Now that the Stanley Cup Final is over, offseason talk is heating up around the NHL. Several names are being mentioned as possible buyouts and some players are available via trade.
Buffalo is buying out Ville Leino, Dallas, Aaron Rome, and Vancouver, David Booth. Leino had a good season or two for the Flyers but could never get anything going with the Sabres. Booth has injury issues. Carolina should most likely stay away from these players.
But in some cases, players are bought out because of salary cap issues and they might still have some more life in them, especially in a new scenario and a fresh start.
Last season, the Canes signed Mike Komisarek and Nathan Gerbe, who had both been bought out by their respective teams.
There is word that Brad Richards could be bought out by the Rangers. If so, he might be available at a reasonable price and while he has seen better days, could still have some mileage. Imagine a line of Richards centering Eric Staal and Alexander Semin. That might not be too bad.
Before the Rangers signed Richards a couple of years ago as a free agent, he specifically mentioned Carolina as a possible target destination. And if Ulf Samuelsson comes to the Hurricanes, I wonder if he might put in a good word? Interesting days are ahead.
CBS Sports recently published an article listing possible buyouts for each team. Cam Ward is mentioned for Carolina.
Teams have until June 30th to complete a compliance buyout, (one that does not count against the salary cap). That way, players who have been bought out can have full benefit of the free agent market, which begins July 1.
Speaking of Ulf Samuelsson, he suddenly seems to be a popular candidate on the coaching market. It was reported by various sources on Twitter yesterday that the Canes had asked for permission to speak with him as well as John Stevens, highly regarded assistant coach of the Kings. That comes as no surprise.
Later in the day, it was mentioned by @hope_smoke (he re-tweets radio interviews), that Bob McKenzie said on the radio that Jim Rutherford had also asked permission to speak with both coaches. So now, apparently Samuelsson is also a candidate for the Penguins job.
The Penguins/Hurricanes rivalry is really going to get a lot more intense if Rutherford makes a play for Ron Francis' leading candidate, (reportedly).
It was also mentioned yesterday that Todd Nelson, coach of the Oilers affiliate Oklahoma City Barons, was still a candidate for the Canes.
The only mention of Dan Bylsma was that he is on the list of final three choices for the Florida Panthers. If Francis is interested in "Disco Dan", he is keeping it to himself.
Now that the AHL Championship has been decided, highly regarded coach Willie Desjardins is going to be making the rumor rounds as well. Vancouver seems most interested in him.
There are also several players available via trade.
Jason Spezza wants out of Ottawa and the feeling is mutual. Spezza gave his team a list of 10 teams he would refuse to move to, (he has a no trade clause in his contract) and Carolina is reportedly NOT on that list. It is doubtful that the Canes have the assets available to trade for the big center, but it is interesting that he left Carolina open as an option.
Spezza is projected to land in the west somewhere but to see him as center between Eric Staal and Alexander Semin is not too shabby either. (I know I am dreaming today.)
Ryan Kesler also wants out of Vancouver. Again, it is hard to see what the Canes might have to offer to get him, but the word is that he is available to the highest bidder.
There are rumors out of San Jose that Joe Thornton and/or Patrick Marleau are possible trade candidates. Both have no trade clauses though, so dealing them will not be easy.
(Some info obtained via Twitter and some from Lyle Richardson at The Hockey News).
Reports are that Cam Ward is openly being shopped and the goalie has agreed to waive his no-trade clause if necessary. Here is an article of possible destinations, according to The Hockey Guys: