Rumour Roundup:

  • Lance Hornby: Will Maple Leafs keep Dion Phaneuf, ditch Phil Kessel? (Toronto Sun)
    “The most recent dispatches from the hockey office say Babcock thinks Phaneuf can be salvaged, but shares the disdain that Shanahan is said to have for Kessel. Whatever the feelings, all agree these are still assets that can’t simply be kicked to the side of the curb.”
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  • Stephen Whyno: The 10 NHL players most likely to be traded before free agency begins (The Globe and Mail)
    As the Maple Leafs descend into a rebuild, the core is on the trading block. Not everyone has to go, and someone like captain Dion Phaneuf could stay, but Bozak has real value and three years left. Just 29 with a cap hit of $4.2-million, Bozak could fit somewhere as a No. 2 centre.
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  • Yahoo Staff: NHL Free Agents: Top 15 unrestricted defensemen (Puck Daddy)
    The Kings are “still trying to figure out space” for Sekera supposedly. Can they create enough under the salary cap limit to keep the 29-year-old blueliner? In 16 games with the Kings last season he had four points. The year before with the Hurricanes he notched 44 points in 74 games. Last season, Sekera had a plus-83 SAT differential, even playing most of the season with the talent-challenged Canes before a deadline deal to LA.
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  • Yahoo Staff: NHL Free Agents: Top 20 unrestricted forwards (Puck Daddy)
    The Bruins would bring back Soderberg if they weren’t in cap hell, but, alas, they are. His offensive number took a dip last season, but he could be a 50-point third liner on a good team. Question is: Will someone see him as more, and pay him accordingly?
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  • Chris Nichols: LeBrun: ‘Extremely Volatile’ Trade Chatter Level (Today’s Slapshot)
    “Yeah, it could be. Certainly there’s a lot of chatter. Sometimes the chatter doesn’t translate into actual transactions, but the level of chatter right now that I’m hearing is extremely volatile. It’s extremely high. We’ll see where it leads.
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  • Mark Easson: Videos – Chiarelli and Dreger Talking Draft, Goalies and Player Movement (MNTR)
    Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli talking about trade of draft picks and Connor McDavid; Darren Dreger on NHL Live talking about the draft, goalies and possible player movement.

Draft Links:

