What does Lou Lamoriello’s hiring as Maple Leafs GM mean for the Leafs’ core players? Are the Hurricanes looking to fill holes in their roster?
Will Lamoriello ship out Leafs core players?
TSN: Among Frank Seravalli’s 10 questions to consider regarding the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring Lou Lamoriello as GM is what happens to their core players like Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak and Dion Phaneuf? Seravalli believes Lamoriello won’t pre-judge those players, who’ve been fixtures in the NHL rumor mill for months. He feels the new Leafs GM will evaluate those players next season, giving them a chance to prove themselves. Seravalli also notes Lamoriello has historically built his teams with veterans.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems sensible for Lamoriello to take time to assess those core players before deciding who to move and who to keep. It would be foolish to just come in and start slashing the roster willy-nilly.
Even if Lamoriello wanted to make big changes right away, he won’t find many takers at this point in the offseason for those expensive players. Few teams have the cap space to absorb their contracts, and those who do are under self-imposed lower cap ceilings.
Those clubs looking to shake up their rosters with trades entering this summer have already done so. Best to give Phaneuf, Bozak and Lupul the opportunity to prove themselves, or at least improve their trade value, through next season before deciding who stays and who goes. If Lamoriello makes any moves this summer or during training camp/preseason, it will involve secondary players rather than the core guys.
Hurricanes still seeking depth.
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Luke DeCock reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis has some holes to fill on the wing and defense, preferably another top-six winger and another reliable blueliner. “There’s been some dialogue with some guys, but we’re still sitting and waiting to see where the numbers go,” Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis said Friday. “The guys we’ve talked about are not in a range we’d be comfortable with yet, so we’re keeping an eye on it. I’m not in a hurry to jump in.” DeCock also notes the Hurricanes have listened to offers for forward Jeff Skinner, but haven’t received anything worth doing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s really not much available via free agency for the Hurricanes, but several players are available who could interest them. Wingers include Curtis Glencross, Brad Boyes and former Hurricane Jiri Tlusty, while defensemen include Christian Ehrhoff, Cody Franson and David Schlemko. As for trading Skinner, I think the best opportunity to do that has already passed for this offseason.