Roster Update: Evander Kane, van Riemsdyk, Suter, Parise, Nash, Karlsson
(6/17/12) Some very interesting rumors swirling out of Winnipeg: RFA Evander Kane, Winnipeg's leading goal scorer from 2011-12 (30) is apparently not seeking to negotiate a new contract with the Jets. The rumor is swirling on Twitter, and even ProHockeyTalk has written an editorial on it. However, from what we can see this is conjecture based on hearsay. Restricted free agents have little ability to control the terms of their first big contract. Kane's only option would be to hold out and demand a trade. However, seeing how none of this is from the horse's mouth, we are going to chalk all this chatter up to the media needing a story.
The only reasonable reason we can decipher for Kane not currently negotiating is that the upcoming CBA negotiations will affect the terms of the contract. This means that Kane likely wants to wait until after the new CBA agreement is reached before signing his next deal - which will likely be a common theme over the summer for many players.
Apparently the Nashville Predators are not interested in allowing Ryan Suter escape via unrestricted free agency. The team's GM David Poile has publicly expressed the team's desire to retain the offensive blueliner. However, as already reported, it appears that Suter is eager to "test" the open market on July 1st and see what it might bear. The reality is that if the Preds can't match the (top) dollars Suter is going to get offered, he will be moving on. According to Suter's college coach, the defenseman is likely to sign with another midwest team (St. Louis, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville). Ryan Suter is the #1 UFA defenseman this summer.
In other defensemen news, Erik Karlsson is looking forward to signing a new long term deal in Ottawa. Unlike Suter, Karlsson is a restricted free agent.
Zach Parise remaining is New Jersey is suddenly not such a sure thing. The New York Times is reporting that the Devils franchise is in financial straits, and that Zach Parise may leave via free agency to secure his payday.
In injury news, James van Riemsdyk will now not need surgery to repair a torn labrum on his right hip. Van Riemsdyk is coming off a down season thanks in large part to the injury that caused him to miss a third of the season. He returned for the second round of the playoffs, but didn't look his usual self. Expect a return to form in 2011-12, which qualifies him as a bit of a sleeper pick.
Rick Nash trade rumors are all the rage as the media speculates on an imminent deal between the Blue Jackets and a big market club such as the Maple Leafs, Rangers, Flyers, and even the Sharks and Hurricanes. To us, trading away Nash is an indication of what's wrong in Columbus; we would get rid of the GM Scott Howson before parting with Nash. (We still wake up in cold sweats scared straight by memories of Nash scoring against Russia at the 2012 Olympics!)
In other news: the Islanders have re-signed Jesse Joensuu to a one year deal. After playing parts of three seasons in New York, Joensuu played in the Swedish Elite League in 2011-12. He was a second round pick in 2006. And, the Canucks have re-signed Aaron Volpatti to a one year, $600K contract; he's a fourth liner grinder at best.