June 26 2015 11:37AM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports
It's Draft Day!
The talk all year has been Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, but the draft itself is especially fun because the other 200 players in the league end up tossed around, traded, signed, and essentially thrown into the vortex of chaos better known as 'GMs on the draft floor'.
I'm currently sitting in my beach house in Fort Lauderdale getting prepped for the draft (and waiting for the room to stop spinning, because I'm on the beach! There was Corona! Judge me) - so let's do a roundup of the best rumors, reports, and storylines coming out of the hockey universe today.
June 26 2015 10:48AM
Maybe a grain of salt is required when the rumour comes from Mark Spector, but the man is on the ground in Florida, and there seem to be enough information for everyone to share, so I'll share his:
"The cash-strapped Coyotes are on the hunt for centremen, and have come to the conclusion that Gagner simply isn’t a fit. Arizona GM Don Maloney has been attempting to trade Gagner while at the NHL Draft, but chances are he would have to take someone else’s bad contract back. Maloney may settle for a buy-out at one-third of the money owed, as Gagner is still just 25 years old.
If bought out, the 25-year-old Gagner would perk the interest of the Leafs as a winger when free agency opens on July 1. Toronto needs young NHL players in their lineup, and Gagner would bring considerable experience at a relatively inexpensive price after being bought out."
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 26 2015 10:00AM
The 2015 NHL Entry Draft was once something that fans searched for using a telescope, desparate for a date on the calendar to be excited about. Today, it's right under their nose; the day has come and we're hours away from the Edmonton Oilers making the first pick (gee, I wonder who it will be).
For the Leafs, this day isn't just about who they will select in the 4th and 24th positions. The team is also looking to make some moves to shake up the core. The biggest name out there? Star winger Phil Kessel, who is apparently on the market, and has earned the interest of several teams. Many have speculated how this plays out, but here's my theory - it doesn't.
June 26 2015 09:06AM
A week ago I wrote about the Leafs' decision over their top pick, and whether that process might be presenting some substantial debate within the front office. It's becoming more and more evident leading up to tonight that the people in that room have their favourites, and the two biggest voices appear to be Mike Babcock and Mark Hunter.
Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 26 2015 08:20AM
Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Avalanche have taken advantage of one team's cap struggles, and in effect, have created their own. In acquiring forward Carl Soderberg from the Boston Bruins for peanuts, the organization has effectively locked itself out of keeping one of its best fowards.