there are actual substantive discussions taking place among NHL general managers. The past few years there were not the significant number of names being discussed and the vast number of teams involved in many and varied number of potential deals. Yes the entry draft; 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. There seems to be some internal conflict within teams. Some are going ahead as if there won't be any labour strife and a future reduction in the salary cap, while a few are hedging their bets that the cap will be reduced once the smoke clears and a new CBA is ratified. Keep in mind most, if not all major, and even most minor deals are tentatively consummated BEFORE the draft starts. So when you see a GM on the phone/talking directly with a counter part its usually to confirm earlier discussions.
2) 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 (temporally?) set at 67 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. 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 and others who could be on the move by either tomorrow or Saturday, or before July 1. Some we have previously discussed so we won't go into detail with those
The top 20 on the Block:
- Evgeny Malkin: See big-names-on-move-part2
- Derek Roy: One year left on his contract and the Sabres have made it clear that they will attempt to make a splash this weekend and the smallish forward is likely to be part of any deal that Darcy Regier consumates
- Sam Gagner: The most likely bargaining chip that Tambellini will offer to improve his club
- Patrick Kane: Peggy won't be happy but the Hawks are listening to offers, but a deal for Patrick is less likely than the other Kane(see below). This would be a big deal and its possible the Bruins will/have made a significant offer for the Buffalo native
- Roberto Luongo: See: big-names-on-move
- Wojtek Wolski:The Panther never felt at home at his latest stop in the NHL. The return for the RFA won't be large though. The Senators have inquired
- Paul Stastny: The overpaid Avalanche has been long a trade rumour subject. His hefty salary have hindered his trade value in the past. Perhaps the DC Caps wil give back the Av's 1st round pick for as they will be in need of quality 2nd line offensive depth with the (ssn) loss of Semin
- Nikita Filatov: With him signing with the KHL's Salavat Yulaev the Sens will gladly trade his rights to anyone interested
- Jonathan Bernier The LA 'back up' goalie is very sought after. With Vokoun and now Lindback now off the market the price for a potential starting goalie just went up. Kings GM Dean Lombardi can get a nice return if he chooses to trade Bernier. Some are writing they are waiting to get Quick signed long term, but our sources tell us that indeed Bernier is available for the right package of a player and high draft pick(s)
- Alex Radulov: Also see big-names-on-move-part-2.
- Jakub Voracek: Our sources tell us that the Maple leafs have had serious inquiries, but so far have balked at the asking price of Luke Schenn, but it wouldn't shock us to see the brothers Schenn reunited by summers end
- Mathieu Perreault: The Capitals diminutive forward was a healthy scratch through most of the playoffs. The Canadiens have inquired and this very well could be a player for a pick (3rd rounder) deal.
- Ondrej Pavelec: This deal will depend upon the Jets getting another goalie in return or from free agency. We're told the jets management is unhappy with the KHL threats made by his agent. There won't be a shortage of suitors, but we';re told the Panthers are at that list.
- Justin Abdelkader: The speedy forward we're told could be part of any potential deal the Wings make this week, now that Helm is signed long term it makes Justin redundant
- Patrick Marleau: See: big-names-on-move-part 2-
- Sergei Kostitsyn: We're told Preds GM Poile can't wait to unload the rights to the Belarusian forward. The Sharks are interested, albeit not for much
- T.J. Oshie: One of the potential assets the Blues wold offer to obtain the defensemen they desire. Might the Blues take Ehrhoff off the Sabres hands?
- Evander Kane: Contrary to what we were told earlier this week apparently the Jets are going to allow Evander Kane to be available (at the right price) Evidently the 3 year pro's negotiations aren't going well and he may be looking for a fresh start somewhere, preferably south or west. The Lightning would love to get him, but would Yzerman be willing to trade both his #1 tomorrow and a young asset? We're told it could happen
- Travis Moen: The Red wings we're told have long coveted the gritty LW who will be a free agent July1 so don't be shocked to see if his rights are dealt to Mo-Town.
- Brandon Dubinsky: It appears the days in NY are numbered for the 26 year old Ranger who has 3 years left on his four-year deal that calls for a $4.2 million cap hit. He had a poor, injury filled season, but if healthy he would add skill and leadership to a team in need of that. Rumours have him as part of any Nash deal?
- Bobby Ryan: With 3 more years at 5.1 million the Ducks may want to save some cap space to sign other core players Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Cam Fowler all of whom are coming up for new deals in the summer of 2013. They may look to add another top 10 overal draft pick to this derap draft and get the skilled d-man in their system.