Leafs after Ribero and Savard, Flyers after Turco, Ottawa wants a d-man

Cox: Marc Savard talk risky business for Leafs

D-man could top Sens’ wish list

Leafs interested in Ribero ?

Flyers after Turco ?

Cox: Marc Savard talk risky business for Leafs

Herein lies the conundrum of being Big Blue.

That’s the kinda catchy term that Brian Burke likes to apply to the Maple Leafs, a reference to the wealth of the NHL’s Toronto franchise that should, in theory, give it power beyond the wildest dreams of many other NHL clubs even in the salary cap era.

In theory, anyway. What it means in general is that the Leafs can consider financial commitments other franchises can’t. Today, what it means is that Burke and his hockey department are seriously examining the possibility of acquiring Boston Bruins centre Marc Savard and his mammoth contract, something franchises like Nashville, Florida, Buffalo and Phoenix would never have to bother spending even a moment considering.

Savard’s a very good player, a point-per-game pivot albeit one with warts, like a history of concussions and a background as a fellow a coach might not always enjoy having on the roster.

His contract is — excuse the expression, commissioner — coyote ugly, a seven-year deal that comes with a salary of $7 million in each of the next two years, with an annual salary cap hit of $4 million (all figures U.S.). The B’s gave him that deal a year ago when they loved him and before he’d been cold-*****ed by Matt Cooke of the Penguins, and before they’d used the second overall pick this past weekend to draft his successor at centre, Tyler Seguin .


D-man could top Sens’ wish list

Matt Cullen and Andy Sutton aren’t closing the door on the Senators.

With the start of unrestricted free agency set for Thursday afternoon, Pat Morris, the agent for both of Ottawa’s trade deadline acquisitions, confirmed he met with Senators GM Bryan Murray in L.A.

While there wasn’t a deal completed on either front, Morris said both sides have expressed an interest in getting contract extensions completed, but the Senators need more time to figure out where they stand monetarily.

Cullen made $2.8 million (all terms US) last season and was picked up from the Hurricanes, while Andy Sutton’s salary was $3.5 million. Both are going to expect raises and the Senators are tight to the cap.

“We had a good meeting and some positive discussions. The Senators need to go back in the next couple of days and see what they can do,” said Morris. “We’ve agreed to talk sometime (this) week.”

Murray, who flew back to Ottawa from Los Angeles Sunday, has a lot of work to do on several fronts:

– Defenceman Anton Volchenkov is likely gone. He will test the free-agent market and is looking for a five-year deal worth around $4.5 million a season.

– If that’s not enough, there’s also Jason Spezza to speak with. Murray decided on the weekend he’s not going to deal the club’s top centre. The two will have a face-to-face meeting to discuss the situation.

There is a belief Murray may get calls on Spezza once his $4-million bonus is paid on July 1. That won’t wash with Murray or owner Eugene Melnyk. They won’t have a repeat of the Dany Heatley fiasco.

– The Senators will have to look at their needs through trades and free agency if Sutton and Cullen leave along with Volchenkov . Edmonton defenceman Sheldon Souray is on the block and Ottawa might have an interest.

If the Oilers are willing to take winger Jonathan Cheechoo as part of a trade, the Senators could justify picking up Souray , who has a cap hit of $5.4 million per season.

Edmonton could then buyout Cheechoo and absorb the cap hit.

If the Senators can’t deal Cheechoo before Wednesday, they’ll buy out the final year on his contract. He finished the year in the minors and isn’t going to be back.


Pierre LeBrun
Leafs interested in Ribero ?

Last tweet before flight. Leafs also believed to be interested in Mike Ribeiro.

Flyers after Turco ?

Traded texts with Turco this morning who confirmed the Flyers’ offer but said he wanted to see what was on the market Thursday… (The Flyers have been granted permission to speak with Turco )