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NHL rumor mill: Let the free-agent frenzy begin

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

More NHL Offseason: NHL rumors | Rumor mill | Trade Tracker | 2014-15 preseason odds

Buckle up, hockey fans, it's free-agency frenzy day. And with the second year of the courtship window, the day really does have the potential to live up to its billing as a Frenzy, one of the busiest and certainly wildest days of the NHL calendar.

Rumors and speculation will be flying faster than a Zdeno Chara slap shot so keep up with our rumor mill and refresh it throughout the day.

Offseason Rumor Mill
8:00 p.m.: According to Darren Dreger, Vincent Lecavalier received a $2 million bonus today. With that out of the way now, he could become a more attractive trade target in the coming days as Philly looks to move him.
7:18 p.m.: Radim Vrbata remains unsigned after the first day of free agency winds down. Conversations with the Coyotes remain ongoing, but a decision is not expected immediately for the best UFA available.
2:13 p.m.: At this point pretty much everybody has signed but Matt Niskanen, but we do know where he WON'T sign ... Detroit.
12:29 p.m.: And here is what Steve Yzerman could have been clearing space for. There's one report that says a seven-year deal for $7 million per season is in the works for Matt Niskanen.
12:21 p.m.: The Blues are looking more and more likely to land the big centerman on the block, Paul Stastny but stay tuned.
12:02 p.m.: This year is quite different than the last time Brad Richards was on the free-agent market. Which teams might be interested? Renaud Lavoie lists four teams as possible suitors: The Islanders, Blackhawks, Panthers and his former team, the Lightning.
11:57 a.m.: How about the hunt for Brooks Oprik's services? The Capitals are said to be in on him (they recently hired Todd Reirden, former Penguins assistant who worked with the defensemen. Calgary, Colorado and Florida are also believed to be interested.
11:41 a.m.: Nobody is really talking much about Ales Hemsky, which could be to the benefit of the Coyotes, who appear to be interested in reuniting him with the recently acquired Sam Gagner.
11:38 a.m.: Since it doesn't look like Dave Bolland will be re-signing in Toronto, there are two teams that have emerged as the candidates to land the center: the Panthers and the Blues, who are chasing bigger fish at center first. With Florida, keep in mind Bolland and GM Dale Tallon's ties to Chicago.
11:24 a.m.: Habs captain Brian Gionta is going to hit free agency after failing to reach a new deal in Montreal and right away there appears to be mutual interest between he and the Sabres, who have an awful lot of money they need to spend.
11:21 a.m.: They aren't free agents for another year yet but the Blackhawks are getting close to a couple of massive signings as extensions for Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are still in the works.
11:18 a.m.: Don't think that the Senators are done after the Jason Spezza trade, nowhere near it. Bruce Garrioch says they have much more in store, including further potential trades, not just signings.
11 a.m.: It looks like we have the day's first big deal. Jason Spezza is reportedly on his way to the Stars pending a trade call ...
10:55 a.m.: While they were busy trying to figure out if they could keep Dave Bolland, Leafs GM Dave Nonis was apparently in Europe. Why? To meet face-to-face with Leo Komarov, who is looking to make a return to the NHL after a season in the KHL.
10:47 a.m.: The Rangers have been trying to figure out how to keep their group together including the bottom-six players that were such a help to the cause this season but they're in danger of losing all those players to free agency; Dominic Moore, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman.
10:39 a.m.: The Maple Leafs just can't quite quit Dave Bolland, at least not without one last shot. Despite the high (some might say crazy) asking price, the Leafs are designing one more pitch per Darren Dreger for the centerman.
10:36 a.m.: The Flames have resisted dealing away Mike Cammalleri, insistent that they wanted to re-sign the winger. They have made "several offers" to that end but it still doesn't look like it's going to prevent Cammy from going to free agency at noon ET.
10:30 a.m.: Yet another team appears interested in the services of Jarome Iginla; the Colorado Avalanche. Adrian Dater says they'll make a big push for Iggy. If they do get him, does that mean Paul Stastny is definitely gone?
10:17 a.m.: Earlier this week the Canucks were "wooing" Ryan Miller in Vancouver and apparently it went well as Bob McKenzie says "there is no doubt" in his mind that Miller will end up a Canuck. It's his best chance to get a No. 1 role.
10:11 a.m.: How is this's year's Red Wings for defensemen shaping up? Well they are still eyeing Matt Niskanen and Dan Boyle but are apparently out of the Christian Ehrhoff sweepstakes because of term.
10:06 a.m.: The Blues have been in the market for a center pretty much since the season ended so today they not-so surprisingly have Paul Stastny atop their wish list. Can they pry him away from the Avs?
