The latest NHL Entry Draft speculation, plus updates on the Red Wings and Sharks.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon is gauging interest in his first round pick, second overall, in this year’s entry draft, though he’s not actively shopping the pick.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater recently examined some potential trade scenarios for the Colorado Avalanche involving their first round pick (first overall), including shopping the pick for Florida or Tampa Bay for an established player or two plus their pick.
ESPN.COM’S Craig Custance reports via Twitter Lightning GM Steve Yzerman, who holds the third overall pick, doesn’t expect to move up in the draft, saying he doesn’t have enough “ammunition” to pry the first overall pick from the Avalanche.
NHL.COM: The Edmonton Oilers are willing to consider moving their first round pick, which is seventh overall.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The suggestion by Avalanche executive VP of hockey operations Joe Sakic and new head coach Patrick Roy they would consider trading their pick sparked considerable speculation over the movement of high picks in this year’s draft. It remains to be seen, of course, if anyone actually moves their pick. Can’t blame the Avs, Panthers and Oilers for letting it be known they’re willing to at least entertain offers.
DETROIT NEWS/MLIVE.COM: Ted Kulfan reported Red Wings UFA forward Valtteri Filppula acknowledged the possibility he could depart via free agency this summer. Ansar Khan, meanwhile, reports Filppula and the other Wings notable UFAs (including Daniel Cleary, Damien Brunner, Drew Miller and Ian White) hope to return next season. Khan also reports Red Wings GM Ken Holland shot down speculation he could use one of his two compliance buyouts on Johan Franzen. “Yeah, it’s crazy (speculation) for me,” Holland said.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Filppula’s agent insists on $5 million per season, the Wings won’t re-sign him. I expect Brunner and Cleary will be back, but less certain about Miller and White). Sure, Franzen can be inconsistent during the regular season, but he’s one of those players who always seems to find an extra gear in the playoffs. He may be overpaid, but he’s also part of the Wings core and Holland has no intention to dump his salary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Boyle can continue playing at a high level (he turns 37 this summer) and is willing to accept a short-term contract with a bit of a pay cut, I think the Sharks would consider. Torres would be an affordable re-signing if the Sharks want to keep him. GM Doug Wilson sounded like he believes Torres could be a good fit next season, but it’ll depend upon the winger’s salary demands.