- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Oilers GM Steve Tambellini is looking for someone “special” at the draft, and that could be Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. They could also be looking to move their 19th and 31st pick.
“We have a couple of years to build and if we can get players to fill our needs, that’s what we want. If a player Stu (head scout MacGregor) feels passionately about is there earlier (than No. 19), we’ll be aggressive to get him.”
Tambellini on the Ryan Smyth situation,
“He’s a good person, but that’s Ryan’s business and (Kings GM) Dean Lombardi’s business. I respect that.” They wouldn’t give up much for him.
Tambellini on Ales Hemsky,
“I knows he’s going into the last year of his contract and I’m not worried. I don’t think Ales is worried, either. I think for the first time he feels he’s going to start a season really strong, with both shoulders good. He’s going to come back in early July (from the Czech Republic) and might take a couple of twirls at our prospects camp.”
Robert Tychkowski Edmonton Sun: Unless someone if offering a young, proven franchise player, Edmonton’s 1st overall pick isn’t for sale. Tambellini,
“You really need to present something that is a no-brainer for the organization.”
“Managers will say, ‘What are you looking for?’ I normally say, ‘That’s for you to tell me. Show me something that makes it worthwhile to bring to my organization to consider.’ “
- Terry Jones via twitter: It doesn’t sound like the Oilers have much interest in moving Ales Hemsky or any of their top young kids. Also looking like they will pick 19th.
- Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: The Ottawa Senators Will be looking for a 2nd line center. GM Murray could get one through trade or by free agency. Free agents possibilities (with injury risks and in the $3.5-4.5 million range) are Jason Arnott, Michal Handzus, Vinny Prospal and Tim Connolly. One problem for going the trade route is that teams that have good ones don’t want to move them. If they go the draft route, Jonathan Huberdeau, Sean Couturier, Ryan Strome and Mika Zibanejad are candidates. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be gone, and the same goes for Huberdeau.
- Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson continues to work on moving the 8th overall pick to acquire an established player. There has been an “exchange of ideas”, with a few “available” players surfacing. He’s willing to listen to offers regarding anyone but Rick Nash.
“I’ve had a few surprise calls, players who might be available,” he said. “It’s not been specifically about the pick, but just, ‘Here’s what I’m thinking about doing’, and, ‘Here’s who might be available.’
“There’s a lot going on, more than normal. Teams realize we’re more open to trading a top-10 pick than we’ve been in the past for immediate help. That has generated some interest.”
The Blue Jackets are looking for in this order, a skilled Dman or 2, a top-six center, and a backup goaltender. Finding a center they deem worthy of a top 6 may be difficult,
“There’s a scarcity of centers available by trade, too, at least the kind that we would want,” Howson said. “I don’t think that changes what we’ll be thinking about when we get to the draft.
“Those are two areas of need. If something comes our way in one of those areas, we won’t question it. We’ll make the move as long as it makes sense to us and we’re excited about it.”
The Jackets are interested in Jeff Carter, but the Flyers may not want to trade him. Avalanche’s Paul Stastny and Senators Jason Spezza could be available if their organizations decide to shake things up. To get any of those players they would likely have to give up the 8th overall pick, a top 6 like Jake Voracek, and perhaps a prospect like Nikita Filatov or dman John Moore. Brent Burns could be being dangled by the Wild, but it would take more than the 8th pick to get him. Other Dmen that could be available are Mike Green, Jay Bouwmeester, John-Michael Liles, Johnny Oduya, Tom Gilbert and Keith Ballard.
- Sean Fitz-Gerald of the National Post: Brian Burke on his pre-draft strategy,
“We’ve made overtures to all the teams that have picks in the range that we’d like to get to. No takers yet. We would move those picks for players that help us now, as well. So we’re really looking at lots of different scenarios. This will sound funny to people because the draft is Friday night, but it’s still early. In our time, when you can make a deal in an hour or two, it’s still early. But right now, I got nothing. Lots of lines in the water, no bites.”
Burke on teams coming to him,
“Yeah. Yeah, we’ve made it clear to teams that, if we do keep the picks and get to our pick, that we’d trade down, too, if there’s not the exact fit we want. We’re working both sides of that fence.”
Burke on the Leafs RFAs and UFAs,
“We’ve budgeted a cap figure for all the guys that we intend to sign. We’ll come in at that range, and that allows us to plan for what else we do. There’s a possibility with an RFA that you get an offer sheet on a guy, but I don’t think that’s a realistic threat with any of our guys. And certainly, with our financial wherewithal, we’re prepared for something like that. But our intention is to sign these guys. There’s no urgency on any of these guys. No one’s hammering us to get a deal done. I think the strategy for a lot of agents is to wait and see if other guys sign, to see if it helps their position … the guy that you guys ask about the most is Clarke MacArthur. He’s got arbitration rights. And if Clarke MacArthur files for arbitration, then we’re going to arbitration. That’s in the CBA, that’s his right, and I’m certainly prepared for that, if that’s the way it goes. I don’t anticipate any surprises or any difficulty that we haven’t foreseen.”
Burke on draft day trades,
“I know there’s a lot of phone activity, a lot of radio chatter, but I can’t tell you if there’s going to be a lot of activity. If you’re picking, say, at 25 like we are, there’s a good chance you can get the same player at 25 that you’re going to get at 15. So the incentive is, ‘can you move up?’ Yeah. Would you pay a ransom to move up? No, I don’t think so. I can’t read it yet, on how much activity there’s going to be. Based on what we’ve got going, I’d say we’re not going to trade up. We’re either going to trade those picks for players, or we’re going to keep them.”