Updates on the Lightning and Bruins, plus the latest on Curtis Glencross in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.
Latest on Stamkos and Bishop.
NHL.COM: Corey Long expects contract talks between the Tampa Bay Lightning and captain Steven Stamkos to heat up on the coming weeks. He claims the Lightning would love to get Stamkos re-signed before training camp opens on Sept. 17. Long expects trade rumors will begin if Stamkos isn’t inked before the start of the season.
Long also suggests starting goalie Ben Bishop is among the Bolts’ most valuable trade assets. Depending upon the cost to re-sign Stamkos and the performance this season of promising netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy, Bishop could become expendable.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It wouldn’t surprise me if the Stamkos negotiations carry through training camp and preseason. It could cost the Lightning $10.5 million annually on a seven- or eight-year deal to retain their captain. I expect they’ll pay it, though they’ll have to shed some salary before 2017 to re-sign Victor Hedman, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat, who are slated to become free agents (Hedman qualifies for UFA status) in two years time. If Vasilevskiy outperforms Bishop over the coming season, the latter could indeed be shopped, though I expect that move won’t occur until next summer at the earliest. The Lightning will keep that tandem intact for 2015-16.
Update on the Bruins.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently responded to some readers’ questions regarding the Boston Bruins. He doesn’t see the Bruins signing defenseman Cody Franson, as the blueliner still seeks a long-term deal. Haggerty thinks it’s possible the Bruins could make make a couple of professional tryout offers. He also feels it’s possible forwards Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly could be salary-cap casualties if the right deal comes along. Haggerty doesn’t believe UFA defenseman David Schlemko is the type of skilled puck-moving blueliner the Bruins need, and once again shoots down a reader’s suggestion that the Bruins should acquire Winnipeg’s Dustin Byfuglien.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Franson’s willing to accept a one- or two-year deal for under $4 million annually, the Bruins will be interested. Otherwise, they’ll consider other options, perhaps via PTOs. I don’t see any offers coming for Eriksson or Kelly. The Jets aren’t in any hurry to move Byfuglien. As Haggerty notes, it’ll take a significant offer to land him, certainly more than the suggested pitch by a reader of Dennis Seidenberg and Kevan Miller.
Glencross surprised he’s still unsigned.
CALGARY SUN: Eric Francis recently reported former Flames winger Curtis Glencross remains surprised he’s still unsigned. He was dealt by the Flames to the Washington Capitals last season and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Glencross says he now regrets accepting a hometown discount in 2011 to remain with the Flames. He said there’s been talks with several teams but he continues to play the waiting game. He’s also received some professional tryout contract offers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Glencross’ poor showing with the Capitals adversely affected his free-agent value in a summer when the salary cap marginally increased. He could be forced to accept a PTO in hopes of securing an NHL roster spot for the upcoming season.