As we draw closer to the draft, more and more news and speculation leaks out about possible transactions that may occur this offseason. With the General Managers meetings going down in Boston this week, the gossip has hit a fever pitch. Here are some of the more juicy tidbits.
- Joe Sakic told the Denver Post that the Avalanche will NOT be selecting top rated prospect Seth Jones. While I remember Tampa Bay letting it be known that they were going to select Steven Stamkos with their first overall pick in 2008, I can not recall a team making public who they won't be taking. An extremely weird strategy. Are they bluffing? And if they aren't, what advantage who come of this? I personally think that it's a ruse. Jones should be in the Drew Doughty/ Alex Pietrangelo level of defensemen, and those are much more rare to come by than quality top-line centermen. Add to it that Jones spent part of his childhood in Denver and has already won an international gold medal for Team USA, and you have a PR dream for the Avs, who have struggled with drawing the kind of audience they enjoyed in the late 90's and early 2000's. If they do indeed pass on Jones, Florida will be flooded with calls for that #2 pick. And the price to get it will skyrocket.
- Speaking of Colorado, can anyone tell me why Greg Sherman hasn't been fired or reassigned? It's obvious that Sakic and new head coach Patrick Roy are calling the shots when it comes to the roster. So, what exactly is he doing? Why not just let him go? Bueller?
-The reason I enjoy NHL rumor sites and follow supposed insiders on Twitter is because it encourages debate and discussion amongst die-hard fans. I'm aware that 99% of the rumored deals and discussions never come to reality, but it's fun to speculate and play armchair GM. I brought that up because while the people who post these rumors may or be not be anywhere near credible, I still like to hear new trade scenarios. One of the ones that has come up lately is that Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has had talks with Panthers GM Dale Tallon in regards to the second overall pick, and that Sam Gagner would be part of the deal. As I said in my last point, the price for the #2 pick will greatly depend upon who's name the Avs actually call on June 30th. That being said, while I'm sure the Oil would love to have that pick, it's unlikely that Gagner will be traded for anything but significant and immediate help on the roster. And, for me at least, that pick doesn't quite qualify.
- There has been some recent talk that the Penguins may make Norris finalist Kris Letang available. Jason Gregor wrote on his blog at Oilers Nation today that a package of Petry, Paajarvi, and #7 may be a fair return for him. If I'm Ray Shero, I'm getting Letang resigned. He wants to stay in Pittsburgh (why wouldn't he) and I'd be pretty confident that he would take a slight discount to stay. If it gets to the point where he needs to be traded, that return isn't bad, but I would see if that could be improved on by another team as there would be no shortage of potential suitors for Letang's services. And if I'm MacT, and that's the price to get him, I make that trade in a heartbeat.
- The Bobby Ryan rumors have surfaced again. CSN's Tim Panaccio tweeted that the Flyers and Ducks have had talks, and one of the scenarios had Brayden Coburn and the #11 pick for Ryan. If that's the going price for him, there are plenty of teams in the league that would give up a better package for the 2005 second overall pick. The Oilers, I'm sure, would give up Petry, #7, and another asset such as AHL star Toni Raajala or Dman David Musil. The one catch I see in a Ducks/Oilers deal is the fact that they will be in the same division next year. Ditto for the Flames, who would LOVE to add Ryan, but do not have the assets to trade for him. I'm surprised I haven't heard the Leafs to be in on him.
- Speaking of the Leafs (and the Oilers), Dave Nonis and Craig MacTavish were spotted at the GMs meetings having a private chat. It isn't news that there is high potential for a deal between these two team and the names have been out there for a while. With Dallas Eakins now coaching Edmonton, interest has grown for Jake Gardiner, Ben Scrivens, and Matt Frattin. From the Leafs standpoint, Gagner, Paajarvi, and Hemsky may be on their radar.
- And finally, legendary Oilers writer Terry Jones tweeted today " Sure sounds like Craig MacTavish has a couple of deals done and is just waiting for the Stanley Cup to end so he can announce them." God, I hope hes right. As awesome as this Cup final has been (as I write this, Seabrook scores the OT winner to tie the series for the Hawks. It's now at 2-2) I'm anxiously waiting for the silliness to start. If even 1/4 of the trade rumblings come true, it will be an insane offseason for every team.
If anyone wants to swap trade scenarios, I'm always game for that. You can message me here or on twitter.
Thanks for reading!!!!!
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