NHL

Off-season watch: Sunday's latest from around the NHL

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TSN.ca Staff
6/29/2014 10:52:18 AM
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Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat.

Still in the Market

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun noted on ESPN.com that after being refused by Ottawa Senators forward Jason Spezza, the Nashville Predators remain in the market for a No. 1 centre.

"If I had it on my wish list, I would like to get a No. 1 center, and we're going to try to get that," Predators general manager David Poile said after the draft concluded on Saturday. "If that happens the next couple of days or it happens in free agency or it happens through a trade that would be great. If it doesn't happen right now, I have patience. I don't think we really have an age problem on our team, but I think we're really getting the correct pieces in place to be a more competitive club than we've been in the last couple of years."

LeBrun notes that the Predators could target Colorado Avalanche centre Paul Stastny on July 1 to fill their need.

Second Chance?

LeBrun adds that once Stastny is off the market, the Senators may have suitors contacting them for Spezza.

"We'll continue to talk and, over the course of time, I'm sure people that miss out on July 1 may come knocking, but we'll have to wait and see," Senators general manager Bryan Murray said on Saturday.

According to LeBrun, the St. Louis Blues, Dallas Stars and Chicago Blackhawks all remain interested in acquiring Spezza, though the Blackhawks will have trouble working Spezza into their salary cap. A source told LeBrun that the Blues were in contact with the Senators on Sunday but declined to trade their second-round pick in a possible package. Sources of LeBrun suggested Stars general manager Jim Nill has talked to the Senators about Spezza, as well as to the San Jose Sharks about Joe Thornton as he looks to add to his forward group. In his pursuit, Nill was told Thornton has no intention of waiving his no-movement clause to leave San Jose.

Lebrun notes the Blues also have interest in Stastny, but roughly half the teams in the league have reached out Stastny's camp ahead of July 1.

Flightless Birds?

The Pittsburgh Penguins' off-season "to-do" list may not include locking up Marc-Andre Fleury and Paul Martin long-term.

According to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writer Rob Rossi, the Penguins will likely let both start their contract years without new deals.

New GM Jim Rutherford commented that talks with Fleury's agent were "unlikely to intensify" before the start of the regular season while Martin is believed to be favouring free agency following 2014-15.

Rutherford also reportedly believes it is time for the Penguins' NHL-ready defensive prospects to get an increased role with the team.

One More Year?

Detroit Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson's agent J.P. Barry told LeBrun the 41-year-old is thinking of returning for a 19th NHL season.

"I think he's leaning towards playing, we all think that," Barry said. "But at the same time he needs that time in the summer to feel 100 percent."

Jason Spezza (Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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