Twas the night before the 2015 NHL Draft, and the rumor mill kept churning. Read on for the latest.
Latest on the Leafs, Canucks, Avs and Islanders.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports there’s a good chance Phil Kessel remains with the Toronto Maple Leafs. There really isn’t a lot of activity regarding efforts to move him. Bob McKenzie adds if they can trade Kessel, Dion Phaneuf, Tyler Bozak and others for quality returns, they will. However, McKenzie hasn’t heard Phaneuf’s name out there “at all.” He also gets the sense the Leafs might be aggressive in the UFA market as they could consider a hybrid rebuild rather than a total teardown.
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa hasn’t been asked yet to waive his no-trade clause, but it’s clear to everyone the veteran blueliner is on the market. McKenzie adds it sounds like goalie Eddie Lack, rather than Jacob Markstrom, is the most likely to be dealt, perhaps for a second round picks. Interest in New York Rangers goalie Cam Talbot has paralyzed the goalie trade market a little bit. The Edmonton Oilers are interested in Talbot and LA Kings goalie Martin Jones. Canucks GM Jim Benning speculates a goalie trade could happen tonight or Friday morning.
Dreger confirms the Colorado Avalanche’s acquisition of center Carl Soderberg from the Boston Bruins could take a bit of heat off the Avs as it’s widely assume they’ll trade Ryan O’Reilly in the near future.
Dreger also cites New York Islanders GM Garth Snow claiming he has no plans to trade right wing Kyle Okposo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Wouldn’t it be funny if, after all the speculation, the Leafs don’t trade Phaneuf and Kessel this summer? A lot of folks are now hedging their bets on the sure thing that was supposed to be their imminent departures. To be fair, until recently, I also believed at least one of them was sure to be traded. One of them still could, but it’s not the certainty it was a few weeks ago.
Bieksa’s a goner, it’s just a matter of finding the right deal with the right team that he’s willing to get dealt to. I also believe the Soderberg acquisition indicates O’Reilly will be dealt at some point this summer. GM Joe Sakic said he wants to get O’Reilly re-signed before the new season begins in October. Failing that, O’Reilly’s gone.
Good on Garth Snow for clearing the air on Okposo, as the trade speculation was growing about him in recent days. Mind you, that doesn’t necessarily mean Okposo absolutely won’t be traded, but I suspect it’ll take a healthy offer to convince Snow to part with him.
Updates on Ryan O’Reilly, Patrick Sharp, Brandon Sutter and Kevin Bieksa
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports the Colorado Avalanche’s acquisition of Carl Soderberg could be seen as insurance should they trade Ryan O’Reilly. One source claims the 24-year-old center is in play but the asking price is expensive…LeBrun also confirms the Canucks are in trade discussions with other clubs regarding Kevin Bieksa…Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said there’s solid interest in Phil Kessel but no offers yet…Same goes for Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp…The Pittsburgh Penguins could use center Brandon Sutter as trade bait for a scoring winger…The Arizona Coyotes continue to entertain offers for the third overall pick…Penguins pending UFA defenseman Paul Martin has received interest from half-a-dozen teams.
Latest Bruins news.
ESPN.COM: Joe McDonald reports the Boston Bruins are still trying to find the right contract for RFA defenseman Dougie Hamilton. GM Don Sweeney hopes to have the 21-year-old re-signed by July 1 to avoid the possibility of Hamilton receiving an offer sheet from a rival club. McDonald also dismissed speculation suggesting the Bruins could trade left wing Milan Lucic to the New York Rangers this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe the Bruins will re-sign Hamilton, even if it’s by matching an offer sheet. Lucic might not be dealt to the Rangers, but could he be shipped elsewhere this summer?