Contract negotiations between the Anaheim Ducks and center Ryan Getzlaf and right winger Corey Perry will dominate the NHL rumor mill this season as much as the Nashville Predators efforts last year to re-sign defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter.
Lost in the coverage over Getzlaf and Perry is the status of right winger Bobby Ryan, who voiced his discontent last June over the trade rumors that had dogged him in recent seasons, sparking anticipation he would be shopped before the start of the season.
Ducks GM Bob Murray recently told the Los Angeles Times the winger's status was a non-issue, informing the 25-year-old the team isn't looking to trade him.
As long as the Ducks stay in playoff contention, they won't consider moving Ryan, or Getzlaf and Perry, regardless of the contract status of the latter pair.
Beantown Cap Crunch
Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe recently observed the Bruins could face a salary cap crunch next season.
The Bruins currently have over $57.2 million invested in 17 players for 2013-14. Right winger Nathan Horton, defenseman Andrew Ference and backup goalie Anton Khudobin are set to become for unrestricted free agents this summer, while starting netminder Tuukka Rask is a restricted free agent.
With the salary cap dropping to $64.3 million next season, Dupont believes it will take a combined $10 million to re-sign Horton and Rask suggesting someone will have to go to free up cap space.
If Rask meets the Bruins’ expectations as their starting goalie, he'll become their priority to re-sign. Khudobin should be affordable to retain, but he could be replaced via free agency or trade. Ference is earning $2.3 million this season and might have to accept a pay cut to remain a Bruin.
Horton, who turns 28 in May, missed nearly half of last season to concussion symptoms. He'll need a strong bounce-back performance to convince management to retain him, let alone justify a raise above the $4 million per season he's earning on his current contract.
Bruins center Marc Savard (concussion) is expected to remain on long-term injury reserve to the expiration of his current contract in 2017, which will provide over $4 million in additional salary cap wiggle room for 2013-14.
Center David Krejci ($5.3 million per season) and left winger Milan Lucic ($6 million per season) were the subjects of trade speculation since last year and their names could resurface in the rumor mill this summer if the Bruins need to shed more salary.
Gomez Goes Fishing
Former Montreal Canadiens center Scott Gomez hopes to find a new NHL home with the San Jose Sharks.
Gomez, 33, was bought out of the final two seasons of his seven-year, $51 million contract last week by the Canadiens and his agent has been shopping his services around the league.
Gomez's warm relationship with Sharks assistant coach Larry Robinson, dating back to their days with the New Jersey Devils when Robinson was coach, could tip the scale in the center's favor.
Sharks GM Doug Wilson is expected to reach a decision on Gomez over the next several days.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and Kukla's Korner.