LATEST PENS/NHL BUZZ
1.While the rumor mill will be focused on the likes of Jordan Staal and Paul Martin this summer, the Penguins are likely to gauge Tyler Kennedy’s trade value, sources said this weekend. Kennedy, 25, is due $2 million per season and is under team control for two more seasons as he’s not scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent until July 1, 2014.
NHL sources believe Kennedy will be attractive around the league due to his ability as a top-9 player and one team viewed as a match is the St. Louis Blues who intend to try to move 24 year old underachieving winger Chris Stewart who is due a $3.25 million qualifying offer and is scheduled to be a restricted free agent on July 1.
The Blues under new ownership are expected to try to make cost cutting moves but still in a hockey sense and there’s some around the league who believe Kennedy and another piece could gauge St. Louis interest but the market will be strong despite Stewart’s struggles this season.
2. The thought of the Edmonton Oilers offering up the No. 1 pick for Jordan Staal first came from an opinion piece a few weeks back in the Edmonton Journal of whether the Oilers should consider offering the No. 1 pick for Staal. Somehow an opinion piece has led to some in the mainstream media relaying it as their being reports out of Edmonton that the Oilers would consider such a move. That’s not accurate at all and in reality the chances are slim to none the Oilers would consider such a move. If Jordan Staal gets moved this summer, it won’t be to Edmonton for the No. 1 pick. Bank on that.
3. Zbynek Michalek’s hip surgery takes him out of the running of being moved this summer and indications are he was never going to be a player the Penguins actively sought to move this off-season anyways. Despite his up and down play, overall the Penguins have been pleased with what he’s brought to the table and remain high on him on evolving into a shutdown defenseman in their system.
4. The LA Kings have taken a 1-0 series lead over the Phoenix Coyotes with a dominating 4-2 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. The Kings had a terrific start and outshot Phoenix 48-27 and had 90 shot attempts. From an individual standpoint, what stood out tonight for the Kings and has for much of the playoffs is LA’s captain Dustin Brown.
While Kings GM Dean Lombardi never got close to trading Brown this past February, he did target a small selective amount of teams that according to some with knowledge of the situation included the Maple Leafs, Bruins, Canucks and Penguins. Thankfully for the Kings, Lombardi never pulled the trigger as he did hold substantive talks with the Bruins.
While talks with Pittsburgh were never serious,Â what a fit heÂ would have been in Dan Bylsma’s system in Pittsburgh.
5. Following Philadelphia’s exit from the playoffs this past week, Jaromir Jagr has gone from saying he never loved playing for a team more than he did with the Flyers this season, to a few days later hinting that he was frustrated with his diminished role late in the season where he was taken off top power play unit and off the top line, convincing some Philadelphia writers that Jagr won’t resign in Philadelphia, despite the Flyers having strong interest in resigning him. To no one’s surprise, that’s Jaromir being Jaromir.
Being in his 40’s hasn’t led Jagr to believe he’s no longer a top-6 forward but despite the impact he had in Philadelphia on and off the ice, agent Petr Svoboda has his hands full on finding a better fit than Philadelphia for Jagr next season. Svoboda though will look again to convince Jagr to stay in the NHL.