- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: Matheson thinks the Ducks will go after Ryan Kesler before the draft. The Ducks have the assets to get a deal done. Canucks GM Jim Benning said he’ll speak with Kesler this week to get a feel if he wants to stay or go to a contender. The Ducks have two first round picks (No. 10 and 24). They could add Mathieu Perreault and one of Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem, Rickard Rakell or Luca Sbisa. The Canucks may rather have Nick Bonino, but he isn’t going anywhere. Devante Smith-Pelly is likely not available. Anaheim may not want to include the Senators 10th overall pick which they own. The Canucks could ask for Sami Vatenen instead of Sbisa.
The Penguins also had interest in Kesler, and the Canucks would rather send him to the Eastern Conference, but the Penguins don’t have the assets like the Ducks do. The Pens have the 22nd overall pick and could trade Brandon Sutter. The Pens say they won’t trade their best prospect, Derrick Pouliot, who is out for four to six months.
Jason Spezza could also be an option, but he plays the same style as Ryan Getzlaf. The Ducks would do better with a shut-down type player that Kesler is.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: A scout said that the Panthers are interested in draft prospects Nikolaj Ehlers and William Nylander. They would likely be able to get one of those players in the five to six range.
John Stevens could be at the top of the Canucks head coaching list if Barry Trotz ends up in Washington. Doug Houda and Willie Desjardins are longer shots to get the Canucks position.
The Flyers may hope that Predators coach Peter Laviolette still really likes Vincent Lecavalier. The Flyers need to shed some salary and bring in a left winger for Claude Giroux. Thomas Vanek, Mike Cammalleri and Milan Michalek to the top UFA left wingers.
Jake Virtanen’s draft stock may drop as he’ll be out four to six months after needing surgery to repair a labrum tear in his shoulder that he suffered in a fight.
TSNs Craig Button wonders if the Penguins will look to re-sign Matt Niskanen a little harder as they’ll be without Olli Maatta and Derrick Pouliot until possibly November.