Monday, June 16, 2008

The Draft Is Near

Here is all the latest, enjoy:

How the Leafs are not being accused of tampering yet is beyond me. They have hired Al Coates as their player personnel directer. Coates has spent the last six seasons in ANAHEIM.

Blake Wheeler will only play in the East I've been told. Toronto, Buffalo and Carolina are the three teams Im hearing. A lot of teams want him signed before this Friday's draft.

Getting the rest of Leafs news out of the way, buying out Darcy Tucker makes no sense to me. A million a year over the next six to get rid of him? At least let him play one more year at $3 million and see how that goes. A lot of reports suggest the Leafs will move up if they have a shot at filatov. I could see a 7th overall + McCabe trade to the Islanders for their 5th overall pick.

I'm hearing that St. Louis may pick up Schenn with their first round pick (fourth overall). Most mock drafts have schenn going somewhere between 5th - 8th.

Vancouver is heavily shopping their first round pick (#10 overall). Gillis doesn't like his teams scouting, and feels the pick would be better traded for an already established NHLer. Many believe he may change the face of the team by packaging it with a sedin or two. Ohlund or Salo could also be on the move.

Columbus is shopping their first round pick (#6 overall), and would love to get a centre to play with Rick Nash. Patrick Marleau's name won't go away in this rumour.

John Torterella is looking to become the head coach of the Atlanta Thrashers, while Barry Melrose still looks to be the guy in Tampa.

Ray Emery will be bought out by Ottawa. Because of his age, he will only cost the Sens 1/3 of his salary, instead of the usual 2/3. Ottawa is very interested in moving up in the draft, likely to a top five pick. That would be very costly, however, and I don't know if the Sens will be prepared to pay the price.

The Oilers and Blue Jackets both have serious interest in Ryan Malone.

Montreal likely will be the leader in the Hossa race on July 1st.

Yashin back to the Islanders is laughable, but the fact that it's leaked publically means more teams will now be contacting him, and he could still very well land back in the NHL before July 1st.

More to come, the draft is too close!