Wayne Primeau Wants Back on the Leafs: Does He Fit In?

Wayne Primeau

35-year-old National Hockey League veteran Wayne Primeau wants to return to the National Hockey League for the 2010-2011 season, which would be his 16th in the League, according to TheFourthPeriod.com (via Toronto Sun).

“I still feel I can play and contribute to a team,” Primeau told the Sun. “Hopefully someone steps forward and gives me a chance.”

“My ultimate wish is to come back to Toronto for another season and be a veteran (presence) to help the younger guys. But it seems to be looking dimmer and dimmer as the days go on.”

With the Maple Leafs becoming a younger team each year and very unlikely to win the Stanley Cup this season, is it really fitting for a 15-year veteran of the League who has never won a Stanley Cup to return to Toronto?

No. The Maple Leafs have too many bottom-six forwards (which Primeau is) for him to fit in on the roster. If he was to play on the wing, he still wouldn’t fit in with the bottom six. Colby Armstrong, Luca Caputi, Colton Orr, Mike Brown and Fredrick Sjostrom all have more important roles with the Maple Leafs, and all add just as much grit, if not more.

At age 35, if Primeau were to return to the Maple Leafs, he would be the oldest player on the roster (current oldest player is Jean-Sebastien Giguere at age 33) and the oldest forward on the roster by seven years.

Not just that, but the signing of Primeau would also take away crucial cap space from general manager Brian Burke, who is currently trying to use that cap space, and possibly Tomas Kaberle, to fill the forward hole in the Maple Leafs lineup.

With that being said, not only would returning to Toronto be a poor career decision by Primeau, but it would also be a poor decision by Maple Leafs manager Brian Burke, who already has enough veterans on the roster.

Primeau has scored just 194 points (69 goals, 125 assists) in 774-career regular-season games. Three of those goals and five of those assists came in 54 games with the Maple Leafs in 2009-2010. He was acquired from the Calgary Flames in July of 2009 along with a 2011 second round draft pick for Anton Stralman, Colin Stuart and a 2012 seventh round draft pick.

**Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas@gacksports.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.


Five Free Agents the Maple Leafs Should Consider

Owen Nolan

It’s no secret that the Toronto Maple Leafs offence isn’t exactly the best in the league. Sure the Maple Leafs roster consists of two-time 30-goal scorer Phil Kessel, two-time 20-goal scorer Kris Versteeg and (likely) rookie Nazem Kadri, who is expected to be a large part of the Maple Leafs offence, but the offensive talent level drops significantly after those three.

Many people wanted and expected Tomas Kaberle to be traded by Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke by August 15th, in return for a top-six forward, preferably a top-line centre. With Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri or even Mikhail Grabovski playing the centre ice position however, Tomas Kaberle remaining a Maple Leaf may not be such a bad thing. 

The trade route is not always the way to go when looking to acquire offence, defence or a goalie, even now that Evgeni Nabokov, Sergei Gonchar and Matthew Lombardi have all be signed. In fact, there are still players with offensive talent and/or potential available.

While there are some free agents still available that could no doubt help the Maple Leafs, Brian Burke can’t go out into the free agent market and sign a couple of players who used to be big time point producers, hoping that they can become the surprise-of-the-year.

What it does mean is invite about five players to training camp and see if anyone impresses. If someone does, sign them to a one-year contract that won’t be too hard to move if needed.

Here is a look at some free agents still searching for a team that the Maple Leafs should think about inviting to training camp:

Owen Nolan

Although he is considered by many to be injury-prone, don’t let Nolan’s 38-year-old age fool you. The 6’1″, 214 lbs big man netted 16 goals and 17 assists in 73 games with Minnesota last season, after scoring 45 points in 59 games in 2008-2009.

The Belfast, Ireland born forward spent parts of two seasons with the Maple Leafs between 2002 and 2004 before sitting out for 2005-2006 season after loosing a season of hockey due to the 2004-2005 lockout. Over that two-year span with the Maple Leafs, Nolan scored 60 points in 79 games (26 goals, 34 assists).

Should the Maple Leafs sign Owen Nolan before training camp even begins? No.

Should the Maple Leafs invite him to training camp? Yes.

Will be need to impress? Oh, you bet he will.

It is unlikely that the Maple Leafs would sign Nolan to a contract out of camp if he doesn’t crack the top-six, or even the top-nine. With the Maple Leafs’ youth and speed on the top two lines, its unlikely that Nolan will receive a contract offer contract, but he should get his chance.

