Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 07/01/06 at 10:36 AM ET
There is little doubt the Leafs must bolster a blue line that has only two legitimate NHLers in Kaberle and Bryan McCabe. They'll certainly explore the Chara possibilities, but a more likely scenario could see them go after the likes of Jay McKee and/or Willie Mitchell, who will each command upwards of $3 million. Another large defenceman they appear to be interested in acquiring is 6-foot-7 Hal Gill of the Boston Bruins, whom they could get for about $1.5 million a year. "We're going to take advantage of the space we have under the cap," Ferguson said.from the Buffalo News,
The Sabres are overstocked at forward, as only 15 of their 23 will make the team. Most of those not making the club would have to clear waivers in order to play in Rochester - an unlikely scenario - so the team may have to trade a few in order to bolster its weakest position. That, of course, is defense. "We've had some young guys have tremendous years [in junior hockey], but they're probably a couple years away. And the guys we drafted are even further," Ruff said. "We'll be looking."from the San Francisco Chronicle,
If Wilson chooses to dip into the free-agent market, it might be for a forward. The top line could use a more consistent left wing to complement major individual award winners Joe Thornton (most points, MVP) and Jonathan Cheechoo (NHL's top goal-scorer). And the playoffs suggested for a second time in a row that another battle-tested, strong-character forward or two wouldn't hurt. "With the UFA market, high-end guys will do well," Wilson said. "But the flooding of all the other guys in there, there is the issue of supply and demand. Teams will have to make big decisions."added 10:40am, from the Arizona Republic,
Defensemen such as Jay McKee, Brendan Witt and Pavel Kubina may be more realistic options for Phoenix. Free-agent forwards Jason Arnott, Patrik Elias, Jamie Langenbrunner and Alyn McCauley are believed to be on Phoenix's radar. But if the Coyotes can't afford or lure any of them, don't be surprised if Barnett makes trade inquiries to Colorado about right wing Dan Hinote and/or Vancouver for center Brendan Morrison, if he hasn't already. Also, Ottawa right wing Martin Havlat has been linked to the Coyotes in rumors.
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