Latest on the Penguins, Oilers, Bruins, Flyers and Red Wings as the opening round of the 2015 NHL Draft approaches.
Penguins interested in Kessel, Skinner.
TRIBLIVE.COM: Jason Mackey reports multiple sources claim the Pittsburgh Penguins are among the teams interested in Toronto Maple Leafs winger Phil Kessel, who included the Penguins on his eight-team preferred trade destination list. “Given the Penguins allocate more than $30 million in cap space to Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury, adding Kessel’s contract would not be easy,” reports Mackey.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Dave Molinari reports Carolina Hurricanes winger Jeff Skinner is also on the Penguins list. The skilled, but oft-injured, Skinner was a first-round selection of the Hurricanes in 2010, when current Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford was the Hurricanes GM.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’d say the Penguins stand a better chance of landing Skinner than Kessel. Skinner’s salary alone ($5.75 million annual cap hit for four more years) is far more affordable than Kessel’s annual $8 million cap hit for the next seven seasons. Rutherford’s link to the Hurricanes also factors into it.
Update on the Oilers.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis cites a report claiming Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson anticipates he could be traded to the Edmonton Oilers, even as that club is among five teams giving permission by the New York Rangers to interview Cam Talbot. Bruce McCurdy cites a report claiming the Oilers were among the first teams yesterday to contact the agent for Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if it’s Anderson heading to the Oilers. I still believe if they lose out on Talbot, they’ll go after Robin Lehner. Considering Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli is the Bruins’ former GM, I’m not surprised he’s interested in bringing McQuaid to Edmonton. Speaking of the Bruins…
Latest Bruins news.
BOSTON HERALD: Stephen Harris reports Bruins president Cam Neely and GM Don Sweeney insists their team will match any offer for RFA defenseman Dougie Hamilton. “We’re going to do whatever we have to do to protect the player,” said Sweeney. “We will match,” said Neely. Sweeney remains hopeful of re-signing the 21-year-old defenseman prior to July 1.
SPORTSNET (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Elliotte Friedman cites an NHL general manager claiming the Milan Lucic trade talk is “pretty real.” Friedman gets the sense the Bruins are seriously considering moving Lucic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Bruins want to re-sign Hamilton and free up sufficient space for other signings and additions, moving Lucic’s $6 million cap hit is the best way to go about it.
Updates on the Flyers and Red Wings.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Tim Panaccio reports Flyers GM Ron Hextall is expected to attempt a major move at the 2015 NHL Draft. He could try to shed salary by shopping center Vincent Lecavalier. He could also try to create room on his defense for younger blueliners by shopping Nicklas Grossmann and perhaps Luke Schenn or Andrew MacDonald.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan, responding to reader e-mails, claims the Detroit Red Wings aren’t trading up for the third overall pick. He expects them to make a pitch for Anaheim Ducks UFA winger Matt Beleskey, but doesn’t expect them to overpay. The Wings are no longer interested in Toronto’s Dion Phaneuf but could have interest in Chicago’s Patrick Sharp if the Blackhawks lower their asking price. Khan doesn’t recommend the Wings pursue Phil Kessel and his “ridiculous contract.” He doesn’t expect the Wings to buy out Stephen Weiss.