Patrick O’Sullivan

After being a massive disappointment last season with Edmonton (11 goals, 23 assists, 34 points), Patrick O’Sullivan was placed on waivers, cleared them and was traded to Phoenix for Jim Vandermeer, where his contract was bought out.

O’Sullivan, now a free agent, was a cap hit of $2.95 last season, according to CapGeek.com and would likely take a significant drop in salary if a team were to offer him a contract, giving him a chance to play. At age 24, he would be more likely to make the Maple Leafs if invited to training camp than Owen Nolan. The 5’11”, 190 lbs O’Sullivan is a former 22 goal scorer and could match that total again if given the chance.

Much like Nolan, however, he would have to impress everyone at training camp.

Todd Fedoruk

Many people want, or are expecting the Maple Leafs to sign Raffi Torres by the time the regular-season begins, however there may be a more affordable fit. Although Todd Fedoruk does not quite put up the same offensive numbers that Torres does, he can still provide the same, if not more, amount of grit.

A fighter, Fedoruk put up 54 penalty minutes last season in 50 games. The 31-year-old has posted 1050 PIMs in 545-career regular-season games.  

Marek Svatos

A two-time 25+ goal scorer (32 in 2005-06, 26 in 2007-08), Svatos has never played more than 69 games in a season.

With the Maple Leafs lacking another top-six winger and Colby Armstrong best fitted for the third line, Marek Svatos could fit in very well on the right side of the second line. If Svatos can turn in a healthy season, the native of Slovakia has the potential to put up 50+ points.

A cap hit of $2.05 million last season, Svatos would come in nicely somewhere between $1.5 million and $2 million.  Had it not have been for his struggles last season (seven goals, four assists, 54 games), Svatos would likely come in at a much more expensive price, something that would be unaffordable.

Ryan Johnson

Johnson, an exceptional penalty killer, would bring nothing but good to the Maple Leafs. One of the most underrated players in the League, Johnson is one of the most fearless forwards around.

The 34-year-old is a great shot blocker, and was a staple on the penalty kill in Vancouver. For a team that finished dead least in the League on the penalty kill last season with a 74.6 percent rate, the former Panther, Lightning, Blue and Canuck would be more than welcomed in Toronto.

At a cap hit of $1.10 million last season, Johnson is not getting any younger and this could be his last chance at playing in the National Hockey League. With that being said, he would more than likely be willing to sign a contract worth somewhere around $875 000. 

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors. Information from HockeyDB.com and CapGeek.com was used in this post.

Tomas Kaberle Remains a Maple Leaf

Tomas Kaberle is staying with the Maple Leafs, at least for now.

The veteran defenceman was not traded between the draft and August first, meaning that he will now need to waive his no-trade clause in order for the Maple Leafs to trade him to another team.

Brian Burke said that he is not at all disappointed. He had this to say in a statement:

“The hockey club confirms this evening that Tomas Kaberle remains a Leaf. While a number of Clubs made offers to trade for Tomas, none of them reflected Tomas’s value to our team. I understand a period like this is stressful to the player, and we are pleased that there is a resolution, and we can all continue to prepare for the coming season.”

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

Can the Maple Leafs Make the Playoffs in 2010-2011?

Francois Beauchemin

Before I begin, I want to say that I am not like a lot of other Leafs fans. In other words, I am not going to sit here and tell you that the Maple Leafs are going to make the playoffs and maybe even win the Stanley Cup just because they haven’t for so long now. With that being said, if you disagree with what I am about to say than don’t comment saying that I am just someone who thinks that their team is better than every other.

Moving on.

It is no secret that the Maple Leafs have not made the playoffs since the lockout. In 2004, the last time they made the playoffs, the Maple Leafs beat out the Ottawa Senators in seven games before being eliminated in the second round by the Philadelphia Flyers in six games.

It has been five on-ice seasons since we have experienced one of those seasons with legitimate hope. Hope that we experience a Stanley Cup victory.

Although it’s highly unlikely the Maple Leafs will win the Stanley Cup this season, they may be one step closer to breaking the forty year slump.

Phil Kessel and Kris Versteeg will be the likely leaders of the Maple Leafs offence, and possibly the most loved by fans.

Kessel managed to score 30 goals in 70 games last season with the Leafs which is six less than what he scored in the same amount of games with the Bruins in 2008-2009. Kessel seemed to be the leader of the Maple Leafs’ offence last season, scoring more than once in a game on six different occasions.

