Alexei Yashin, who spent the season in Russia after his inflated contract was bought out by the Islanders, appears to be heading back to the NHL. He was league MVP in Russia putting up 43 points in 56 games so it could be interesting to see if he returns. He was quite productive at times during his career, but his attitude and level of commitment were always questioned and who would be willing to give the 35 year old another shot….and how much does he want? Apparently the Canadiens and the Wild, each looking to upgrade their offense, are both interested. However, if someone wants him they’ll have to go after him pretty quickly as by the time July 1st rolls around he’ll already be committed to his team in Russia.
Sounds like the Penguins will not make a serious attempt to re-sign Marian Hossa for fear that it would eventually cost them Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal or Marc-Andre Fleury. Bruins and Canadiens, both of which made a big push at the deadline to get him, are the most likely of suitors. However, if Scott Niedermeyer retires perhaps the Ducks will have the cash to get Corey Perry locked up to a long-term deal and bolster their offense…they certainly have the need.
Wade Redden hasn’t received a contract offer from the Senators and will almost certainly be a free agent come July 1st.
According to a Toronto newspaper it appears that the interim Toronto GM may not be so interim as they are reporting that he will stick around for one more year in that role. “One more year” makes me feel like they already have a target in mind but need to hold out for a year……HMMMMM wonder who that would be *cough* Burke* *cough*.
Dan Ellis stands to get a hefty raise after his performance in the first round where he almost singlehandedly beat the Red Wings. He is in discussion with the Preds who also have Chris Mason under contract and are paying him top goaltender money. Signing Ellis makes me feel as though they'd want to deal Mason.
Ottawa newspaper claims that while the Sens would love to unload Ray Emery in a trade, no one has shown any real interest. This leaves the team with one option: buy out the remainder of his contract for 1/3 of the total amount, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. If that happens, someone has to sign him and take a chance that the young, erratic goaltender could return to the form that had him lead the Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals last season.
Rumors about Brian Gionta being on the tradeblock as the Devils hope to get tougher overall and improve their offense. This is not the first time his name has come up and they desperately need a center as Patrick Elias is more comfortable on the left wing.
Olaf Kolzig packed up his stuff, removed his name tag and missed all the following team meetings after the Caps lost in game seven to the Flyers and appears to be heading into free agency and into a season with only the second team in his career. This means that the Caps need a goalie and after Cristobal Huet’s performance down the stretch he seems to be a no-brainer. Apparently, he’d like to stay in Washington as well. Also, Sergei Fedorov will get a contract offer from the Caps if he still wants to play.