NHL free agency is heating up. There are still plenty of moves to be made even though it's safe to say that the Wild have already won the free agency sweepstakes by landing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
And we can all rest assured that the living legend Marty Brodeur will suit up for his 22nd season in the net for the Devils, New Jersey's lone pro team.
We could know, perhaps in the next day or two, where Phoenix Coyotes' captain Shane Doan will be headed. News about what exactly the Columbus Blue Jackets are doing with Rick Nash shouldn't be too far behind. The decision on Nash, whether met with hate or love by his fans, will certainly be a welcome end to an annoyingly long period of rumors.
Lets start with Doan.
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press tweeted Monday afternoon that Doan's agent confirmed a mutual interest between Doan and the Red Wings and that the two sides are talking to get a deal in place.
This shouldn't come as a big surprise as the Red Wings always seem to be in the running for a big name. But you have to believe that with the news last week of Parise and Suter choosing Minnesota over Detroit and a number of other hopeful suitors, the Red Wings are going to make a hard push to put a deal together to bring Doan to Michigan in the next couple of weeks.
According to a July 8 report from Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports, 11 teams are interested in Doan and he and the Coyotes are expected to decide by the end of today whether he will move on.
According to the report, the Vancouver Canucks, the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings, fresh off a Stanley Cup, are also in the mix with the Red Wings for Doan.
But will the Coyotes come to terms with Doan to keep him in Phoenix? Paola Bolvin of the Arizona Republic reported over the weekend that according to Doan's agent, Terry Bross, we shouldn't be so quick to assume Doan is all but gone:
Bross reiterated Doan wants to stay with the Coyotes. He loves it here, his family loves it here and he has developed a profound connection with the organization.
"He's such a loyal guy," Bross said. "He views the team like it's his own franchise, from the equipment manager to the trainer to the people taking tickets."
While Bross works on figuring out Doan's life moving forward, Rick Nash has a world of rumors deciding his next step. The amount of drama that has unfolded with him hasn't quite met Dwight Howard levels, but it'll be a sigh of relief wherever he goes.
But speaking of NBA to NHL comparisons, Rick Nash's trade scenarios become a little more complicated when you consider that he has what Kobe Bryant has with the Lakers: a no-trade clause in the contract.
So Nash, according to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, reportedly gave the Blue Jackets a list of six teams for whom he'd be happy playing: The Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks.
As Fox writes, the Penguins could be the team to land him:
Two words: Jordan Staal. Even the combination of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby, arguably the two best talents on skates, couldn’t get Pittsburgh out of Round 1 this spring, and the trade, however shrewd, of Staal to Carolina means there might be some ice time available for another impact forward. Malkin’s chemistry with James Neal and Chris Kunitz is not to be tampered with, but Sid needs a running mate. Imagine the threat of Cosby and Nash, teammates on Vancouver 2010’s gold medal team, on the same line. Plus, Pittsburgh might be afraid that Nash in a Rangers or Flyers sweater would pose big problems.
But I agree with Fox that it's unlikely the Blue Jackets give up Nash for Paul Martin and some draft picks. There's no real incentive here for the Blue Jackets.
And there's no real frontrunner to acquire Nash.
It will be an interesting situation to watch play out. Lets all pray it ends soon!
The other big player that could make a move and shift power is Alexander Semin. He's young and no doubt has a bright future as one of the best offensive players in the league. In 469 career games, he's scored 197 goals and recorded 211 assists.
In a report from NHLExpertPicks.com, the Penguins could be the likeliest suitor for Semin, that is, if he doesn't leave the NHL for Russia:
Semin's agent has stated that the KHL is actively pursuing him but that he wants to remain in the NHL. It has been recently rumored that a Russian team has a $10 million dollar per year offer on the table. It will be interesting to see where he will be playing come October. He has reportedly shown interest in playing with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh. Penguins GM Ray Shero has coincidentally publicly stated that he is seeking a goal-scoring winger to play with Crosby.
I don't see Semin leaving the league this early in his career. If he wants to prove himself to be among the best, he will have to score against the best defensemen. The NHL, as depleted of talent as it sometimes seems, is still the standard for success.
And though $10 million could be tempting, Semin's poised to make more money in the league if he stays with the NHL over the course of his career. Just look at Parise and his massive $98 million contract he just signed with the Wild. If there's any doubt Semin could see that kind of money down the road, consider this: Semin's Points Per Game since the 2005-05 lockout is better than Parise's.
How's that for a rich outlook?