Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 07/01/13 at 05:05 AM ET
If TSN's Insider Trading and ESPN's Pierre LeBrun's "Rumblings" didn't sate your post-draft trade rumor needs, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch dug into the absolutely bizarre Corey Schneider trade and other fronts of note in an after-the-draft rumor roundup...
OFF THE GLASS: Tampa centre Vinny Lecavalier can write his own ticket after being bought out by the Bolts. He made the trek to New York to meet with nine teams -- Boston, Calgary, Detroit, Montreal, Philadelphia, Toronto, St. Louis, Washington and Dallas -- and will sit down with Florida Monday before making a shortlist. Why so much interest? "Teams can't resist the chance to get a big centre and especially a free agent. You don't have to give up anybody to get him and he can still contribute," said a league executive ... Sounded like MacTavish was the only one on board with the idea of trading the No. 7 pick to the Canucks for Schneider. The Oilers may have made a call to the Penguins to see if they want to move goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The sense he isn't moving.
THIS N' THAT: Speaking of the Penguins, they'll likely have to let left wing Pascal Dupuis go to free agency and there's plenty of talk they'll move winger James Neal before all is said and done. Neal is of interest to the Senators but Ottawa's priority is to sign captain Daniel Alfredsson ... The Avalanche talked to a lot of teams about their No. 1 pick, but in the end nobody wanted to pay the huge price. The Avs consider Halifax centre Nathan MacKinnon, the top selection, a franchise player. New management Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy were looking for a top player, prospect and a No. 1 pick in return for MacKinnon ... Carolina GM Jim Rutherford had plenty of talks with several teams but decided not to deal with the No. 5 pick. The Sabres made a hard push and reportedly offered up defenceman Andrej Sekera.
Who found his way to Carolina in a separate deal...
RUMOURS DU JOUR: The Boston Bruins were caught off guard when centre Nathan Horton decided he wasn't going to sign and opted to test the free agent market. In an attempt to try to keep Horton, GM Peter Chiarelli had sniffed around to see what he might be able to get for centre Tyler Seguin. Fifteen teams called the Bruins once word leaked out he was available, but those talks died because Chiarelli needs Seguin with Horton moving on. The Bruins and Horton hadn't had any serious contract discussions ... The Hawks haven't given up on trying to sign backup Ray Emery. The two sides will have more talks before he tests the market. Emery will be an attractive option because he's willing to take a short-term contract to prove his worth. The Flyers will certainly study the option of signing Emery and so will the Oilers now that they've lost out on getting Schneider.
And the Edmonton Journal's Jim Matheson has penned three "Hockey World" blog entries thus far, addressing the Schneider trade, David Bolland heading to Toronto, and the lack of substance to all of those leading-up-to-the-draft rumors:
OK, where were all those deals? Sure Vancouver’s supposed No. 1 goalie Cory Schneider went to New Jersey, shocking one and all on the draft floor, and certainly Roberto Luongo who fell out of his La-Z-Boy at his Florida home. Toronto got Chicago centre Dave Bolland because they wanted to sign Bryan Bickell and the New York Islanders got the big hitter Cal Clutterbuck, hockey’s Dennis the Menace, but where were all the others that was going to make this NHL draft big stuff.
Did I miss Tyler Seguin moving from the Boston Bruins to any of 15 to 20 teams because he makes $5.75 million next year, and is currently a third-line winger, not a centre as drafted and Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli has publicly said the kid has to become a better pro. Translation: start doing your job better. He could move into Nathan Horton’s role on RW with Milan Lucic and David Krejci with Horton gone as an unrestricted free-agent but clearly the Bruins aren’t happy with the progress of the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, behind Taylor Hall.
How about Philly defenceman Braydon Coburn, with three years left at $4.5 million, who was supposed to be coming to the Edmonton Oilers? Dion Phaneuf is still a Maple Leaf I see, with one year left on his $6.5 million cap hit, the enigmatic defenceman Alex Edler, who has tons of skill but doesn’t always bring it, is still on Vancouver’s blueline and St. Louis Blues speedy winger David Perron, who overcame an awful concussion to return, didn’t get traded to Columbus because current Blue Jackets’ GM Jarmo Kekalainen drafted Perron for the Blues.
Kris Letang and Sergei Bobrovsky were in play but the Penguins defenceman, who finished third in Norris voting, has tentatively agreed to an eight-year, $58 million deal and Bobrovsky is getting a rich two-year package in Columbus.
I'll skip the Edmonton part and let you read the Ales Hemsky, Shawn Horcoff and Braydon Coburn-from-Philly talk on your own as Matheson continues with some other stuff you might find more interesting:
Truth is, there is more interest in where Vinny Lecavlier is going to sign after Tampa bought him out. Half the league’s teams talked to Lecavalier as a No. 2 centre, which frankly astounded him, but if teams can sign him for between $4 million and $5 million, well off his $7.7 million cap hit in Tampa, they are all throwing their lines in the water. I think it’ll come down to Montreal, Detroit, Dallas and San Jose, but that’s just a wild guess.
Philly centre/winger Danny Briere is also available after being bought out,and he’s got almost as much love as Lecavalier. He could be a first-liner as well. He doesn’t really want to leave the East because he’s a single dad now afte a messy split with his wife, and the New York Islanders make some sense where he could play with John Tavares.
Bickell was the big winger going from $600,000 salary to $4 million a year for seasons. The Hawks are hoping he’s not one of those one-hit song wonders, coming off a great playoff run. He plays like a John LeClair, but can he do it year after year like LeClair did.
Most fun of draft day: Jersey making a trade late in round 7 to get Marty Brodeur’s goalie son Anthony, who played at the prestigious Shattuck St. Mary’s where Sidney Crosby starred before he went to the Quebec League. Marty got to announce the selection from the draft table, a warm generous touch by Lou Lamoriello.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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