The Phoenix Coyotes are not the only NHL team in financial trouble. It has been widely speculated that the Tampa Bay Lightning‚Äôs current ownership group of Oren Koules and Len Barrie could lose their team. The Ottawa Sun reports, the belief is there’s a $10- million US payment due to Palace Sports and Entertainment in January as part of the sale. Former owner Bill Davidson could take the team back, and the paper suggests Jay Feaster would be back as GM. As reported on here following the BOG Meetings, the Lightning are exploring the trade market for Marty St.Louis and Mark Recchi. It is expected that the Lightning will ask Marty St. Louis to waive his no trade clause but if Feaster comes back on board, St. Louis could stay.
The New York Rangers sit atop the standings in the Atlantic Division but there is concern that this team won‚Äôt be able to get out of the 1st or 2nd round again. There has been some talk that ownership prefers to see a more up tempo offensive style and Tom Renney could be on the hot seat if the Rangers don‚Äôt get past the second round.
It‚Äôs a little early for free agency talk but the Kings, Canucks and Oilers are already being mentioned as teams that will be in hot pursuit of Marian Hossa if he hits the open market again. Hossa has a strong interest in Boston, who were his second choice this past summer. Chicago could be a sleeper team. Inquired about Hossa last summer and they will have over $12 million coming off of the books. The Hawks efforts may be towards signing a second line center but they will be a team to keep an eye on.
What will be Martin Havlat‚Äôs market value in free agency? Sources tell me he will probably net a two year – $8 million deal. Salary cap concerns will affect Havlat from getting the kind of salary he is making now and due to his injury problems, he will have to prove himself again that he can stay healthy. As for Havlat being dealt this winter, don‚Äôt count on it. It is very unlikely that the Hawks can get equal value.
The Minnesota Wild are seeking Colby Armstrong and Slava Koslov in exchange for Marian Gaborik. It makes no sense for Atlanta to trade for Gaborik unless he intends to sign with them which won‚Äôt be the case.
The Flyers top priority is adding a #1 or #2 defenseman. Jay Bowumeester is at the top of their wish list. The Panthers have not put Bouwmeester on the block just yet but when they do, they want impact players in return. The Flyers seem willing to offer the 4-1 swap that the Panthers will be seeking. Randy Jones, Joffrey Lupul, 1st round pick, prospect will likely be offered.
The Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames are interested in Bill Guerin.