- Craig Custance of ESPN: (mailbag) Las Vegas has already started building a 20,000 seat area on the Vegas strip by MGM and AEG.
“I haven’t been there to look at the arena,” Bettman said during a conversation last week. “I was in Vegas for a 60th birthday weekend for one of my college buddies, with four or five couples. I don’t know if that was before or after the last awards to be perfectly accurate. I have not been there on business other than the awards.”
Bettman did say that there are interested groups in Vegas, and the same can be said for other cities as well. The NHL has not started any expansion processes. There are more risks in a Vegas market when compared to Seattle.
The Sabres own three second round picks and are looking to add another first round pick. Some teams have a draft pick value chart when trading draft picks. Trading roster players to get back into the first round may be a more likley scenario. The Sabres will get calls on Christian Ehrhoff, but a team may have to pay big as he a good cap number of $4 million and because of the cap recapture penalty if he retires early.
The Senators could be looking to trade Jason Spezza at the draft.
Will the Canucks go into the full rebuild? If they do, Ryan Kesler and Alex Edler could be available.
The Sharks could be looking at a shake-up after another disappointing playoff.
If the Penguins re-sign Matt Niskanen and bring in some bottom six depth, it could put them in a good place.
- Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks GM Doug Wilson:
“I want players that want to play here,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson told me, “not just live here.”
Kawakami thinks it was directed towards Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and a few other established players who might not be in Wilson future plans. Both Thornton and Marleau have no-trade clauses. If back, Kawakami doesn’t think Thornton would be the captain.
- Hope Smoke: Darren Dreger: “When organizations get to point where they’re asking players to give up the C, is there a bigger character assassination than that?” … “Maybe right at the end of a career when it’s the passing of the torch. Thornton is inching towards that place but not there yet” … “If they’re trying to push Thornton out then this type of speculation might encourage that”