Tomas Fleischmann had 31 points in 45 games split between Washington and Colorado this season. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Denver Post's Adrian Dater reported Monday one of the top questions facing the Colorado Avalanche this summer is whether or not to re-sign unrestricted free agent left winger Tomas Fleischmann.
Limited to only 22 games with the Avs (and 45 overall) by a pulmonary embolism this season, Fleischmann nevertheless netted 21 points after joining Colorado in a November trade with Washington and, as Dater noted, the Avalanche's collapse began around the time the 26-year-old was sidelined.
Fleischmann earned $2.6 million this season and it remains to be seen what type of deal he'll pursue, though it wouldn't be surprising if he desired a long-term extension. Given his medical history, it's possible the Avs will offer up a one- or two-year deal, perhaps worth $3 million per season, with the understanding if Fleischmann can stay healthy and produce, a more lucrative contract would follow.
Given the lack of quality depth in this summer’s UFA market, Fleischmann may seek a better deal elsewhere, though his heart condition will potentially dampen interest, plus the pending conclusion of the current CBA will make clubs leery of a long-term commitment.
Dwayne Roloson has done a fine job as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s starting goaltender since joining the club in a mid-season trade with the New York Islanders, posting a 17-12-4 record in 33 games, with a 2.58 goals-against average, a .912 save percentage and four shutouts.
And that performance could earn him a new contract with the Lightning.
Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times reported Roloson would be an affordable option for a Lightning team that has to pay Vincent Lecavalier $10 million next season plus re-sign young superstar Steven Stamkos, not to mention pickings are slim in this summer's free agent market for affordable starting goaltenders.
Roloson told Cristodero he’d be receptive to returning to Tampa Bay next season, though the 41-year-old's performance in the upcoming playoffs will also have to be evaluated and, given his age, he'd have to accept a short-term deal.
Roloson is coming off a two-year contract at a cap hit of $2.5 million per season and if he wants to remain with the Lightning he’ll have to accept a one-year deal for around the same money.
Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch recently wrote Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson will have to decide this summer if it's worthwhile to retain young forwards Derick Brassard and Jakub Voracek, who’ve been slow to develop into first-line players.
While Howson may be more willing to entertain the notion of dealing either player this summer than he was a year ago, Portzline cautioned it would be premature to give up on the pair, citing the slow development of Vancouver's Sedin twins early in their NHL careers.
Brassard and Voracek might not reach the same talent level as the Sedins, but Portzline makes a good point about being patient with them.
With the Blue Jackets coming off another disappointing season, it’s expected changes will be coming to their roster this summer and those changes may very well involve Brassard and Voracek.
Howson is known for his patience, though, and might be willing to give the pair another season, especially if he can bring in more depth at forward, which would allow Brassard and Voracek to move to the second line where they wouldn't be under as much pressure.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.