Friday, June 28, 2013

Draft/Trade/Buy-out Preview Issue

1) Just days ago, the Chicago Blackhawks were hoisting the Stanley Cup following a rousing final round with the Boston Bruins. But there's no living in the past in the NHL, especially this season. It's already onto the 2013-14 season with the NHL draft. The lockout forced the league to conduct all seven rounds in one day.  Additionally we will discuss possible trades, and other maneuvers that might take place now that the NHL is in "off season mode".

2) The draft we are being told by countless NHL scouts/execs is one of the best in many years. From talking with some insiders we are told the likely top 5 selections, most likely to have an immediate impact in the NHL in 2013-2014 are as follows.

1- Colorado Avalanche Will likely select Nathan MacKinnon. The Halifax Center who they believe will be another player added to their burgeoning core of youngsters

2-Florida Panthers in a stunner I'm told will NOT select Seth Jones, but in need of offensive star power will grab Finn(Russian?) Center Aleksander Barkov.  We don't like that and perhaps GM Tallon will come to his senses and take the better Jones?  Stay tuned

3- Tampa Bay- Not surprisingly they also will forgo Jones having previously grabbed a defender early in the draft in Vic Hedman Instead Yzerman we're told will grab McKinnon's linemate at Halifax, Jon Drouin.  He could be the player with the biggest initial impact, but again Jones will have the better career.

4- Nashville-   David Poile, barring a team changing their selection (unlikely) will 'step in shit' when the see Seth Jones still available to them at #4. The wily old GM will NOT make the same mistake his younger counterparts made in front of him and will add the son of former NBA star Popeye Jones to their already solid defense corps

5- Carolina- Barring a trade which is still very possible. Canes GM Rutherford has been shopping this pick for weeks now. The Canes would likely pick the safest player left, and that is Swede Elias Lindholm.

3) Now we're hearing lots of trade rumours and I'm sure you will read tonnes of them on that rag of a site known as Eklund, etc. However we are old that few block busters wil take place and instead a majority will be trading up or down for picks and lesser NHLplayers for a pick here and there. that said we are hearing that a BIG deal has already been consummated but is being held back until it can be formally announced to the folks in attendance at the draft in Newark NJ. Specifically that NJ has traded it 1st pick (9th overall) to Vancouver for Corey Schneider!!  Yes, take that to the bank folks the Luongo-Schneider soap opera is about to end with the most astounding result- Luongo STAYS a Canuck!

4) The next rumor to discuss and it dove tails well with the above story; is the 'complience buyout" period has commenced.  Teams can buyout up to 2 contracts without any cap hit.  Many felt that Luongo would be an obvious candidate but with the upcoming trade of Schneider its extremely unlikely that the Canucks would dispose of BOTH of their goalies. especially with a paucity of decent UFA goalies available (more on that later)  With that in mind here are the players we are hearing will be getting an early present of guaranteed money AND UFA status. Some have already been announced.

 Danny Briere- No shocker as the Flyers need cap space
Ilya Bryzgalov- Again no shocker as Ilya has been a HUDGE disappointment in Philly, while the guy they jettisoned, Sergei Bobrovsky won a Vezina!
Vincent Lecavalier- This was a shocker, but makes cap sense. Vinny wins-wins here. In a bad UFA class he suddenly looks like a good option for teams. If all goes as planned the Flyers will use that Brierre/Bryzgalov savings to land Vinny with (another) dumb long term contract.
Mike Komisarek- Although not yet announced, it won't be a shock that the Long Island native will be bought out. He wasn't even on the NHL team this year.
Mikhail Gabovsky- This IS a shocker of sorts. The Leafs have yet to confirm this, but well paced sources tell fauxrumors that the Russian will be given his walking papers shortly.  Oddly he had a very solid playoffs and appeared to be turning the corner on his career.
Rick DiPietro- Another NON-shocker. The goalie for life's career is all but over and he had another 8 years left on his bloated 15 year contract
Johan Hedberg- With the upcoming Schneider trade the devs will need to clear their crease of the 48 year old Swede
Tomas Kaberle- The habs will very shortly announce they are parting ways with the Czech defender to clear up cap space.
Jeff Schultz- The Caps no longer feel the need to retain his services and his play didn't reflect his pay, so bye bye Jeff.

4) Post draft/free agency etc we will be compiling our annual off season report cards for all 30 teams based upon how they drafted/retained/signed free agents,etc and how they stack up now compared to when they last played. Since the free agency period is elongated we will probably not have that post out until mid/late July. Ofcourse as other issues/stories break we will have it here, as always first and Faux!

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