Changes to Senators Defense for Next Year … Short List for Lightning GM … Coyotes and Avalanche Off-Season
  • Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: Some big changes to the Senators defense could be coming this off-season. The Sens may not be willing to give Anton Volchenkov the $5 million a year he might get on the open market. Trade deadline acquisition, Andy Sutton, is 35-years-old and made $3.5 million last season, and will be looking for one more good contract before retirement. GM Bryan Murray thinks that prospects Patrick Wiercioch and Jared Cowen could be ready for the jump to the NHL next season. Other potential defenseman free agents that might be interested in playing for the Senators at a reasonable price are; Brian Pothier (former Sen), Sean O’Donnell (hometown), Shane Hnidy (former Sen), Zbynek Michalek (Milan’s brother), Kurtis Foster (lived close to Ottawa). On the forward side of things, they might look to re-sign Matt Cullen. They might have to turn to a trade to bring in some scoring if they are able to get some scoring from the free agent market.
  • Matt Paulson (AP) in the USA Today: The main off-season issue for the Phoenix Coyotes will be to find an owner once again. On the free agent side of things, which involves half their defensive corps, as well as forwards Matthew Lombardi and Lee Stempniak. Zbynek Michalek could be costly to keep around.
  • Darren Dreger of TSN: Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeffrey Vinik has a short list of potential GMs he likes, Dave Nonis, Doug Risebrough, and Steve Yzerman. It is rumored that the Red Wings have given the Lightning permission to speak with Yzerman. Vinik said before that he wanted to have a CEO in place before a GM was hired. Seattle Seahawks CEO, Tod Leiweke, has said previously he’s not a candidate, though some believe the details are being finalized for him to be named CEO.
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: The Colorado Avalanche need to be bigger and faster along the blueline next season. Anyone of Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, and Cameron Gaunce have a shot at making the team next fall. Chris Stewart and Peter Mueller will be looking for raises, both are coming off their entry level deals. The Avalanche do have the cap room to investigate adding a big name, but have shown lately that they may stick to rebuilding from in-house.
  • Helene Elliot of the LA Times: LA Kings coach Terry Murray would ‘absolutely’ like to Alexander Frolov back next year. It will probably come down to money, as Frolov is looking for a big deal, reportedly in the $5 million range.