Thursday, June 21, 2012
Rumblings: Flyers interested in Bobby Ryan
By Pierre LeBrun
PITTSBURGH -- Bobby Ryan's name has resurfaced in trade talks, and one team that has some interest is the Philadelphia Flyers. This is nothing new. They’ve liked the player for a long time.
The Anaheim Ducks aren’t shopping Ryan as much as teams are calling on him, circling back to them after he was on the market for a while last November.
Ryan could be a good Plan B for the Flyers if they don’t get anywhere on Rick Nash.
Any deal with the Flyers from the Ducks’ perspective would have to center around Brayden Schenn, a source told ESPN.com Thursday, as Anaheim is desperate to find an upgrade at the No. 2 center position. My sense is that the Flyers have very little interest in moving Schenn. They view him as way too valuable to do that. Winger James van Riemsdyk is the player more likely to move out of Philadelphia if the Flyers make any splash over the next few weeks.
Whatever ends up developing with Ryan, and the Ducks don’t feel they have to necessarily move him, it certainly has ties to the Nash situation.
Whichever teams have interest in Nash can’t ignore the cheaper version available in Ryan.
Nash’s agent, Joe Resnick, met Thursday afternoon here in Pittsburgh with Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson. It’s no secret Nash would love for this to be over as soon as possible.
The debate for the Jackets is whether they take the best possible offer this week or wait until the first week of July and capitalize on the teams that struck out on UFA Zach Parise.
What will Oilers do with No. 1 pick?
No matter what the Oilers say, I think they’d love to move down from the No. 1 spot in the draft and get something tangible in return while still picking a defenseman they covet.
The Oilers, I believe, love blueliner Ryan Murray, as well as defenseman Griffin Reinhart. Either would satisfy their top need: defense.
But if they’re still picking first overall come Friday night, can they really afford not to take forward Nail Yakupov, considered by most the most dynamic player in the draft?
"They’re in a pickle, if they move down to get their defenseman, they have to make sure they get him, there’s still a risk there," said one NHL team executive. "I think they’d really have to get something good in return for moving down to make it worthwhile."
Kane not in playThe speculation that won’t go away surrounding Patrick Kane being in play is simply not true, as far I’m told.
The Chicago Blackhawks' front office has not brought up that possibility even once, a source told ESPN.com, despite rumors to the contrary ever since Kane’s well-publicized trip to Wisconsin. And they’ve not once brought up his name with other teams.
"He’s not available," a rival GM told ESPN.com Thursday.
Speaking of the Blackhawks, you can forget rumors also linking Roberto Luongo to the Windy City. The Blackhawks can’t take on that monster contract. They’re not a player in those talks.
But one player the Blackhawks are willing to move, according to rival team executives, is defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. The 25-year-old Swede has two more years on his deal at $3.5 million per.
Ott, Ribeiro getting attentionThe Dallas Stars are getting calls from other teams on two players who garnered attention before the trade deadline: Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro.
Ott especially got traction before the deadline, but the Stars ultimately decided to hold on to him as they were sitting in a playoff spot at the time. The rugged winger, who can pot some goals, has two more years left on his deal paying him $3.2 million a year in salary but with a $2.95 million cap hit.
He’d be a good addition for a team looking to bulk up in a second-line role.
Ribeiro, deeply talented but somewhat inconsistent, has one year left on his deal paying him $5 million.
If the Stars move one or both of these two players, it’s with the big picture in mind, which is to get their core a bit younger and build the team around Jamie Benn and Loui Eriksson.
Futures of Alfredsson and Selanne cloudyThe Senators hope to know soon one way or the other about the future of captain Daniel Alfredsson.
"I’m hoping to talk with him in a couple of days," Sens GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com Thursday. "We’ll see where he’s at when we talk. Hopefully by Saturday or Sunday, we’ll have had a chance to talk."
The Anaheim Ducks, meanwhile, expect to hear back from Teemu Selanne regarding his future around July 1.
Jagr updateJaromir Jagr’s future remains unanswered. The Flyers winger will be UFA July 1, and while his agent has kept close contact with Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, it’s not clear at this point whether he’ll stay put or fly the coup.
"I talked to Paul a couple of days, and we had a great conversation," Jagr’s agent Petr Svoboda told ESPN.com Thursday. "We’ll wait to see where the salary cap goes and then we’ll talk again. We’re planning on talking again early next week."
Jagr earned $3.3 million this past season and was productive for a 40-year-old.
"It’s not about money, it’s about the situation," Svoboda said. "He really enjoyed Philly. Nothing has changed. Both sides like each other a lot. We’ll see where it goes. We’ll see what happens between now and July 1. We’re not in any rush."
Blues' wish listThe St. Louis Blues have stabilized their ownership situation, but it doesn’t mean they’re going to spend like crazy like the Buffalo Sabres did a year ago when they got new ownership.
So forget any of those Rick Nash trade rumors. The Blues aren’t in on that.
Instead, the Blues are focused on trying to acquire a left-handed, second-pair defenseman and hope to do so before the weekend is out here in Pittsburgh. Jason Garrison of the Florida Panthers and Matt Carle of the Flyers -- both slated to be UFAs July 1 -- come to mind.
Jets talks with PavelecThe Jets met Thursday morning here in Pittsburgh with agent Allan Walsh to try and find common ground in contract talks regarding starting goalie Ondrej Pavelec.
An RFA July 1, the 24-year-old Pavelec remains unsigned, and he’s threatening to play in the KHL, where a source confirms he has an offer worth north of $5 million a year (tax-free) to play in St. Petersburg.
The Jets’ offers so far have obviously been much lower than that.
The two sides will try to iron things out this weekend in Pittsburgh.
"We’re going back and forth, and we’re hoping it’s going to get done," Jets GM Kevin Chevelldayoff said Thursday.
The Jets GM also met with Evander Kane’s camp from Newport Sports on Wednesday. Kane is also RFA July 1.