- Adrian Dater: Lots of talk that the Avalanche are trying to create a smokescreen by saying they are taking a forward at No. 1. General managers aren’t buying it.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Joe Sakic didn’t back down from saying they would take a forward with the first overall pick.
“He’s a great player, he’s going to be good,” Sakic said over the phone from Denver. “But after we had our internal meetings we came up with these three forwards, (Nathan) McKinnon, (Jonathan) Drouin and (Alexander) Barkov. We’re really leaning towards one of those three forwards.”
Asked for clarification if they’ll pick one of those three forwards,
“If we’re picking first overall, yes,” he said firmly.
Sakic was asked about why telling people what they are planning.
“It was more really for our fans here, to let our fans know what we’re thinking going into the draft,” said Sakic, the Avs’ vice-president of hockey operations. “That’s really what the purpose was, let them know where we’re leaning. What I said is that we’re picking first overall and this is what we’re doing.”
- Jason Brough: If reports of the Panthers and Maple Leafs interested Jonathan Bernier are true, are the Leafs and Panthers still potential destinations for Roberto Luongo? Kind of shows the level of confidence the Leafs have in James Reimer and the Panthers in Jacob Markstrom.
- Howard Berger: Berger still thinks that Leafs GM Dave Nonis will inquire about Avs Paul Stastny. Leafs could steal a true No. 1 center who needs a fresh start. Berger wrote last month that he’d trade Carl Gunnarsson and Nikolai Kulemin for Stastny. The Avalanche need to make cap room for Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog. Trading Stastny’s contract makes too much sense.
- Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen: If the Penguins sign Kris Letang and need to trade out some salary, Senators GM Bryan Murray should be calling about James Neal. Senators trade chips Stefan Noesen, Matt Puempel and Shane Prince. The Ducks may have to move Bobby Ryan, who has two years and $10.2 million left on his deal. Bryan should call Bob to see what it would take to bring Ryan to Ottawa. Should Daniel Alfredsson retire, Daniel Briere may be a nice replacement.