NHL News and Rumor Roundup – June 22, 2009

Is Vinny staying or going?

Math doesn’t add up for an easy re-signing of Havlat

Blues have their sights set on a goalie

Is Vinny staying or going?

ERIK ERLENDSSON | The Tampa Tribune

It seems only recently Lecavlier’s name was all the rage in trade rumor circuits, with the Lightning captain’s new 11-year, $85 million contract extension, which includes a no-movement clause, to begin on July 1.

But as the NHL draft approaches Friday and Saturday, the volume has been turned down to a low murmur on message boards and Web sites in regard to Lecavalier’s situation. Even Lightning general manager Brian Lawton’s phone has not been ringing out of its holster.

“It’s been reasonably quiet around here,” Lawton said of trade talk from his Tampa office on Friday. “We’ve had some calls, but nothing I would consider serious.”

While most of the recent talk surrounding the Lightning revolves around what the team will do with the No. 2 pick in Friday’s first round of the draft – keep it or trade it for a package of players – Lecavalier’s situation has hung over the franchise since January, when talk first surfaced Tampa Bay was involved in talks with Montreal to move the 29-year-old All-Star center.

What once seemed likely – even after Lawton stated he wouldn’t trade Lecavalier – is no longer a certainty.


Math doesn’t add up for an easy re-signing of Havlat

Kevin Allen – USAToday

The issue the Chicago Blackhawks have in re-signing Martin Havlat is that the full horror of the salary cap world will be upon them in 12 months.

Probably the ’Hawks have room to pay Havlat full value for next season, but it would be salary cap-hurtful to give Havlat a full value deal that extends into the 2010-11 season.

In the summer of 2010, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith will be restricted free agents looking for a big raise. Andrew Ladd’s contract also expires that season.

Chicago already has $25.4 million committed for just six players (Patrick Sharp, Dustin Byfuglien, Cristobal Huet, Brian Campbell, Brent Seabrook, Brent Sopel) for that season and, given the economy, it’s fair to project that the cap probably won’t be beyond $58 million in 2010-11. There’s a chance it could go down.

Just signing Toews, Kane and Keith could easily add $16 million to that total.

If the Blackhawks give Havlat an average of $6 million, they could be looking at $47 million committed to just 10 players That would mean the last 12 players would have to average less than $1 million.


Blues have their sights set on a goalie

Jeremy Rutherford – ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

The Blues have set their sights on a backup goaltender in free agency, or via trade.

Chicago’s Nikolai Khabibulin, Boston’s Manny Fernandez, Philadelphia’s Martin Biron and Edmonton’s Dwayne Roloson are the higher-priced veterans available, but Vancouver’s Jason Labarbera, Detroit’s Ty Conklin and San Jose’s Brian Boucher better fit the Blues’ intentions.

“It all depends on what’s out there and what the price is,” Davidson said. “We’re not going to go out and sign a $6 million goaltender. What we have to do is see if a trade makes sense, or if free agency makes sense. There’s lots of guys (in free agency) that are backup goalies. You can’t get caught without one.”

Fans have endorsed Ben Bishop for the backup role. Bishop, a 22-year-old native St. Louisan, was 1-1-1 with a 2.94 GAA and an .893 save percentage in six games last year as a rookie. He was 15-16-1 with a 2.81 GAA and an .897 save percentage at Peoria, the Blues’ minor-league affiliate.