He also knows how to persevere. Kessel, who suffered from testicular cancer in 2006, is now cancer free. He won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for his perseverance during the 2006-2007 season.

Kris Versteeg, who is fresh off a Stanley Cup victory with Chicago, scored 20 goals and 44 points last season after netting 22 goals and 53 points in his rookie season.

These two young veterans will be a large part to any success that Maple Leafs have during the coming season. In fact, Kris Versteeg and Phil Kessel will likely be the biggest providers of the Maple Leafs offence aside from Tyler Bozak, who has the potential to put up 50 points this season.

Lets not forget about Nazem Kadri though.

Kadri, the Maple Leafs’ seventh overall draft pick in 2009, scored 92 goals and has helped out on another 166 (258 points) in 242-career regular season games in the Ontario Hockey League. The 19-year-old also has one NHL game under his belt after an emergency call-up last season. He went pointless in that game while going -1.

Although he may not start there, Kadri will end up as the Maple Leafs’ second line centre.

When put together, the four of them could be a large part of the Maple Leafs’ top-six forward group, with two other spots remaining. Those other two spots will be made up Nikolai Kulemin and any forward that Brian Burke might get back in return for Tomas Kaberle.

Nikolai Kulemin will be entering his sophomore season after an impressive rookie season. Playing on the Maple Leafs’ second line with Kris Versteeg (assuming that the Maple Leafs get a top-line winger in return for Tomas Kaberle), Kulemin could score 20 goals and put up 45 points, which is four more goals and nine more points than his production in 2009-2010.

With a group of top-six forwards that will be entering the campaign with more experience and very good potential, the Maple Leafs’ offence will be much more dangerous than last season.

While the top two lines will be putting the puck in the net, the third and fourth lines will be nothing short of intimidating. Boasting the likes of Colton Orr, Mike Brown and (if the Maple Leafs do not acquire a top-six forward by training camp) Colby Armstrong.

Orr and Brown will be used on the fourth to punish the other teams physically, while Fredrick Sjostrom will skate along with them on most nights. Colby Armstrong could find himself skating with Luca Caputi and John Mitchell to try to shut down the top line of the opposing teams while scoring goals when needed.

As you look into the Maple Leafs’ defence, you will notice that Francois Beauchemin had a slightly below average season in 2009-2010, scoring just five goals while adding  25 assists and posting a +/- rating of -13. If Beauchemin, who won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007, can have a better season in 2010-2011, then he may find himself being leaned on by Ron Wilson in big moments.

Beauchemin has the potential to reach 10 goals and 40 points. If he can, then the Maple Leafs power play will improve dramatically.

Of course Beauchemin will not be the only defenceman the Maple Leafs need help from if they want to improve their power play. Dion Phaneuf struggled last season before being acquired from the Calgary Flames in late January. The 25-year-old scored two goals in 26 games with the Buds last season, but don’t let the statistics fool you.

Phaneuf was leaned on very often by the Maple Leafs as the guy who could give the team a massive spark.

The former 20-goal-scorer was named captain of the Maple Leafs this off-season after being recognized for his great work ethic and ability to lead a team both on the ice and in the dressing room. Assuming that Phaneuf can balance the duties of captaining the Maple Leafs and being a top defenceman, the entire Maple Leafs defence will be strong for the latter half of the season.

With that being said, don’t be disappointed if Brian Burke elects to keep Tomas Kaberle.

Kaberle, an 11-year veteran of the league, is one of the best defenceman in the National Hockey League. As long as Kaberle is playing for the Maple Leafs, the young players, especially the young defencemen, will follow him. If Kaberle and newly named captain Dion Phaneuf are both playing the for Maple Leafs, the young defence corps will learn a lot.

With the being said, the Maple Leafs could make some big mistakes in their own end for the first couple weeks of the season, but the potential to rebound nicely is there.

However, just because things are looking good so far doesn’t mean that the Leafs will make the playoffs for sure.

For years, the Northeast Division was known as one of the toughest in hockey. Now that the Atlantic Division has taken shape and the Pacific Division is well on its way, the Northeast is not quite as comparable as it used to be.

Nevertheless, the Maple Leafs are still going to have to deal with teams that are tough to play against. Buffalo, Boston, Montreal and maybe even the Senators have the potential for big seasons in 2010-2011.