9:53 a.m.: One team that will be on the lookout for a goalie is the Capitals, who would like somebody to play with/behind Braden Holtby. Former Hurricanes goalie Justin Peters could be the fit as he has interest in the Caps.
9:42 a.m.: It appears as though the Radim Vrbata era in Phoenix Arizona is finished. He won't be staying with the Coyotes and will hit free agency where he should be able to find a pretty nice payday.
9:37 a.m.: Perhaps it will be Jarome Iginla who is the day's most-pursued target, or at least one of them. The Canucks are prepared to make their own big move to sign Iginla.
9:34 a.m.: Lightning GM Steve Yzerman was busy clearing cap space on Sunday night so clearly he has something in mind in free agency. Joe Smith says they've shown some interest in Jarome Iginla's services. He might look good on Stamkos' wing.
9:32 a.m.: The Minnesota Wild have long been linked to Thomas Vanek and that's no different here on July 1. Michael Russo says Vanek and Jarome Iginla are atop the Wild's list as is defenseman Willie Mitchell. Minnesota native Matt Niskanen? The Wild aren't in that race per Russo.
9:30 a.m.: What do the Penguins have up their sleeves after jettisoning James Neal at the draft? Continuing to add a bit more depth and some possession players. It makes sense, then, that Nikolai Kulemin and Benoit Pouliot are reportedly their top two targets.
June 30 Like the Preds and Del Zotto, the Sabres declined to give a qualifying offer to Cory Conacher, meaning he will also join the class of free agents.
June 30 Three free-agent defenseman market just got another late addition: Michael Del Zotto was not offered a qualifying offer from the Predators and will thus be a free agent available to sign anywhere on Tuesday.
June 30 Interesting move by the Ducks concerning Mathieu Perreault, who was slated to become a restricted free agent. Bob McKenzie says they didn't send him a qualifying offer, but instead a "substantial" contract offer. If he doesn't accept, Perreault is an unrestricted free agent.
June 30 If the Wild are going to sign Thomas Vanek, as has long been believed to happen, Vanek will have a decision to make: will he accept a shorter-term deal to join the Wild or go for the big deal somewhere else?
June 30 The Rangers were going to have a lot of work to do if they wanted to keep the Stanley Cup Final core together but that doesn't look like it will happen. Larry Brooks says Brian Boyle, Benoit Pouliot and Anton Stralman are all on their way to free agency barring any unforeseen changes.
June 30 Really interesting situation unfolding in Montreal right now. The Canadiens are trying to trade Josh Gorges but Bob McKenzie says a deal with Toronto was vetoed by Gorges, putting the Habs in a tough spot. This one isn't over.
June 30 It appears that we have identified one of those 7-8 teams that are expressing interest in Radim Vrbata right now; the Florida Panthers. They need help at right wing and Vrbata fits that billing.
June 30 Go back to the start of last season and the Islanders traded away Matt Moulson in a now ill-fated deal that landed them Thomas Vanek despite Moulson being so effective on Long Island. Well don't rule out a return to the Isles this summer per Katie Strang ... or a return to another one of his teams from last season, the Sabres.
June 30 As has become almost an annual tradition, the Red Wings will be looking for defensive help in free agency and Mike Babcock says he's been "all over" GM Ken Holland to get him a right-handed defenseman. You know who is right-handed? Matt Niskanen. We're just sayin'.
June 30 One of the Coyotes' top players the last few years, Radim Vrbata is a day away from hitting free agency. The Coyotes would like to keep him but right now don't want to match his asking price. But there are 7-8 other teams that are showing interest and might be willing.
June 30 Somewhat quietly on the free-agent market is Milan Michalek in Ottawa. An All-Star just two seasons ago, he's getting interest from a dozen or so teams at this point but the Senators haven't been ruled out yet.
June 30 After a season in the KHL, Leo Komarov wants to come back to the NHL and while he wanted to return to Toronto, he might have to look elsewhere. One team looking his way appears to be the Jets.
June 30 For quite a while now the Hurricanes have been looking for a way to unload Cam Ward but he is still in Carolina and with the compliance buyout window closing Monday, Bob McKenzie says it's going to stay that way; Ward will remain a Hurricane.
June 30 The Leafs are still working on trying to re-sign center Dave Bolland but his asking price remains very high and the Leafs (rightfully) don't seem willing to go up to it. What is the price, you ask? Darren Dreger says five years, $25 million might not be enough. It pay$ to be a free agent.
June 30 The future for Michael Del Zotto in Nashville is not bright as it appears he's on his way out. A report early Monday said he could be targeted by the Islanders but Arthur Staple says that's not the case.
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