1) Yes, one of our favourite times of the NHL calendar. Certainly the best off season day for us at Fauxrumors. The annual NHL entry draft is the time of year when teams make their moves/big personnel decisions. Especially in the salary capped NHL, teams usually don't make big roster altering moves past July, so now is the time to set a salary budget, and fill the roster to that level. With the salary cap set at 63 million(up 4 million from last season) teams have some wiggle room. Also teams are more apt to trade for 'big ticket items(players) now than during the season when they are handcuffed by cap restraints. All this leads to intrigue and of course rumours!
2) First off lets get the nonsense off the table. There will be NO big offer sheets being made come July 1st. Drew Doughty, Shea Weber and Steven Stamkos will all be staying put, with huge raises. Our sources tell us that Stamkos will be in line to be making 9 million for the next decade, while Drew will exceed the 5 million mark for 6+ more seasons in LaLa land. As for the Nashville star defender the Preds are looking to make a big splash by signing him to a 6 mil/per deal for 8 more seasons in Music City
3) This is not to say that there won't be any smaller named players to get a possible offer sheet, but the penalty is so prohibitive for all but the most elite talent that it would surprise us. That said from what we have heard it is entirely possible/likely we will see teams attempt to trade a RFA in exchange for either a draft pick or another asset Here are a few of the possible RFA's who could be on the move by either Friday or saturday, or before July 1.
- Brad Marchand. Yes, the Cup hero in Boston is asking for a very significant raise and team owner Jeremy Jacobs is not happy. They have offered 2.5 for 3 years, but Marchand is asking closer to 4. If this impasse continues teams will line up to get the diminutive forward, but the asking price won't be as small!
- Josh Bailey. The NY Isles former 1st rounder will get tepid interest and we hear the isles will offer him as part of a package to entice another team to give up a more experienced defensemen
- Matt Gilroy The Rangers defender fell out of favour in NY so the Rangers are going to see what the market will get their RFA
- Daniel Carcillo- The Flyers' tough guy seems to have fallen out of favour and the team doesn't want to pay a 4th line/pugilist in excess of the 2 million his agent is asking.
- Semyon Varlamov- The Caps goalie of the future is suddenly expendable and we are hearing that several teams have expressed interest. Our sources tell us that Phoenix is very interested in his services and talk with Don Maloney are on going. The asking price would be either Mikkel Boedker or Kyle Turris
- Kyle Turris/ Mikkel Boedker - See above. The Coyote young forwards are both RFA's in waiting and the Yotes will look to move one to bolster another need(goal?)
- Sergei Kostitsyn- The enigmatic Belarusian is probably yet again on the move. Whether the Preds get something for him or simply decide to allow him to depart as a UFA he has played his last game in Nashville. The KHL is also a possibility
4) As for other draft day intrigue its not a secret that the Senators will be attempting to deal. Last off season they talked with anyone who would listen for Jason Spezza. The star pivot is a prohibitive 7 mil cap hit for another 4 seasons. With a year burned off his contract and higher salary cap they perhaps could get more serious interest this summer from a team in need of offensive skill. Additionally Sergei Gonchar and his 11 million for 2 more years is very available.