1. Ryan Smyth
Will the Edmonton Oilers be able to resign their franchise player or will Smyth be just another star who bolts Edmonton for greener pastures. The ball is now in the Oilers court. According to reports out of Edmonton, Ryan Smyth’s representatives will begin talks with Oilers GM Kevin Lowe over the next few days.”We’re imminently close to starting,” Lowe was quoted as saying in The Edmonton Sun. “He’ll be weighing his options, between committing here long term and seeing what’s out there in the summer.” You don’t want to have too much uncertainty,” Lowe told the newspaper. “We need to get it done before the deadline, have some sort of answer one way or another.” Smyth, 30, is on pace to score 50 goals for the Oilers despite missing 10 games with a thumb injury. He’s making $3.5 million this season. Reports have speculated that after the Oilers’ initial $4 million offseason offer, Smyth’s camp might look for Alex Tanguay-type money (in the $5.25 million range).
2. Scott Gomez
Devils undecided on what to do with Scott Gomez? Scott Gomez told The Bergen Record that Devils GM Lou Lamoriello has not yet approached him about a new deal. And while Gomez would listen to any talks, he’d prefer not to engage in negotiations during the season.”The main thing is to help the Devils win a fourth Stanley Cup,” Gomez told the newspaper Tuesday. “I think that’s got to be the focus for the year. That’s all I’m concentrating on. I’ve been around Stanley Cup teams and we’ve got the mix here. I can feel it. I don’t want to be distracted from that.”
“The main focus here has always been hockey,” Gomez said. “That’s what I want to do. Everything else can wait until after [the season].” Speculation is the Rangers have Gomez at the top of their list for unrestricted free agents.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have made a offer to pitcher Brian Lawrence. Reports are they still covet power hitter Adam Laroche but Littlefield needs to up the ante for that deal to be back in works.
NFL coaching rumors
USC assistant Steve Sarkisian had a strong interview Monday and is clearly a finalist for Oakland’s head-coaching job, according to ESPN.com’s John Clayton. Sarkisian was with the Raiders two years ago and liked the job. Pete Carroll has been rumored to being interested in the Miami Dolphins job and if he leaves Sarkisan will be a front runner for the USC opening.