While Tampa Bay is believed to be the front-runner for Red Wings defenseman Mike Green, they aren’t the only team in the Atlantic interested in his services. MLive’s Ansar Khan reports that the Maple Leafs have also shown an interest in bringing in the pending unrestricted free agent. Toronto’s interest in adding some help on the back end is well-known but Green isn’t the typical defensive-minded blueliner that many have expected the Leafs to covet. As a result of their recent trades, Toronto has quietly freed up enough cap space to absorb Green’s full $6MM contract without needing Detroit to retain which could give them a leg up on more cap-strapped squads.
Elsewhere in the East:
- As Pittsburgh’s well-publicized center search continues, BSN Denver’s Adrian Dater reports (Twitter link) that the Penguins have some interest in Avalanche pivot Carl Soderberg as a fallback option if they can’t land a more prominent target. Soderberg has had a bit of a bounce-back season with 24 points (11-13-24) in 56 games after recording just 14 in 80 contests last season. However, he has two years remaining on his contract after this one with a $4.75MM cap hit, someone that Colorado would likely have to retain on to facilitate a move.
- The Devils are getting closer to getting a key part of their team back in the lineup. Goaltender Cory Schneider participated in practice once again today and NHL.com’s Mike Morreale notes that he could return as soon as next week. Keith Kinkaid has seen the lion’s share of the workload since Schneider was injured January 23rd and has struggled at times with the extra responsibility. Once he gets the green light to return, veteran Eddie Lack will likely be returned to the minors.
- Rangers blueliner Marc Staal will return to the lineup on Thursday for the first time since suffering a neck injury on February 3rd, the team announced (Twitter link). New York is currently carrying the minimum roster of 20 players so they will not need to make any moves to officially activate him off IR.