UFAs Carl Soderberg and Adam McQuaid, who’ve expressed their wish to remain with the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins have limited cap space for next season and must re-sign RFA defenseman (and Zdeno Chara’s heir apparent) Dougie Hamilton. Given their cap situation I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucic hits the trade block next month to free up space to re-sign Hamilton and perhaps McQuaid and/or Soderberg.
Lehner likely trade candidate for Senators.
OTTAWA SUN: In the wake of the Senators re-signing Andrew Hammond to a new one-way contract, Bruce Garrioch believes Robin Lehner could be the odd man out in their crowded crease. He lists the Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks as potential trade suitors for Lehner, who’s made progress in his recovery from a concussion and is expected to be ready for training camp in September.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also suggests starter Craig Anderson could be a trade candidate, suggesting whichever goalie can fetch a top-six forward could be the one who moves. However, if I’m a Senators fan I wouldn’t be comfortable with the notion of a Lehner-Hammond tandem next season. Neither has established themselves as a true starting goalie.
Should the Oilers target Mike Smith?
THE GLOBE AND MAIL: Eric Duhatschek noted the Edmonton Oilers recent hiring of coach Todd McLellan – along with their hirings of Bob Nicholson as CEO and Peter Chiarelli as GM, as well as winning the 2015 NHL Draft lottery – makes the club “off-season champs.” Duhatschek also notes the Oilers still need a true starting goaltending, suggesting Arizona Coyotes netminder Mike Smith as a trade target. He believes the Coyotes might be happy to shed the remainder of Smith’s contract (four years, $5.667 million per season for the more affordable Ben Scrivens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s an interesting suggestion, given Smith’s solid performance for Canada’s gold medal-winning team at the recent World Championships. Coyotes GM Don Maloney claimed earlier this season the Coyotes were “married” to Smith’s contract, but marriages can sometimes end in divorce. If anyone is willing to take on most or all of Smith’s remaining contract, and if he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause, Maloney could jump on the chance to move him.