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Morning hits: Stars, Ducks Canucks, Price, Kaberle, Blues, Coyotes bid rejected, Dion’s days numbered?

  • Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Matheson laughing at a fan site suggesting a Loui Eriksson trade to the Islanders for Ryan Strome and Michael Grabner, and with Islanders fans saying they wouldn’t trade either straight up for Eriksson. Matheson does note that Eriksson could be in play for a front-line center. The Stars also have some defenseman that could be on the move.

    The Stars have lots of young defencemen looking for regular work — Jamie Oleksiak, Joe Morrow and Kevin Connauton — which makes trading Trevor Daley or Alex Goligoski certainly plausible.

    Matheson wonders if the Ducks would take a run at Stephen Weiss.

    Matheson thinks with the Canucks at $63.5 million for 16 players for next season, will use their buyouts on David Booth and Keith Ballard. Both have two years left at $4.2 million cap hits. Mason Raymond is likely gone as a UFA.

  • Dave Stubbs: Addressing a Canadiens Carey Price rurmor: “Price asking for a trade would need to travel a million miles just to reach ludicrous.”
  • John Lu: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said a decision on a compliance buyout for Tomas Kaberle hasn’t been made yet.
  • Jeremy Rutherford: Blues playoff issue. Rutherford knew fans who didn’t buy tickets as they didn’t know when the games were starting soon enough. The Blues didn’t sell out three playoff home games.
  • Norm Sanders of the News-Democrat: (h/t Pro Hockey Talk) Blues GM Doug Armstrong on their need for more scoring.

    “This is a public cry that for any GMs that have 50-goal scorers that they want to send to St. Louis, give me a call,” he joked. “This doesn’t happen, you have to deal in reality. The reality is with free agency the way it is now, teams tie up those elusive top-end goal scorers.

    “They draft them. (Evgeni) Malkin, (Sidney) Crosby, (John) Tavares, (Steven) Stamkos were drafted by those teams.”

    The Blues will send qualifying offers to all of their free agents.

    “We’re going to negotiate to try to sign every player that’s a restricted free agent,” he said. “Ownership understands that the window is open now and we have to take care of our own. I don’t see this being a huge free-agency off-season for us. I see it more as taking care of our own business — and then seeing if we want to rearrange some of the chairs via trade.

  • Scott Burnside of ESPN: The NHL has rejected California investment banker Darin Pastor’s bid to buy the Phoenix Coyotes.

    “We have rejected the offer. It didn’t include the elements we had previously discussed were necessary to warrant serious consideration,” Daly said in an email Monday night.

    It was rumored that he was willing to pay upwards of $277 million with $42 million in cash at closing, though that seems unlikely as it would be hard for the NHL to walk away from that.

  • David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail: (h/t Lyle Richardson in the Hockey News) Shoalts piece was written last Thursday after Dion Phaneuf’s pinch that cost the Leafs the game. Shoalts thinks that Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis should move to Plan B and “The plan should include quietly putting Phaneuf on the trade market no later than the NHL draft at the end of June. Nonis will not hit a home run with a trade, nor should he expect to thanks to Phaneuf’s erratic play.” A deal would may only get a modest return, but Nonis should accept it. Phaneuf has a year left with a $6.5 salary cap hit and may not take a pay cut from the Leafs.
  • Tim Wharnsby of CBC: h/t Lyle Richardson in the Hockey News) Wharnsby’s piece was written last Thursday. Wharnsby wonders if Dion Phaneuf’s days in Toronto are numbered. He continues to make the same mistakes he made as a rookie in 2005. Nonis may have to make a decision by draft. The Leafs have organizational depth on the blue line. Nonis would have to feel that Jake Gardiner is ready for a bigger role. Cody Franson may be ready for a bigger role.
  • James Mirtle: On Phaneuf: Mirtle would be surprised if the Maple Leafs didn’t re-sign him.
  • John Lu: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin on order of positions that mature the fastest: wingers, centers, defensemen and goalies.