After loosing Henrik Tallinder, Toni Lydman and Raffi Torres in the off-season, Buffalo rebounded fairly well with the signings of Jordan Leopold, Rob Niedermayer and Shaone Morrisonn. The Sabres are likely to have a similar season as they did in 2009-2010 (45-27-10, 100 points, 1st in Northeast Division) since they didn’t really improve their team.

The Senators lost two very solid defencemen in the off-season in Anton Volchenkov and Andy Sutton, while also watching Matt Cullen leave the Nation’s capital. They did, however, manage to lure Sergei Gonchar away from Pittsburgh and into the red, black and gold. Gonchar, who scored 11 goals last season, is the puck moving defenceman the Senators were looking for.

Even though they lost Miroslav Satan, Dennis Wideman and Byron Bitz, the Boston Bruins still managed to improve their offence by acquiring Nathan Horton. Horton, who has played his entire six-year career with the Panthers, put up 57 points in just 65 games last season. There is no doubt that the Bruins improved their offensive attack after finishing dead last in the league in goals scored per game and total goals scored last season.

Last but possibly not least, the Montreal Canadiens didn’t exactly improve their team during the 2010 off-season. After losing the likes of Jaroslav Halak, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Glen Metropolit and Sergei Kostitsyn, Pierre Gauthier only managed to sign Alex Auld and Dustin Boyd. The Canadiens are taking a massive risk with Carey Price as he has not proven that he can come through when the crowd turns on him while Jaroslav Halak, who was traded to St. Louis, carried the Montreal Canadiens to the Eastern Conference final.

The Maple Leafs, who went 5-2 last season against Ottawa, will need to start the season series against the Senators the way they finished it in 2009-2010 if they want to prove that they can win in their own division. But of course, they will need to be able to beat the best in the division, and the league, to prove that they are a brand new team.

So, can the Maple Leafs make the playoffs? Yes.

Will it be easy? No. 

As a young team, the Maple Leafs will make a lot of mistakes, especially early in the season. But just like we saw last season, the Maple Leafs have the ability to string some wins together. It won’t take long before the Maple Leafs can start to string multiple wins together with the potential the offence actually has.

There will be a lot of ups and downs during the 2010-2011 season, but in the end the Maple Leafs will make the Stanley Cup playoffs, finishing seventh in the Eastern Conference just three points in.

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. Follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

Maple Leafs Sign D’Amigo to Entry-Level Contract

Jerry D'Amigo

The Toronto Maple Leafs signed 19-year-old Jerry D’Amigo to a three-year, entry-level contract on Wednesday, according to The Globe and Mail.

D’Amigo scored 10 goals while adding 34 assists last season with the R.P.I. Engineers of the NCAA. He also played in the World Junior Championship, tieing for third in tournament scoring with a total of 12 points for the United States. In 108 games over three seasons with the U.S. National Under-18 Team, D’Amigo scored 36 goals and 51 assists.

“We’ve been pleased with Jerry’s progression over the last 12 months,” general manager Brian Burke said in a statement. “Seth Appert and the rest of the coaching staff at R.P.I. have done a really nice job of preparing Jerry for the next stage in his development. We look forward to having him at training camp.”

D’Amigo was a sixth-round draft pick of the Maple Leafs in 2009.

It is also rumourd that the Maple Leafs have signed Eric Belanger. More to come…

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. You can also follow Lukas on twitter @lukas_nhl for breaking sports scores, news and rumors.

Potential Tomas Kaberle Trade Options

Tomas Kaberle

Even though there is little time left to trade Tomas Kaberle without his consent, the Maple Leafs options remain the same. Many teams have been involved in rumors stating that they have shown interest in the 32-year-old, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Dallas Stars and Anaheim Ducks.

They may, however, not be the only teams that Kaberle could go too.

The Edmonton Oilers, although re-building, could be one of those teams. With very little NHL experience on their roster, Tomas Kaberle could add plenty of experience and leadership to help the young players grow into great ones. Not only would he bring that impressive amount of experience and leadership, but he would also bring his outstanding skill set.

Even though all of that sounds positive, it all falls through due to the teams’ situations.

Since both teams are trying to become as young as possible, they would not be willing to give up their younger players, such as Andrew Cogliano, Sam Ganger, Tyler Bozak, Nikolai Kulemin and Luke Schenn, unless it was for another player who is about 26-years-old or less.

What is even more unfortunate is that Tomas Kaberle does not fall into that age group.

