Juggling act as free agency looms

The easy part for the Vancouver Canucks was to tender qualifying offers to restricted free agents Shane O’Brien, Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen and Tanner Glass before Monday’s deadline to retain negotiation rights and roster flexibility.

The hard part will be to see how they all fit — or don’t fit — into a revamped roster next NHL season.

By qualifying the troubled O’Brien at the $1.6 million US the defenceman earned last season, it will only add more drama to an intriguing back-end tale.


If the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in acquiring centre Marc Savard from the Boston Bruins, Brian Burke isn’t saying anything about it.

The Leafs’ President and general manager told Toronto’s Fan 590 radio station on Monday that while he’s exploring other options to acquire players, the Bruins’ No. 1 centre was not on the radar.

Draft just B’s-ginning

There was plenty of trade smoke emanating from the floor of Staples Center during the NHL draft over the weekend, but – with the exception of the Vancouver-Florida swap that sent defenseman Keith Ballard from the Panthers to the Canucks – there was very little fire.

After the league’s 30 general managers dispersed across the continent from Los Angeles to their respective cities, they’ll get back at it today in anticipation of a thin free agent market that opens on Thursday. Bruins [team stats] GM Peter Chiarelli is expected to be feverishly rubbing his twigs together, looking to reignite deals he was working on Friday and Saturday in an effort to move center Marc Savard and goalie Tim Thomas.

Turco turns down the Flyers

The Flyers made an offer to more than one soon-to-be free agent goaltender this weekend. According to ESPN’s E.J. Hradek and Pierre LeBrun, Paul Holmgren contacted Marty Turco with the permission of the Dallas Stars.

From Hradek, in a portion of his blog that’s thankfully in front of ESPN’s ridiculous “Insider” pay wall:

In fact, Holmgren offered Turco a three-year deal worth roughly $6 million (or a bit more than $2 million per season). The 34-year-old Turco, who confirmed the offer via text message, politely declined, opting to test the market on Thursday.

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 ?