The 2015 NHL Draft begins tonight. Check out the latest on established NHL players who could be on the move today.
Updates on the Avalanche.
THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers speculates the Colorado Avalanche’s acquisition yesterday of pending UFA center Carl Soderberg and attempting to re-sign him suggests center Ryan O’Reilly could be traded, possibly before or during the 2015 NHL Draft. He thinks they could try to land “a first-round draft pick, player and prospect(s).”
Chambers also reports the Avs could consider trading their first-round pick (10th overall) to acquire an NHL-ready player. He suggests the Arizona Coyotes could make an attractive trade partner.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chambers said there’s no indication an O’Reilly trade is imminent, but the scent is strong. I concur with that take. It makes no sense to take on another center (they now have five) when their real need is blueline depth, unless they’re thinking of moving one of them for a defenseman and perhaps additional assets. Time will tell, of course, but I think the Soderberg deal suggests an O’Reilly trade could be coming in the near future.
Garrioch’s latest rumor roundup.
OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames have stepped up efforts to land Ottawa Senators backup Robin Lehner. Sources claim the Senators want two picks in the first two rounds for Lehner, plus they want a team to take either David Legwand or Colin Greening off their hands.
Teams are keeping an eye on Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa, who hasn’t been formally asked to waive his no-trade clause but is willing to do so for the right deal. The Canucks could seek a second-round pick in return.
The Florida Panthers and Pittsburgh Penguins could have interest in Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Sharp.
There’s reportedly lots of interest in Chicago Blackhawks pending UFA center Antoine Vermette.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Two picks within the first two rounds plus take Legwand or Greening in return for Lehner. Don’t see that happening. Sens will likely get a second-round pick for him.
Latest on the Canucks.
THE VANCOUVER SUN: Iain MacIntyre reports Canucks GM Jim Benning contacted the Boston Bruins about left wing Milan Lucic but discussions apparently didn’t get far. There’s plenty of interest in Canucks goalies Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom. Defenseman Kevin Bieksa could waive his no-trade clause for the right deal.
SPORTSNET (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman speculates the Buffalo Sabres and Colorado Avalanche could be destinations for Bieksa.
CSN BAY AREA: cited a report from Elliotte Friedman claiming the San Jose Sharks have interest in Bieksa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks want picks in the second and third rounds of this year’s draft. They also need to shed salary and get younger on the blueline. I’m expecting Lack and Bieksa get moved for second-round picks and perhaps a young defenseman in separate deals.
Friedman notes Bieksa is from Grimsby, Ontario for linking the Sabres to the veteran blueliner, but I’ll be surprised if Bieksa wants to join a rebuilding team. The Avalanche and Sharks could be more to his liking.