Since the majority of non-contending teams have the same mind-set of Oilers management, it is more likely that Kaberle will go to a team such as the LA Kings or Phoenix Coyotes, who have the ability to make the playoffs, but are still trying to get over that hump of becoming a real Stanley Cup threat.

This could lead teams in the same situation to be willing to give up more than others. If Kaberle isn’t traded before August 15th, the day his trade window closes, and agrees to waive his no-trade clause  at the trade deadline, than the Maple Leafs may be able to get even more in return than they would right now. This is because general managers will be even more desperate to improve their teams for the playoffs. However, that is too big of a risk.

Here is some examples of what the Maple Leafs could fetch from three of the teams rumored to be interested in Kaberle:

Los Angeles

To Toronto: Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, 3rd round draft pick

To Los Angeles: Tomas Kaberle, Mikhail Grabovksi, Jeff Finger

Brian Burke would be more than happy to gain the services of 28-year-old Justin Williams who would fit in well on the third line with Colby Armstrong. Dustin Brown is only 25-years-old and wears the ‘C’ for the Kings. He scored 24 goals and added 32 assists in all 82 games last season and is often compared to Mike Richards of the Philadelphia Flyers as a player who can score goals in clutch moments while not being afraid to get into the dirty areas and fight for the puck.

It seems as though the Kings want to give Drew Doughty full captaincy, but Dustin Brown is already captain, meaning that Los Angeles might be more willing to give Dustin Brown up than you may think.

The Maple Leafs would relieve themselves of Tomas Kaberle and the very hefty contracts of Mikhail Grabovski and Jeff Finger.

If the Maple Leafs and Kings were to complete this trade, Toronto would have just over $6 million in cap space to work with, about $4 million more than they have now, while the Kings would have about $8.9 million left.


To Toronto: Dustin Brown, Scott Parse, 6th round draft pick

To Los Angeles: Tomas Kaberle, Mikhail Grabovski, Jeff Finger

If Mikhail Grabovski is sent to a smaller market than he may be able to flourish (i.e. Sergei Kostitsyn to Nashville). In his career, Grabovksi has only played for the two biggest markets in the NHL: Montreal and Toronto.

Scott Parse is an outstanding offensive prospect, worsening the draft pick that the Maple Leafs would receive in return. In 59 games last season, he scored 11 goals, put up 13 assists and posted a +/- rating of +13.

With this deal, the Kings would have just over $6.3 million left in cap space, while the Maple Leafs would have just over $8.6 million remaining.

Columbus Blue Jackets

To Toronto: RJ Umberger, Andrew Murray, 3rd round draft pick

 To Columbus: Tomas Kaberle, John Mitchell 

After completing this trade, the Maple Leafs would have about $2.6 million remaining in cap space.

They would be receiving a pair of big bodies, one of which can put the puck in the net. R.J. Umberger scored 23 goals and 32 assists last season with Columbus, playing in all 82 games. He has two more years remaining on his contract and could be very valuable if the Maple Leafs ever need to trade him, making $3.75 million and scoring more than 20 goals per season. 

Andrew Murray isn’t very much of a goal scorer, but he would fit in well on the Maple Leafs’ third or fourth line.

Because Tomas Kaberle is indisputably the best player in this trade, and John Mitchell is the same type of player as Andrew Murray, the Maple Leafs should also receive a third round pick, at the very least.

Dallas Stars

To Toronto: James Neal, Brad Richards, 6th round pick

To Dallas: Tomas Kaberle, Mikhail Grabovski, Jeff Finger, Mike Brown

This trade would require a sign and trade due to the fact that James Neal is a restricted free agent, meaning that the amount of cap space for the teams cannot be calculated accurately.

The Dallas Stars may just be the Maple Leafs’ best chance at significantly improving its offence because the Stars are not very talented on the back-end. If this trade were to be completed, however, Dallas will have vastly improved its defence corps, with the additions of Tomas Kaberle and Jeff Finger.

Mikhail Grabovski could lessen some of the blow of the loss of Brad Richards at the centre ice position as long as he can mature into well-rounded player. Mike Brown meanwhile, helps in bringing a sixth round pick back to Toronto as well as more cap space.

James Neal could be a good fit on the Maple Leafs top line, as well as Brad Richards, with Phil Kessel skating on the right-wing.

Brian Burke claims that the Maple Leafs are not in a rebuilding stage, meaning that the team is more than likely to accept a trade that improves the team now, not down the road. All of the above trades make sense for the Maple Leafs in their own way, but they all have something in common. They all vastly improve the Maple Leafs’ roster now, and down the road.