  • Craig Button: NHL Mock Draft: Button’s first round picks (TSN.ca)
    As mentioned in our scouting report, Marner – the best winger in the draft – has exceptional creativity with poise and passing skills that allow him to create offence quickly. The Leafs also have the 24th pick in the first round and are pegged to take Gabriel Carlsson from Linkoping of the Swedish League – a big, rangy, good-skating defenceman.
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  • Terry Koshan: Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock appears keen on defenceman (Toronto Sun)
    “It doesn’t necessarily mean the Leafs will take one, but that’s his preference,” an NHL executive said on Monday.
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  • Draftcentre: Hockey a family business for Strome (TSN)
    Dylan Strome and his two brothers started playing hockey at a very young age, and he’s come a long way since he first laced up his skates. Paul Hollingsworth has more on his family’s hockey connections, and the possibility of being drafted by his family’s favorite team, the Maple Leafs.
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  • Chris Johnston: Dubas, Maple Leafs ‘over-prepared’ ahead of draft (Sportsnet)
    For obvious reasons, Dubas didn’t delve into any specifics about ongoing negotiations when speaking with Sportsnet on Monday. However, he did mention that senior advisor Cliff Fletcher has been a good sounding board along with president Brendan Shanahan and coach Mike Babcock, and indicated the biggest difference between completing OHL and NHL trades is keeping things quiet.
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  • Adam Kimelman: Analytics, stats making way into draft process (NHL.com)
    “It really gives you a different thought, a different angle,” Mark Hunter said. “Any part of the scouting process, if it can make you think more, it’s a good thing. … We have a good staff. Our analytics department knows which leagues are good, which leagues are not, how to rate the leagues to make sure you get a fair number off these kids. I think it comes down to them doing their job; we’re pretty happy with our people in place, our personnel. They’re bringing names up to us, which we like. Make me think. That’s what it’s all about.”
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  • Jonas Siegel: NHL Draft Preview: 1-on-1 with Dave Morrison (TSN1050)
    TSN 1050 Toronto Maple Leafs Reporter Jonas Siegel takes a look ahead to the 2015 NHL Entry Draft with Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Amateur Scouting, Dave Morrison.
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  • Jonas Siegel: NHL Draft Preview: 1-on-1 with Mark Hunter (TSN1050)
    TSN 1050 Toronto Maple Leafs Reporter Jonas Siegel takes a look ahead to the 2015 NHL Entry Draft with Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Player Personnel, Mark Hunter.
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  • Jonas Siegel: NHL Draft Preview: 1-on-1 with Kris Knoblauch (TSN1050)
    TSN 1050 Toronto Maple Leafs Reporter Jonas Siegel looks back on a whirlwind season and gets the forecast on prospects Connor McDavid and Dylan Strome from Erie Otters Head Coach Kris Knoblauch.
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  • Kyle Woodlief: Deep NHL draft class could spur multiple trades (USA Today)
    We say that knowing full well that there have already been seven trades involving first-round picks. One interesting thing to note is that the teams slated to draft in each of the top four slots (Edmonton, Buffalo, Arizona, and Toronto) all have multiple first-round picks. And two of them (Edmonton and Toronto) have new upper management staffs in place. How will that impact the first round of the draft?
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  • Kent Wilson: THE BIG LIST OF NHL DRAFT RESOURCES (Flames Nation)
    If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time clicking from tab-to-tab in your browser, or wasting your time searching for draft reports, mock drafts and consensus rankings. So to make things easier for myself (and for you), I’ve compiled all the lists, ranks and tools I use to follow the draft.
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Draft Profiles:


Other Links:

  • Chris Johnston: Maple Leafs GM search put on the back burner (Sportsnet)
    The Maple Leafs president has put assistant GM Kyle Dubas in charge of negotiations with agents and other teams over the next few weeks. Mark Hunter, the director of player personnel, will oversee the draft.
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  • Staff: NHL, NHLPA sets 2015-16 salary cap at $71.4M (Canadian Press)
    The league and Players’ Association announced Tuesday that the cap will be US$71.4 million for 2015-16. That’s a $2.1-million increase from this season’s $69 million, more than expected a few months ago. The weak Canadian dollar led projections to be in the $70-71 million range. What helped push the cap to $71.4 million was the NHLPA triggering its five per-cent escalator clause to increase the cap.
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  • Dan Rosen: General managers move forward with 3-on-3 overtime (NHL.com)
    The concept of 3-on-3 overtime is to create more space on the ice, which will allow for more goals to be scored and hopefully see more games end in overtime rather than the shootout, similar to the success that the American Hockey League experienced this past season.
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  • Justin Bourne: 5 things to know about how 3-on-3 hockey is played (The Score)
    I was fortunate enough to experience 3-on-3 overtime in the BCHL, and I’ve since watched it play out in the AHL. And while everyone has their own idea of how the game will be played, I can pass along a few things of which I’m fairly certain.
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  • Sean McIndoe: Five Lessons From the 2014 NHL Offseason (Grantland)
    After all, that’s the way NHL offseasons usually go. There’s lots of excitement as the moves are being made, with plenty of blind optimism countered by an occasional unexplained sense of dread. And then, after enough time has passed, the benefit of hindsight kicks in and we realize that most of what happened was a mistake.
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  • AP: NHL players, in town for awards show, voice support for Las Vegas expansion (ESPN)
    The growing possibility of NHL expansion is a popular topic this week with the league in town for its postseason awards show and executive meetings. The league could announce the opening of a formal expansion process Wednesday, and an opening faceoff in Vegas conceivably could be just two years away.