Canadiens GM defends Max Pacioretty, the Canucks face their most important draft since 1999, envisioning the worst-case offseason scenario for the Oilers, and the Flames reach out to the Panthers regarding the first overall pick.
LA PRESSE: Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin recently defended winger Max Pacioretty from criticism aimed at him by Habs legend Guy Lafleur over Pacioretty’s playoff performance.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Ben Kuzma believes the Canucks are facing their most important draft since selecting the Sedins at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the 1999 draft then-GM Brian Burke made trades to ensure he would select the Sedins second and third overall. The Canucks currently hold the sixth overall pick, the highest they’ve held since the ’99 draft. They can try to trade up for the first or second overall picks, held by the Panthers and Sabres respectively.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Jonathan Willis envisions the worst-case offseason scenario for the Oilers this summer, which includes signing Justin Schultz to an expensive, long-term contract, swapping Sam Gagner for R.J. Umberger, and signing Ryan Callahan, Mike Richards and Dave Bolland via free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fortunately, those UFA scenarios aren’t likely to happen, and I doubt the Oilers would trade Gagner for Umberger. The Schultz re-signing, however….
NBC SPORTS: The Calgary Flames, who hold the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, have reached out to the Panthers to express interest in the first overall pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Panthers’ asking price is probably too high for the Flames, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.