After an exciting sports week following a team USA advancement to the semifinals in the World Cup and the opening of the NBA draft that saw the Celtics take two young studs, what better way to wrap up the month than with the NHL Draft? This is one of the most exciting nights of the year for NHL die-hards and tonight promises to be one of the best drafts in years.
As I’ve said in previous articles, there is plenty of reason to believe that the draft and subsequent free agent signing period will be an exciting one. There are several premier players that have demanded a trade, there is a wealth of free agent talent available, the salary cap is going up for the first time in a while, and many teams find themselves pressed against the cap and will need to make a trade.
Without further ado, here is a list of some of the things to watch for regarding the Bruins and around the league.
- Long-time Senators cornerstone Jason Spezza has demanded a trade and given the management a list of teams he won’t waive his No Trade Clause for. However, this hasn’t stopped them from shopping him and exploring all avenues. He’s likely the biggest name to be moved this summer.
- Joe Thornton is another big name being thrown out there. When the Sharks have tried over and over to make a long playoff run with the same roster and failed over and over, it’s time for a new look in San Jose. Toronto and Nashville are both teams certainly in the market for a big center, but if I were to guess, I bet Thornton stays put. Typical Sharks.
- A new rumor this week was that Bruins’ winger Loui Eriksson could be a trade option with the B’s tight against the cap. With Eriksson the only RW currently under contract on that roster, I seriously doubt he gets moved. Plus, you know Peter Chiarelli loves him having just given up his premier young talent for him only a year ago.
- The Vancouver Canucks will likely move Ryan Kesler tonight, as he’s another one who’s demanded a trade and Vancouver needs a new look. Again the Leafs are interested, as are the Ducks who want a 2-way guy behind Getzlaf. The Blackhawks and Blues are two more teams who are looking hard at Kesler. Don’t ask me how they plan on fitting him under the cap; I don’t make the rumors I only report them. I think Anaheim is where he ends up.
- Florida is reportedly willing to move the number 1 overall pick and teams are obviously calling about it. Vancouver is a team pushing for it, but we rarely see teams trade first overall picks on draft day.
- Surprisingly, Patrick Sharp is a guy who’s name is being tossed around. He’s a key piece to Chicago’s offense, but with the latest report that Patrick Kane and Jonathon Toews are each looking for $12 million next season, it isn’t hard to see where the Blackhawks cap problems force their hand.
- Regarding the draft picks themselves, there is no consensus number 1 pick and really any combination of Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Sam Bennett, and Leon Draisaitl could go in the top four. It depends on which teams end up with each pick, but this is likely the order we see them go.
- Paul Stastny is another team that a lot of guys are inquiring about. I could see Buffalo making a run at him. Stastny, a two-time Olympian who plays responsively and is capable of putting up 70+ points, will likely end up back in Colorado, however.
- The saga of Ryan Miller continues. He’s not a young goalie anymore and he knows that, he’ll be looking to go to a contender so he can win a Cup soon. Pittsburgh, Washington, and San Jose are the teams to keep an eye on here.
- The Flyers are reportedly interested in Dustin Byfuglien, the big defenseman with surprising mobility and a heavy shot. He’s such an important component of the Jet’s roster, though, that I don’t see them letting him go without a contingency plan in mind. Maybe someone like Edler, Schenn, or Phaneuf?
- Marc-Andre Fleury is one of the more polarizing goalies in the league. On the one hand, he’s a first overall draft pick with a Stanley Cup to his name. On the other, he’s an overrated netminder who’s success is the result of the fantastic team in front of him. Personally, I don’t think he’s going to win another cup if he’s “the guy.” If he is moved, the best situation for him would be somewhere like Saint Louis where he can be part of a 1a/1b situation with Brian Elliot.
- It’s always funny to me how the Bruin’s fan base can obsess over one winger that’s the “missing part”. You can trace the lineage from Ilya Kovalchuk, Jarome Iginla (years ago), Bobby Ryan, and now, Evander Kane. Personally, I’ll pass on Kane. He’s a great talent, plays a scrappy game and he can score 30 goals for you. However, the Bruins didn’t deal one young scorer with off-ice maturity issues just to pick up another one.
- The Bruins are tight against the cap, there’s no denying it. Options to be moved? Probably not Chris Kelly or Adam McQuaid, their value is just too low where it’s nothing more than a salary dump. Johhny Boychuk is a name that’s tossed out there, but I really don’t see a way in which the B’s move 55 and get better. The only reasonable name is Brad Marchand, but I move him only if we get some talent up front for him.
Any more thoughts? What are you hoping to see from the Bruins and around the league tonight? Post below!
Tags: Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, Evander Kane, Jason Spezza, Ryan Kesler