- Craig Custance: Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he’s received at least a half dozen legitimate inquiries about the 1st overall pick.
- Ronnie Shuker of The Hockey News: Sunday’s game could be Mike Richards final game in a Kings uniform as the could be bought out by the team. He has six-years and $29 million remaining on his deal, with a salary cap hit of $5.8 million. A buyout would cost the Kings $19.3 million over 12 years.
- Luke Fox of SportsNet: Canucks GM Jim Benning is open to upgrading in net.
“We’re going to look at every avenue we have to make our team competitive. Vancouver is a big-market city, we’ve got a passionate fan base, [and] our owners want to win,” Benning told Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Brady & Walker when asked directly about signing a free-agent goaltender. “I know they have a lot of confidence in Eddie Lack. For a first-year goalie last year, he had a good season, and we hope that he can take it to the next step this year.”
Benning scouted and drafted Ryan Miller. Other UFAs include: Jonas Hiller, Ilya Bryzgalov, Tim Thomas, Alex Stalock, Carter Hutton, Justin Peters, Thomas Greiss, Martin Brodeur and Ray Emery.
Benning on Ryan Kesler.
“I touched base with Ryan yesterday. We’re still going back and forth on that. We’re going to listen to Ryan. We’re going to have a good, open, honest communication,” said Benning, who has also been speaking with Kelser’s agent. “Where it leads to, at this point I don’t know.”
- Tim Campbell of the Winnipeg Free Press: Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on trades and free agency.
“After all the review since the season ended, are you in a dealing mood?” was the question Cheveldayoff was asked.
“For all the changes happening in the league, I think there’s a strong appetite among teams to want to talk about making changes,” he said, noting there are seven new GMs in place. “We are certainly in that mix of talking, to find out if there’s a way to trade, whether it’s a big asset, a middle asset, whatever asset. You sit and talk to see if there’s a chance that something can fit with something you’re looking for.
“I think with this year’s crop of free agents, you’re really starting to see where the trend of locking up players for long term has lessened the number of players that would have otherwise entered free agency.
“And that’s leading a lot of teams to think they might have to make a trade to do something, as opposed to simply relying on free agency. Not that we’ve been huge players in free agency in the past, but I can say it hasn’t been for lack of wanting to be.”
On if their ninth overall pick is a starting point in trade talks and if it’s in play.
“I think any time you’re in a situation like this, where there’s lots of talk and there are new GMs in the league… and different organizations are in different cycles that need different things, it would not be factual to say I’ve got a deal in place, but I wouldn’t be totally truthful if I told you I wasn’t openly and actively in conversations in any regard.
“You always are, but until you know what every other team is thinking, it’s hard to say what the reality is of something happening or not.”