TSN Hockey Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun have the latest on Jason Spezza's future, the Kings' plans for Mike Richards, possible destinations for Vincent Lecavalier, Dan Boyle, Bob Nicholson, and more.
Bryan Murray made an announcement after the GM's meetings - and as was reported by Pierre LeBrun a couple of weeks ago - that Jason Spezza wants a trade out of Ottawa. What's the latest on that?
Pierre LeBrun: Yes, he made it public. As you said, we talked about this for a couple of weeks but I think that Murray felt compelled to stop playing around with this. It's not a rumour. Jason Spezza wants out and Murray has taken calls from other teams. Nothing is imminent, and Murray believes that things will heat up around the draft. But in any package for Spezza, he wants a player that helps them now plus some futures - it will be a high asking price.
The Stanley Cup Final is on but GM's are already focusing about next season. We expect Brad Richards to be bought out by the New York Rangers - what about Mike Richards by L.A.?
Darren Dreger: Well the Los Angeles Kings don't plan on buying out Mike Richards because then they would have to replace him. But Mike Richards doesn't want to be a fourth-line centre next year for the Kings. The Kings are expected to push Richards in the off-season to improve his conditions and get a little bit stronger. But we also know that Richards is a strong and confident young man and he may not want to follow the path that the Kings want him to follow. So this could get very interesting.
Is current Philadelphia Flyer Vincent Lecavalier soon to be an ex-Flyer?
Dreger: He's a fourth-line forward making $4.5 million and I can't believe that Ron Hextall is going to want to pay him that. So the word on the street is yes, Lecavalier most definitely is in play. But keep in mind that he has a no-move clause. I know that his agent Kent Hughes has already talked to Hextall about the possibility of moving his client. There are no specific teams yet, there's no list, but if they want to move him they are going to have to go to Vinny and identify a specific place.
LeBrun: To the disappointment of many teams, one player who is not on the move is Shea Weber and I'm not sure why. For whatever reason, his name pops up all the time as a trade target. David Poile, the GM of the Predators, after the meeting on Wednesday said, "I am never trading Shea Weber." He's not going anywhere, they're building their team around him...that's the end of it.
Dan Boyle's rights are owned right now by the New York Islanders. But could he end up a Toronto Maple Leaf?
Dreger: The Toronto Maple Leafs are high on Dan Boyle's list. He's expected to alert Islanders GM Garth Snow at some point this week as to whether or not he intends to negotiate with the Islanders with the possibility of staying there after New York made the trade for his negotiating rights. I know that the Islanders have already made an offer but there is no negotiation. Boyle wants a two-year deal, and the money might be more than the Leafs are willing to pay but they definitely have interest.
LeBrun: Speaking of money, the Chicago Blackhawks are going to open the vault again for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Chicago GM Stan Bowman told us today that he wants them signed by July 1. He has to set up his entire off-season and his cap room by knowing how much these guys will make. He's optimistic that these deals will get done shortly between now and July 1.
Bob Nicholson has left Hockey Canada, but we will find out shortly what his new job is going to be.
Dreger: Yes, very soon news will break that Bob Nicholson is jumping into the National Hockey League. He left Hockey Canada and will join the high ranks of an NHL team in a high executive capacity - above the level of president and below that of an NHL owner. But he's joining the NHL.
The NHL GM's discussed the draft lottery and possibly changing the odds, but is there no consensus just yet?
LeBrun: Well it was sort of a confusing day. We spoke to Tim Murray of the Buffalo Sabres who said he was relieved, because he has three first-round draft picks in 2015 and his understanding is there won't be changes to the lottery before then. But we heard from league sources that it's still possible that Bill Daly and commissioner Gary Bettman will make a proposal to the Board of Governors in less than two weeks. So it's up in the air at this point.