Winds of change
Wade Redden is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)
Winds of change
Don’t expect to see Ray Emery or Wade Redden in an Ottawa Senators jersey next season.
Two days after the Senators were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins, GM Bryan Murray said at a press conference he intended to either trade or buyout Emery, whose poor performance and attitude were considered a factor in the team’s second-half decline.
It won’t be easy for Murray to find takers for Emery’s contract of $3.167 million over the next two seasons, which makes a buyout the more likely option.
Murray also said he contacted Redden’s agent expressing interest in re-signing the defenseman, but for less than the $6.5 million he earned this season.
Given Murray’s attempts to convince Redden to waive his no-trade clause since last summer, don’t be surprised if the long-time Sens blueliner opts for unrestricted free agency.
• The Minnesota Wild are another team facing significant changes following a disappointing early playoff exit, not only to its roster, but also perhaps behind the bench and in the GM’s chair.
Various reports from the Minneapolis-St. Paul media suggest Wild GM Doug Risebrough could be a candidate for that position with the Toronto Maple Leafs, while head coach Jacques Lemaire will take some time this summer to think about returning next season.
Several Wild players - including forwards Brian Rolston and Pavol Demitra - are eligible for unrestricted free agency this off-season. It was rumored Rolston rejected a two-year contract offer, while Demitra apparently intends to test the market.
The biggest potential move could involve star forward Marian Gaborik, who managed only one assist in the Wild’s six-game series against the Colorado Avalanche. He is only a year away from UFA status, giving rise to speculation the club might try to shop him this summer.
• It was apparent well before the New Jersey Devils opened their first-round series against the New York Rangers that a lack of offensive depth would hinder their hopes for a lengthy playoff run.
During the regular season the Devils were the second-lowest scoring team in the Eastern Conference and fifth lowest in the league.
That popgun offense was a significant factor in the Devils’ early exit against the Rangers, so it’s safe to assume GM Lou Lamoriello will attempt to address the problem in the off-season.
It won’t be easy for Lamoriello to find scoring depth via the UFA market, though. This summer’s stock is considered a weak one, and the scorers who are available might be leery of signing with a defensive-minded club like the Devils.
• The Vancouver Canucks’ firing of Dave Nonis caught the hockey world by surprise, and now their off-season plans are in limbo as ownership shops for a replacement.
Nonis was reportedly close to signing highly-touted Swedish forward Fabian Brunnstrom prior to his firing, but with Nonis out of the picture the Brunnstrom camp is considering other options, including signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs or Detroit Red Wings.
If Brunnstrom becomes a scoring star elsewhere in the league, the hasty firing of Nonis would haunt the Canucks’ ownership for years.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays 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.