Off-season Watch: Monday's latest from around the NHL

TSN.ca Staff
6/30/2014 3:13:06 PM
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Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat. Read on for the biggest rumours as GMs have one day remaining to make moves prior to the beginning of free agency.

Organized Reim

The Toronto Maple Leafs may now also be able to add finding a new home for James Reimer to their list of tasks.

The 26-year-old is reportedly seeking a trade after losing the lion's share of crease time with the Leafs this season to Jonathan Bernier.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger stated Monday that the request is not unexpected.

"James Reimer's trade request should come as no surprise," he said in a tweet. "He believes he's a #1 and wants a fresh start to prove that."

He added that the Leafs do not have a strong offer for Reimer on the table and that he has been told to be ready for training camp in the event a suitable deal can not be found.

Toronto does have interest in Martin Brodeur, according to Dreger, but his sense is that the interest is "mild".

Toronto is also expected to make another offer to Dave Bolland on Monday.

Dreger said he does not expect the Leafs to go beyond $25 million over five years, which he believes will not be enough to keep Bolland from the open market.

Centre Stage

After failing to strike a deal at the NHL Draft, Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray is now inching ever closer to the July 1 free agency opening without a new home for centre Jason Spezza.

McKenzie said Monday that while interest remains high in the 31-year-old, there is nothing imminent on the trade front.

"[St. Louis] and [Dallas] are the two teams who currently have interest in [Ottawa]'s Jason Spezza," he tweeted Monday. "Doesn't sound like a deal is close."

Van City

Thomas Vanek is another popular option for teams seeking a breakout forward.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reports that there are eight-to-10 teams interested in the big Austrian winger, including the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild are not believed to be interested in a long-term deal, LeBrun says, but that does not appear to be a deterrent for Vanek who is still believed to like Minnesota as a possible landing spot.

Bringing up Boyle

Dan Boyle will likely have no shortage of options once the formal offers start rolling in on Tuesday.

Dreger reports that Boyle will have multiple offers to consider come noon et on a new two-year deal.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers as well as Toronto and Montreal are believed to be his top five destinations, according to Dreger.

Speaking to TSN Radio 1050's Mike Richards on Monday, Dreger said "a return to Tampa Bay would make sense because there is some familiarity between both parties."

Welcome Matt

Interest remains high in UFA defenceman Matt Niskanen, meanwhile.

Dreger reports that more than 10 teams have expressed interest in the Pens' blueliner.

Niskanen's camp is believed to be set to trim that number down over the course of Monday to get ready for formal offers on Tuesday.

Avalanche of Options

Paul Stastny is another big name drawing lots of attention.

LeBrun tweeted Monday that Stastny and agent Matt Keator will work to cut down their destinations list prior to Tuesday and that the St. Louis Blues are expected to remain in the mix.

However, LeBrun added that a return to Colorado is still not off the board. The Avalanche don't appear to have the funds to throw around that other suitors might in their pursuit of the 28-year-old centre.

Playing it Kul

With free agency looming, Nikolai Kulemin may look to join a compatriot once the market opens on Tuesday.

Dreger told TSN Radio that the Russian winger could be looking to join former Magnitogorsk teammate Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins once he officially hits unrestricted free agency.

"The Pittsburgh Penguins have expressed interest and with a salary of $3-3.5 million dollars, he will have no shortage of suitors," Dreger said.

Curious Gorges

The Leafs are still believed to be in pursuit of Montreal Canadiens blueliner Josh Gorges, but his modified no-trade clause may be holding things up.

TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie tweeted the Leafs are still hoping he'll waive his NTC. If that would occur, McKenzie stated "it's believed Montreal would get a roster player from Toronto" in exchange.

However, the blueliner may not waive his clause at all.

McKenzie tweeted that the situation is "problematic for all. Montreal had deal with Toronto but Gorges refused to waive his modified NTC to go to Toronto. Still won't."

The Gorges situation could get more complicated if he refuses to waive his no-trade.

According to McKenzie, Montreal appears to want to shed his cap space. They are able to trade him to one of 15 pre-approved teams, but could also put him on waivers failing a trade.

If put on waivers, Montreal gets no return but Gorges then loses all control of where he could potentially end up, meaning Gorges might be convinced to take a trade to Toronto instead of being available to any one of the league's 29 other franchises.

Restricted List

Monday will see a host of NHL teams extending qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents, but some players will be cut loose to find new teams via unrestricted free agency.

The Anaheim Ducks have not qualified Mathieu Perreault, but are believed to have made him a substantial offer. He will hit unrestricted free agency unless he accepts the offer.

Other players without offers include the Vancouver Canucks' Zac Delpe and Jordan Schroeder, the Ottawa Senators' Jim O'Brien, Nathan Lawson and Tyler Eckford (per Le Droit's Sylvain St-Laurent), Tampa Bay defender Keith Aulie (per the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith), Dallas Stars centre Dustin Jeffrey (per Stars writer Mark Stepaneski), Rangers defenceman Justin Falk (per ESPN's Katie Strang).

Check back in with TSN.ca over the course of the day for breaking news and big rumours ahead of the July 1 Free Agent Frenzy.

Watch live coverage of the Free Agent Frenzy Tuesday on TSN starting at 11:30am et/8:30am pt.

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