With over a week and a half left before the NHL Entry Draft which will take place in Newark, New Jersey, things have started to heat up around the league.  If you won’t take my word for it, check out what Allan Walsh, a player agent from Octagon Sports Management, had to say yesterday:


Also, here are some quotes from Nonis via Kevin McGran:








Since Alec already covered the Bernier rumor yesterday (and Anthony will have a few of his thoughts later today), I thought I’d bring together a couple of snippets of what some of the general managers are saying publicly. Granted, a lot of GMs tow the same lines and spew the usual boilerplate language. However, with the new CBA, the introduction of  compliance buy-outs into the equation, and a lowering cap, this could prove to be one of the busiest off-seasons we’ve seen in a long time.

Craig MacTavish, Oilers’ GM from the recent Oilers’ State of the Union address to select season-ticket holders.  The video can be found here.

“I think we have a little bit of a competitive advantage this year, compared to other years, much like in 2006 when the cap initially came in. Teams were trying to get under the cap, we had cap room.”

“So, the normal players in unrestricted free agency, the big market teams that normally inflate the salaries, weren’t players because they had to get underneath the cap. I think there will be a small degree of that this year which may give us the ability to attract a player, or two.”

“I’ve talked about the potential to move that pick (7th), to move down to acquire an asset and still get a decent player if we move back seven of eight spots.”

Jon Davidson, Blue Jackets’ President of Hockey Operations recently sat down with  and talked about draft strategy and free agency. Quotes are from Part 1 of a two-part conversation.

“It’s hard to move up, but it’s always possible depending on what kind of package you put together. We also have the luxury of going the other way, and moving our third (first-round pick) for two seconds if we were to do something like that.”

“Then, you have the option of moving any of those four picks, or any pick for that matter, for players who can help us immediately. It’s all there, it’s all an option and it’s going to be up to us to set the table. And if something comes our way that we feel strongly about, we’ll do it. We’ve gotten ourselves into a position where we’re prepared for that.”

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Morning Links

 Tribune: Penguins’ Shero talks with Letang’s agentShero is a decisive GM so it’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds once Shero comes forward with a long-term deal.

CSN Philly: Sources, Flyers interested in deal for Ducks’ RyanThe show goes on in Philly. 

TSN: Toronto and Montreal (ew) to host 2015 and 2017 WJCs – This is really cool.

Backhand Shelf: How the Bruins and Blackhawks spend their money – Would be interesting to see how the Leafs, and the rest of the league, stacks up against the two Stanley Cup finalists.

VLM: Do we really want Jonathan Bernier? – Michael with his take on the Bernier rumor.

Backhand Shelf: Icing, shot blocking, and the death of fighting – So, did the Leafs just buy a relic for $1.85mm?

HIBS: Afternoon DelightMore in-depth piece on Nonis’ media appearance.

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