As we approach the draft, several teams are looking to free up cap room to either make a bigger trade, or sign a big name free agent (and if you've checked out our top 35 list, there are a lot of tem). With this activity, the rumours are starting to swirl.
The Leafs would love to move one of their two high-priced defenseman. Freeing up the 5+ million that both Kubina and McCabe make would allow them to not only bring in one big name UFA, but maybe two. McCabe would likely only go to the Islanders, as he has a no movement restriction in his contract. Don't think for a second that the Islanders wouldn't want him, they do. The Leafs would want good return for him, maybe a first round draft pick plus a prospect. As for Kubina, he does not have a NTC, meaning he could be dealt anywhere. St. Louis tried hard to sign him last summer before he signed with Toronto, while a new rumour suggests the Leafs and Blue Jackets had talked about a trade involving Kubina and Zherdev. Toronto's blue line should be watched very closely, because they have a lot of guys signed to one way deals back there. Last count: 9 if you count Colaiacovo, who is just days away from being re-upped.
What about Ottawa? The Sens wont have that much wiggle room left once July 1st rolls around, and they would love to do some shopping this summer. While dealing Gerber would be optimal, it will also be tough. Wade Redden to Edmonton rumours are going crazy, Cogliano would be part of any deal. Watch this one.
Montreal could deal Saku Koivu as well, don't count this out.
Finally, keep an eye on the Lightning. They would really like to grab Giguere, but have no cap room to even sign a cheaper goalie such as Hasek or Belfour. One of the big three is on the move from what I hear. Vinny is the only one without a NTC, but how do you trade one of the league's top scorers, and the best of your big three? Martin St. Louis to Chicago for Khabibulin is in the whispers again, while Brad Richards to Montreal for Huet is also being swirled around.
The next 20 days could have a few interesting stories to unfold. When July 1st rolls around, there will be a few teams with a little more cap room to spend thanks to a pre-july trade.
Speaking of the cap, I'm hearing it will be between 50.4 and 52.8 million. We will find this out soon.