Updates on the Red Wings and Senators.
Wings to take another run at Phaneuf?
FOX SPORTS DETROIT: Keith Gave reports the trade deadline rumors of the Red Wings’ interest in Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf are likely to be resurrected soon. The Leafs want to rid themselves of Phaneuf’s $7 million per season contract, but the Wings prefer not to pick up the full amount. Gave speculates they’ll want the Leafs to absorb $2 million annually. The Wings also want to unload center Stephen Weiss’s contract ($4.9 million annually) plus they’re willing to include a “bottom-tier defenseman” (like Brendan Smith) and a lesser prospect in the deal. While Phaneuf has a partial no-trade clause, a source claims he’s willing to accept a trade to Detroit “to get out of that nut house in Toronto.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wings apparently see Phaneuf as a second-pairing defenseman. He could be a good fit in that role, where he wouldn’t have to deal with the burden of being the main guy on the blueline. It remains to be seen, however, if the two clubs can work out a deal that sends him to Detroit.
Senators open talks with their free agents.
OTTAWA CITIZEN: Wayne Scanlan reports Senators management has started contract talks with their pending free agents, which includes “five RFAs, all forwards – Mark Stone, Mika Zibanejad, Mike Hoffman, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Alex Chiasson – and two pending UFAs, forward Erik Condra and goaltender Andrew Hammond.” Scanlan also reports Senators GM Bryan Murray will try to acquire a top-six forward via trade or free agency, as well as shipping out a veteran or two who would prefer moving on to another club. If
Anderson Hammond is re-signed, the expectation is backup Robin Lehner could be the odd man out. It’s believed the Sens will re-sign all their RFAs, but Condra could end up departing via the UFA market.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray said the Senators will spend more to retain their key players, but they won’t go up to the cap ceiling, which is currently projected at $71.5 million for 2015-16. Unless Murray can shed some salary, Condra could be a goner, especially if the Sens pursue a top-six forward. It’s expected David Legwand and Colin Greening will be shopped this summer.