If you look at the Los Angeles trades, you will notice that the Maple Leafs would receive Dustin Brown in both of them. Brown is just 25-years-old and is a very good player who has five full NHL seasons under his belt. In the first trade, they would also receive a third round draft pick, which although it is not a first or second round pick, it helps. In the second, they would get Dustin Brown and a great young prospect in Scott Parse and a sixth round draft pick.

In the Columbus trade, the Maple Leafs would be receiving a big body goal scorer in R.J. Umberger, Andrew Murray and a third round draft pick. Again, the draft pick could prove to payoff while Umberger is a solid second line player and Andrew Murray could fit in well with the Leafs’ bottom six.

The Dallas trade also proves to be worth it in the long run because the Maple Leafs would be welcoming youngster James Neal, while also getting a draft pick. As for what it does now, it gives them a top-line centre, Brad Richards, who could have some serious chemistry with Neal if placed on the same line.

If Tomas Kaberle is traded, it is most likely going to happen before his no-trade clause kicks back in on Sunday, August 15th based on his past history of rejecting trades.

Buckle up, this crazy ride is about to get even more crazy.

Lukas can be contacted by e-mail at lukas.bib@gmx.com. You can also follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_bib for breaking sports scores, rumours and news.

NHL Rumors and Rumblings: Kaberle Trade Imminent, Blue Jackets No Longer Interested

Tomas Kaberle

Andy Sutton, Glenn Metropolit, Marty Turco, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Andrew Ladd, Domonic Moore and Shaone Morrisonn all found new homes during the week that was, while Todd White was traded to the New York Rangers and Erik Johnson re-signed with the Blues for two-years.

Despite all of that, the Washington Capitals remained the busiest team. It all began when Maxime Talbot fired shots at Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. “I just hate the guy” said Talbot. “He’s a real (expletive).”

The team also re-signed 26-year-old, 23-goal scorer Tomas Fleischmann before acquiring tough guy D.J. King from the Blues for prospect Stefan Della Rovere.

Yes, it was another busy week in the National Hockey League. Here is a look at some of the things that could go down in the coming seven days.

Tomas Kaberle trade imminent?

The National Post (via Montreal Gazette) is reporting that a Kaberle trade could be imminent, but Brian Burke says that part of the delay is due to the Ilya Kovalchuk situation. Once Ilya Kovalchuk officially signs with a team, Tomas Kaberle will be the most sought after player available. Kaberle’s no-trade window ends August 15th.

Sharks, Bruins want to bring back Thornton, Chara

The Boston Globe is reporting that the San Jose Sharks would like to re-sign Joe Thornton before the end of the 2010-2011 season. In the same report, the Globe’s Craig Custance says that the Boston Bruins would also like to re-sign their star player, Zdeno Chara, before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Blue Jackets no longer interested in Kaberle?

The Toronto Sun’s Dave Fuller is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets will most likely stop pursuing Tomas Kaberle. The re-signing of Anton Stralman may have something to do with that.

However, the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline is reporting that the Blue Jackets are still looking at adding another defenceman to the team.

Richards likely staying in Dallas

Mike Heika from the Dallas Morning News is reporting that the Stars want to keep Brad Richards and he wants to stay in Dallas. Richards has been linked to trade talks with the Maple Leafs and is in the final year of his contract.

Aaron Asham’s status

PortageOnline.com has reported that Vancouver and Edmonton have shown interest in Aaron Asham. The 31-year-old wants to return to Philadelphia, but the Flyers have very little cap space remaining.

Detroit, Maltby still talking

The Detroit News is reporting that the Detroit Red Wings and Kirk Maltby are still talking. Maltby’s agent Anton Thun told the news “It’s been a phone tag. At this point, Kirk’s preference is clearly to play for the Red Wings.”

Avalanche negotiating with Mueller, Stewart

The Denver Post is reporting that the Colorado Avalanche are still in talks with young forwards Peter Mueller and Chris Stewart. Mueller and Stewart are both 22 and both made $850 000 last season. Mueller scored 13 goals while adding 24 assists in 69 games last season, while Stewart scored 28 goals and assisted on another 36 in 77 games.

Information from TheFourthPeriod.com, SpectorsHockey.com and TSN.ca was used in this post.

If you don’t want to wait until Tuesdays to find out all the latest rumors, follow Lukas on Twitter @lukas_bib for rumors and news as soon as they’re reported.