Detroit discount for Hossa?

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Marian Hossa will need to take a haircut on his salary in order to get his wish of staying in Detroit.

Hossa will not make a decision on his future in the Motor City until after the Stanley Cup final. That hasn't stopped talk that the Detroit Red Wings' potential unrestricted free-agent winger has a seven-year deal in place that will be signed after the final against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sources say they're close to a deal, but nothing is finalized.

The question for Detroit GM Ken Holland is whether he can fit Hossa's contract into the club's salary structure under the NHL's salary cap.

The NHLPA will vote later this month on whether they want to invoke a 5% increase in the cap, but it will likely stay close to $56.7-million (all terms US) range next season or drop slightly.

Hossa would likely have to take less than the $7.45 million he made this season to get his wish of staying in Detroit.

To have a chance of fitting under the cap, the 29-year-old is going to have to accept a seven-year deal at less than $6 million.

Both sides are committed to keeping him in Detroit.

Needless to say, Hossa hitting the open market on July 1 would set off a bidding war.

Sources say the Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens will all make a pitch for Hossa.

Say what?

Despite all the denials coming out of the Sunshine State, the Tampa Bay Lightning is trying to deal C Vinny Lecavalier. A league source told Sun Media yesterday the Bolts have informed the NHL they intend to spend at the salary floor of approximately $40.5 million next season. They already have $38 million committed to 17 players and have to sign to get to the 23-man roster limit. Getting Lecavalier's $10 million salary off the books would clear space for the Bolts to sign blueliners. He's not only the Lightning player being shopped. League sources insist there are others, but didn't want to give out any names. A proposal deal to send Lecavalier to the Kings for D Jack Johnson is still on the table. Sources say Johnson, who is coming off an entry-level contract, is seeking a four-year deal worth $5.5 million per season. No wonder the Kings want to deal him. They aren't the only team in pursuit of Lecavalier. Vancouver, Edmonton and Montreal have all made calls.

Off the glass

The talk is Toronto GM Brian Burke has been trying to entice the New York Islanders, who are drafting No. 1 overall and the Bolts, picking No. 2, to trade their top pick in exchange for D Tomas Kaberle and the Maple Leafs' No. 7 overall selection. "That's not going to be enough to get it done," said one league executive. "Burke is going to have to come up with more. You can't give a No. 1 pick away. It means a lot to the franchise." ... Here's something completely different: San Jose GM Doug Wilson has denied captain Patrick Marleau is safe with the Sharks. He said publicly the only players he won't deal are C Joe Thornton and D Dan Boyle. Nobody else is untouchable, but Wilson hasn't completed his review. Somebody might want to remind Wilson that Marleau has a no-trade clause and the word is he's been telling other GMs that Marleau isn't available.

Around the boards

The Senators have opened contract talks with C Mike Comrie. He made $4 million last year, but is willing to settle for a deal in the $2-$2.5M range to stay with Ottawa ... Three names being mentioned for the Florida GM's job after Jacques Martin's departure to Montreal are: Chicago assistant Rick Dudley, former Panthers coach and Rogers Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean and TSN broadcaster Pierre McGuire ... There is talk the Rangers might waive D Wade Redden at the start of next season and send him to the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack to get his $6.5-million salary off the books. New York has tried to deal Redden, but nobody is willing to bite. He still has $32.5 million and five years left on his contract ... With the Flyers ready to sign G Ray Emery, G Martin Biron is getting ready to look for a new job as a free agent this summer. Don't be surprised if the Oilers at least take a long look at bringing him in. The Los Angeles Kings also need goaltending help and GM Dean Lombardi is a former Philadelphia scout.


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