Should the Maple Leafs trade Phil Kessel? Should they try to move up in this year’s entry draft? What’s the latest on Ron Hainsey ane Zach Bogosian? Who could the Canadiens hire as their new goalie coach?
TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk calls upon the Maple Leafs to trade Phil Kessel now while his trade value is at its highest, while Damien Cox advocates trading up in the draft, as the Nashville Predators (fourth overall) and Edmonton Oilers (seventh) are believed shopping their first round picks. Cox believes the Leafs could landOttawa 67s center Sean Monahan if they could acquire the Predators pick.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unless Kessel demands a trade or crazy stupid money (like, say $10 million per season), he’s not going anywhere. If Leafs GM Dave Nonis is smart, he’ll re-sign Kessel now, before his value increases further with his play next season.
Cox’s suggestion, on the other hand, is a worthwhile one, depending of course upon what the Predators and Oilers seek in return for their picks. Cox suggests Jake Gardiner as a trade chip, but I don’t think that’s a worthwhile move. Sure, you’d get a promising young center, but moving Gardiner simply addresses one problem while creating another.
WINNIPEG FREE PRESS/WINNIPEG SUN: Gary Lawless reports Jets pending UFA defenseman Ron Hainsey is unlikely to return, while Ken Wiebe reports the Jets have started contract talks with the agent for RFA defenseman Zach Bogosian.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most Jets fans assumed Hainsey wouldn’t return. As for Bogosian, re-signing him to a long-term extension is among the Jets priorities this summer. He’s also eligible for arbitration rights, so it’s possible he or the Jets could file for arbitration later this summer if negotiations should stall by early July. The upside of that is it would then make him ineligible to receive an offer sheet from a rival club.
MONTREAL GAZETTE/LA PRESSE: Pat Hickey reports Canadiens owner Geoff Molson is proud of his club’s improvement this season, while Mathias Brunet examines potential candidates for the Canadiens vacant goaltending coach position.