The Leafs have yet to shake things up at center, while it appears unlikely the Coyotes will make more roster changes.
No changes yet at center for the Maple Leafs.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports that, barring a trade between now and September, the Maple Leafs will open training camp with Nazem Kadri and Tyler Bozak as their top centers. “New GM. New coach. Same old centres,” observes Simmons.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A month ago, there was speculation Bozak was the next Leaf likely to move following the trade of Phil Kessel to Pittsburgh. While that might still be possible, the Bozak rumors have pretty much petered out. Since those rumors last appeared, the Leafs hired Lou Lamoriello as their general manager..He might not be as keen to ship out Bozak as some observers seem to be.
Simmons believed the Arizona Coyotes, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota Wild, Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins could use Bozak, prompting my counterpoint as to why those clubs are unlikely to pursue him. I think the Leafs intend to retain Bozak for next season, perhaps to bolster his trade value, but at the very least to provide them with some experienced depth at center.
As for Kadri, I don’t believe he’ll be traded. The Leafs have likely penciled him in as their first-line center for 2015-16.
No more roster moves for the Coyotes?
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC: Sarah McLellan recently reported Coyotes GM Don Maloney doubts he’ll make more roster changes prior to the start of training camp in September. He doesn’t rule out some training camp tryouts, citing his roster and payroll flexibility. However, he added, “I’m just adamant not to shore up a roster with any more one-way contracts unless it’s a very good deal.” Maloney said he’d prefer adding a mobile defenseman instead of a winger because of their promising youth at forward.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s certainly several puck-moving blueliners still available via free agency (Cody Franson, Christian Ehrhoff, Marek Zidlicky), but it appears the Coyotes, like several other clubs in need of such players, are waiting for their asking prices to drop. Perhaps one of those players could end up in Arizona if the price is right for the Coyotes.
Franson seeks a multi-year deal, which might not fit into the Coyotes’ plans. Ehrhoff is willing to accept a one-year deal and reportedly has a “low-ball offer” from the Columbus Blue Jackets. He does, however, have a recent concussion history. Zidlicky is another who’d accept a one-year deal and has had talks with the Boston Bruins, but he’s also 38 and coming to the end of his career.