Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/20/14 at 11:39 AM ET
Paul Grant Pierre LeBrun of ESPN,
The Anaheim Ducks and St. Louis Blues are among the clubs to watch when it comes to the big-name free-agent centers.
Both clubs, we hear, have talked to the Vancouver Canucks about Ryan Kesler and to the Ottawa Senators about Jason Spezza, although they are hardly alone; several clubs have checked in on both available assets.
It's not surprising that Anaheim has inquired about both, as the Ducks' desire for a high-end, No. 2 center is hardly a state secret, especially when the club tried to hard to get Kesler at the March 5 trade deadline.
What we're hearing out of both Ottawa and Vancouver is that the price is too high for each center, perhaps because we haven’t got to draft week yet in Philadelphia when things are expected to heat up.
Then again, the Canucks view Kesler as quite a bargain at a $5 million cap hit the next two seasons. Spezza has only a year left on his deal but his offensive talent is a major drawing card the Senators are banking on cashing in on a trade.
One club we’re told that is intrigued is the Detroit Red Wings, although at this point it's just that, pure intrigue and other than a very preliminary discussion, there hasn't been much work done on that front.
For starters, I don’t think Detroit can do something of that magnitude as long as Stephen Weis sand his $4.9 million cap hit remains on the books for the next four years. Good luck moving that contract.
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