On the Tampa Bay Lightning …
Dan Rosen of NHL.com: Steven Stamkos remains unsigned, GM Steve Yzerman continues to say he wants to sign, but usually when a player gets this close to unrestricted free agency, he usually tests the market.
Rosen thinks it’s a safer bet that Stamkos is playing with a team other than the Lightning next year.
Friedman’s 30 thoughts rumor roundup …
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet: The Avalanche won’t rush to any decisions regarding Matt Duchene. Earlier this year when Duchene was in the rumor mill, the Avs made it clear that they wouldn’t move him unless if what they got back made sense. If they were to move him, they would probably be looking to add a defensman.
The Canucks are interested in signing college free agents Drake Caggiula and Troy Stecher, both of UND. The Flyers and Senators could be among the teams interested in Caggiula.
If Kyle Connor decides to go pro, he won’t play in any games with the Jets.
Mantas Armalis will likely be signing with the Sharks.
Alexander Radulov’s representatives are gauging the NHL interest for him. Everybody assumes the Avalanche will be interested, but there will be others.
Geoff Platt is another former NHLer (46 games) that is looking to leave the KHL to return to North America.
The Flames, Predators and Penguins are believed to be interested in former Canadiens draft pick Daniel Pribyl.
Joe Thornton on if he could follow Jaromir Jagr’s lead and play into his 40’s:
“I love the game, I love the guys. The fellowship, competing. I love everything hockey has to offer, if my body and mind allows me to play until I’m 44? You can’t predict that.”
Pavel Datsyuk is considering returning to Russia. If he leaves, he’d have an NHL salary of $5.5 million, but a cap hit of $7.5 million, which might interest a team looking to get to the salary floor. If they really wanted, the Red Wings and/or the NHL could block Datsyuk from playing in the KHL.
If the Lightning aren’t able to re-sign Steven Stamkos, have to think they will look to trade his rights, giving teams/Stamkos the option of the extra year.