A Minny problem in net for Risebrough

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

The Minnesota Wild could be looking for goaltending help next year. Both of the club's netminders -- Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez -- are going to be unrestricted free agents at the end of the season and could attract attention on the lucrative free-agent market. Sources say Wild GM Doug Risebrough will still try, however, to keep the duo ... Los Angeles C Jeremy Roenick is ripping the new collective bargaining agreement every chance he gets. Roenick said the owners are using the players escrow accounts to help subsidize bringing back fans after the lockout. "The owners can sit there and do giveaways and lower ticket prices to get the fans back to the game knowing that what they are really doing is taking it out of our pockets," said Roenick. "It's important to get people back into the arenas to watch hockey, but it is a lot easier to do when (the owners) know they still get money back because they are taking it out of our paycheque. In essence, the players are paying for all the giveaways and free stuff that the owners are doing. Which is all well and good, but you don't want to hear about it." ... With the Devils struggling and G Martin Brodeur sidelined with a knee injury, there's talk D Scott Stevens might be asked to come out of retirement. Stevens told the New York Post he'll never say never, but there is "no way" he'll return.

AROUND THE BOARDS: Carolina D Bret Hedican took exception to a suggestion in this space last week he's not a good skater. He's right. As 'Canes coach Peter Laviolette notes: "He's one of the smoothest skaters in the league." But since Hedican is married to former Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, he can't argue he's the second-best skater in his household ... Why haven't the Penguins called up G Marc-Andre Fleury? He is 5-0 with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AHL) and has allowed only six goals in the five games. Is it because Fleury gets a $3-million (all terms US) bonus for playing 25 games? Nah, can't be ... Any truth to the rumours some players are refusing to sign their General Licensing Agreement with the NHLPA because of the Ted Saskin fiasco? The "GLA" allows the union to use the players images for promotional items and is the lifeblood of the NHLPA. Without that permission, the union can't survive ... The Canucks are going to make a pitch to keep D Ed Jovanovski, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. There is speculation he could make $6 million on the free-agent market ... Owen Nolan will find out this week if the Leafs are on the hook for his $6.5-million contract when his case is heard by an independent arbitrator.

RUMOURS DU JOUR: Oilers GM Kevin Lowe is trying to clean house and bring in a goalie. Sources say he has been offering RW Radek Dvorak, G Ty Conklin, F Ethan Moreau and D Steve Staios around the league. Former Olympiques F Ales Hemsky and D Alexei Semenov are also rumoured to be available. Oddly enough, nobody wants to help Lowe ... Well, it hasn't taken C Mike Comrie long to wear out his welcome with Phoenix. There is a lot of talk Comrie, who was acquired from Philadelphia for G Sean Burke, F Branko Radivojevic and Ottawa native and prospect Ben Eager during the 2003-04 season, hasn't played to the club's expectations and there's belief GM Mike Barnett would like to upgrade. Ideally, the Coyotes would like to get more of a play-making centre ... The Hurricanes are trying to move F Radim Vrbata. He has been a healthy scratch and the club is playing well without him. There's talk the Hawks, Jackets, Panthers and Coyotes are interested ... After acquiring C Mike York from Edmonton for C Mike Peca, the word is Isles GM Mike Milbury is regretting the trade. There's also talk the inconsistent Isles have been scouting for somebody to lend a supporting hand to C Alexei Yashin ... Rumours have Pittsburgh trying to reunite D Sergei Gonchar with former Capitals teammate Brendan Witt. The two had success while playing together in Washington ... Has Pierre Dagenais played his final game with the Habs? He has been a healthy scratch lately ... If anybody is interested in Anaheim C Sergei Fedorov, they'll have to pick up the remaining three years at $6 million on his contract ... No truth to the talk Detroit C Steve Yzerman is pondering retirement. There is a belief, however, he might back out of playing for Team Canada at the Olympics to make sure he's ready for the playoffs.

Have a nice Sunday.


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