- Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: Feschuk thinks it’s time for the Maple Leafs to trade Phil Kessel.
There’d be no better time to trade Kessel, considering his excellent run of play as the league’s sixth-leading regular-season scorer has put his value at an all-time high. Don’t for a moment believe that Nonis, fresh off delivering a no-Leaf-is-untouchable post-season message, isn’t thinking hard about the possibility.
The Leafs need to give up value to get their “long-sought No. 1 center.” Kessel, along with Dion Phaneuf will be UFAs after next season. Dion’s stock is weighed down by his $6.5 million salary. Nonis’ shopping list isn’t short, which should include an upgrade in net. They should consider UFA Mike Smith and possibly revisit Roberto Luongo. The Leafs will look at UFA David Clarkson, but he’ll be looking for big money. The Leafs blueline needs more high-end talent at low prices. Moving up in the draft would make sense, along with trolling for compliance buyouts that may come cheap.
- Spector’s Hockey: Richardson thinks that IF the Penguins were to move any of Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Marc-Andre Fleury, Fleury is the likely one to move. Malkin is too valuable to the them and Letang is their best puck-moving defenseman. IF the Penguins were to trade or buy out Fleury, they would need to find a young, affordable backup for Tomas Vokoun. Dmitry Chesnokov: Chesnokov suggests Michal Neuvirth.
- Bob Stauffer: Stauffer see the Stars trying to trade Alex Goligoski or Trevor Daley for a centerman if they can get Sergei Gonchar signed.
- Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: Cox thinks the Leafs need a center like Sean Monahan and should look at moving up in the draft. The Predators are dangling the No. 4 pick, the Oilers at No. 7 could also move their pick. Trading youth-for-youth would make sense, and they could use Jake Gardiner. It would be a type of move that wouldn’t help them next year, but more of building move.