Updates on the Kings, Red Wings and Flyers, plus the latest on UFA prospect defenseman Mike Reilly.
Latest on the Kings.
ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Rich Hammond reports Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi provided updates on the status of center Mike Richards, winger Justin Williams and defenseman Andrej Sekera. He said no decision has been reached yet regarding Richards, who could be traded or bought out to free up salary for the cap-strapped Kings. Lombardi said the club is working toward re-signing restricted free agents Tyler Toffoli and Martin Jones. Re-signing Williams would first require a move (a “domino to fall”) to free up cap space. He also said he doesn’t consider Sekera’s asking price to be unreasonable.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lombardi must clear salary to have a realistic shot at re-signing Williams and/or Sekera. That means Richards is dealt away or bought out before the end of this month. Given the decline in Richards’ performance and his $5.75 million annual cap hit for the next several seasons, a buyout seems more likely.
Free-agent forward targets for the Red Wings.
MLIVE.COM: recently listed some suggested free-agent forward options this summer for the Detroit Red Wings. They include Anaheim’s Matt Beleskey, Washington’s Eric Fehr, Curtis Glencross and Joel Ward, Nashville’s Mike Fisher and Mike Ribeiro, Winnipeg’s Michael Frolik and Drew Stafford, Vancouver’s Shawn Matthias, Chicago’s Brad Richards and Antoine Vermette, Boston’s Carl Soderberg, Minnesota’s Chris Stewart, Los Angeles’ Justin Williams and the New York Rangers’ Martin St. Louis.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not a particularly great list of options. We can rule out Fisher and Ribeiro as I don’t see them leaving Nashville. The Jets reportedly hope to re-sign Frolik and Stafford, while Ward is hoping to re-sign with the Capitals. Retirement could be beckoning St. Louis. Beleskey has only one decent season under his belt. Glencross did nothing to bolster his value during his brief tenure with the Capitals. Williams, Richards and Vermette are aging. Stewart is very inconsistent. That leaves Fehr, Matthias and Soderberg.
How will the Flyers boost their secondary scoring?
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tom Dougherty recently responded to a reader’s question regarding the Flyers’ secondary scoring by examining possible free-agent targets. He feels Washington’s Joel Ward price himself out of the Flyers’ range thanks to his strong postseason performance. Dougherty suggests Winnipeg’s Drew Stafford or Minnesota’s Chris Stewart would help the Flyers, but believes the club has the forwards to improve, singling out Matt Read, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the Flyers’ limited cap space, I don’t see them as big players in this summer’s UFA market. A trade is possible, but it could come down to expecting more from Read, Couturier and Schenn next season.
UFA prospect Reilly being courted by several clubs.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Aaron Portzline reports the Blue Jackets have allowed prospect defenseman Mike Reilly to speak with other clubs. While Reilly hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the Jackets, it’s assumed he’ll be moving on with another club on July 1. Reilly and his agent Pat Brisson have reportedly met with several teams during this week’s NHL scouting combine in Buffalo. Reports suggest the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers and New York Rangers are involved in the talks.