Although the final round of Stanley Cup playoffs has yet to begin, teams and players are mulling what to do for next season.
Here are a few updates:
Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom is still deciding whether to play next season. The Red Wings would gladly try to re-sign him if he wants to continue his Hall of Fame-caliber career.
Detroit power forward Tomas Holmstrom is still deciding whether to play again – and the Red Wings must decide whether to offer him another contract if he does want to return. Given the salary cap constraints in Motown, Holmstrom would likely have to take a large pay cut to stay. He scored just 11 goals in 74 games last season. But Lidstrom regards him as a close friend and he could make Holmstrom’s retention a condition of his own return.
After reviving his career in Dallas, veteran defenseman Sheldon Souray wants to keep going. But would the Stars want him back? And can Souray reasonably expect any team to offer him more than a one-year deal for moderate money? His extensive injury history figures to scare off suitors.
Speaking of the Stars, former NHL coach and general manager Bob Gainey left a vague position with the Canadiens for a vague position back in Dallas. He will consult with GM Joe Nieuwendyk as the team attempts to rebuild. Team president Jim Lites has opened the vault. “We are without budget, as crazy as that sounds,” Lites said, according to Fox Sports Southwest. “We are restricted by only the CBA and fitting long and short term into that system . . . This is a different situation than we have been in for the last 4 seasons — which is we have an owner who is willing to spend and not being run by the league . . . We are prepared to spend what we need to spend, but we need to spend wisely.”
Lightning forward Ryan Shannon jumped a multi-year offer from the Zurich Lions of the top league in Switzerland. His odds of landing more than a training camp tryout in the NHL were not great.
The Chicago Blackhawks have struggled with injuries, inconsistent goaltending, a sputtering power play and general offensive ineffectiveness.
Their 4-0 loss at Los Angeles only underscored their needs heading into the NHL trade deadline.
Coach Joel Quenneville expects GM Stan Bowman to make something happen.
“He’s been working on it for some time now,” Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune Saturday afternoon. “We're down to a couple of days here. Hopefully we can add somebody and help our team.”
The absence of center Jonathan Toews and defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson due to upper-body injuries has exposed the team’s need for better depth up front and on the blue line.
Chicago earlier added center Brendan Morrison, but he has been a healthy scratch six times in a seven-game span. A difference-maker he is not.
Here are some possible targets:
Matt Carle, D, Flyers: He is a very solid player, but Philly can’t keep everybody given its salary cap concerns. He could fit on the second pairing at even strength and the second PP unit.
Sheldon Souray, D, Stars: Showed new life earlier this season, then got hurt. He could certainly help the second PP unit and add a physical element to the No. 3 pairing. Dallas seems read to turn the page on Souray and give his minutes to younger players.
Derick Brassard, C, Blue Jackets: He was projected to become a No. 1 center in Columbus but he never developed into that sort of threat. A fresh start, more reasonable expectations a good surrounding players could help him finally reach his potential. Columbus would like a first-round pick in return—and that must give Bowman pause for thought.
John Erskine, D, Capitals: Washington seems ready to move a veteran off the blue line. Roman Hamrlik seems like the more immediate possibility. He could add some size and depth in Chicago.
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The Hot List
Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Getzlaf, Alexander Semin.
The Cold List
Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers,John Tavares, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Vancouver Canucks,