NHL Rumor Wire – May 13th, 2011

The Atlanta Thrashers are now the targeted team that may end up moving to Winnipeg. Rumors are coming and going about the relocation of the Thrashers and Jeff Schultz on AJC.com has a Q-and-A with NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly.

From Jeff Schultz (AJC.com)

Q: Where do we stand with the Thrashers?

A: “That’s more a question for [part-owner] Bruce [Levenson} than it is for me. He’s the one working on trying to find new ownership for the franchise. We’ve been working with him closely for a number of years in efforts to sell the franchise. Those efforts are ongoing. But there is nothing that has made sense to this point.”

Q: Can you guarantee the team will be in Atlanta next season?

A: “Nope. I can’t guarantee that.”

Phoenix Coyotes would love to resign goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, but will they have enough cash to offer him?

From Jim Gintonio (The Arizona Republic)

The NHL free-agency period begins July 1, and the Coyotes will have to make a major decision on how much to offer goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who is an unrestricted free agent able to sign with any team. His agent and Maloney will meet Friday. The in-house option is Jason LaBarbera, who also is unrestricted.

“I think the process is identifying priorities, who’s the most important and the second-most important and on down the line and then going out and executing your plan,” Maloney said. “Certainly, Ilya Bryzgalov is very important to us.

“We’d like to sign him to a contract that makes sense to him and sense to us, but he may want more than what we’re prepared to pay. If that’s the case, then we’ll have to deal with it if it comes down to it.”

The Minnesota Wild are searching for a new head coach and GM Chuck Fletcher hopes to have one signed before the end of June.

From Charley Walters (TwinCities.com)

The search for a Minnesota Wild coach continues, and it won’t be surprising if it goes well into June. The NHL draft is June 24.

“I don’t know that it would go much past that,” Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said this morning. “I don’t know how quickly it’s going to come together, but I’m assuming by the end of June things should be taken care of.

“But who knows – maybe something unexpected happens in a couple weeks. I don’t anticipate this dragging on all summer, that’s for sure. We’ve put a lot of time into it already. It doesn’t have to be done by the draft, but usually these things get done by the draft.”

Matthew Sekeres from the Globe and Mail, questions if the Vancouver Canucks will have to choose between defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff, at the end of the season.

From Matthew Sekeres (Globe and Mail)

For most Vancouver Canucks, the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs is uncharted territory, and the pressure will only intensify regardless of whether the San Jose Sharks or Detroit Red Wings become the opponent.

That makes for an interesting set of circumstances when it comes to Canucks defencemen Kevin Bieksa and Christian Ehrhoff, who are conference finals rookies. Both are unrestricted free agents as of July 1 – in a weak crop of UFA defencemen, it must be noted – and both stand to make a lot of money this summer, be it in Vancouver or elsewhere, especially if they respond to this stage.

For some time now, it has been presumed that the Canucks will only have the salary-cap space to re-sign one of them. (Although if the spending limit rises to $62.2-million, as reports indicate, than perhaps both could fit).

Tags: Atlanta Thrashers Bill Daly Christian Ehrhoff Chuck Fletcher Ilya Bryzgalov Kevin Bieksa Minnesota Wild Phoenix Coyotes Vancouver Canucks

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