Darren Dreger on the asking price for Travis Hamonic and Tyson Barrie, the story of how David Poile almost became the Maple Leafs’ General Manager in ’97, Doug Armstrong says he’d match any offer sheet for Colton Parayko, and more in the links.

Leafs/NHL Links

Friedman: Expect plenty of Vegas rumours in next couple of weeks (Sportsnet)
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman joined Boomer and Pinder as the Las Vegas in the midst of the Stanley Cup Final and as the Vegas expansion draft approaches.

“I believe every team has had a conversation with Vegas. I wouldn’t be surprised if that Chicago scenario was true. There is obviously something to it or it wouldn’t get reported, but I think there is going to be a few like these. Nick [Kypreos] has been on it for a long time that Pittsburgh and Vegas have a deal worked out where Marc Andre Fleury is going to Vegas. I started to hear that more and more.

For a while now, people have bee telling that Columbus is trying to do what it can to get Vegas to take the David Clarkson contract. If you take Clarkson’s contract, what sweetener can we put in there for you to do it?

I think there is a lot of that going on. I’m sure Anaheim has talked to them about it. I’m sue Minnesota has talked to them about it. Most teams do have a protection issue. You’re going to hear a lot of rumours over the next couple of weeks.”

Insider Trading: Oilers have offers on the table for Eberle (TSN)
Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have the latest on the Oilers’ ongoing contract discussions with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, offers on the table for Jordan Eberle, the Avalanche seeking a trade partner for Matt Duchene, and unrest among some players and agents with the NHLPA.

“The New York Islanders have to protect three defencemen. Right now, they’ve got four quality guys. Maybe that makes Travis Hamonic a more attractive trade piece. They want a top-six forward in return.

Another interesting top-quality defenceman in play is Tyson Barrie of the Colorado Avalanche. The belief is, for Duchene, Joe Sakic would have to get a defenceman back. That would free him up to move Tyson Barrie. He’d need a high pick or a combination of picks and prospects to make that work.”

McPhee wants to be good out of the gate but even better down the road (TSN)
George McPhee caught up with Gino Reda at the NHL Combine and the Golden Knights’ GM admitted that he’s been pleasantly surprised with the discussions he’s had with other NHL GMs and revealed his expectations for the team out of the gates and his thoughts on TSN’s expansion draft simulator.

“We’re trying to do both really well. What we’d like to do is have a very competitive team but also find a way to have some surplus picks here over the next two or three years so that we can draft our way to being a really good team. Historically, that’s how teams have been built. We’ll get a real good base from the expansion draft that helps us compete, but we’re going to have to draft our way there.”

Vatanen, Brodin, Dumba top TSN Trade Bait board (TSN)
Defencemen Sami Vatanen, Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba lead TSN Hockey’s Trade Bait board as we head toward what is expected to be a frenzied few weeks of trade activity ahead of the expansion draft.

David Poile picked GM position with Predators over Maple Leafs (Sportsnet)
Poile interviewed with then-Leafs president and GM Ken Dryden, dined with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum and was mulling between the two situations, according to a story from Postmedia’s Steve Simmons. He was even leaning towards Toronto. “In my mind, I thought I was there,” Poile told Simmons. Tanenbaum had some business to attend to before he wanted to speak to Poile again. Then, the Predators came in with an offer.

Interest in Parayko rising around NHL (St. Louis Dispatch)
There was an article this week on The Athletic, a Toronto-based website, suggesting the Maple Leafs should “table a huge offer sheet” for Parayko. The Blues would have the right to match any offer, which Armstrong confirmed Friday the team will do, but it illustrates the lust for him around the league and speaks to the attention the situation deserves this offseason.

Maple Leafs alum Bob McGill suffers stroke (Toronto Sun)
Former Toronto defenceman turned Leafs TV commentator Bob McGill is in a Peterborough area hospital after suffering a blood clot-related stroke. McGill, 55, fell ill Wednesday at his cottage, according to friends. He was able to tweet about his condition early Thursday, wryly noting “survived 705 NHL games and 190 fights, but in for my toughest fight now”, confirming the clot and the stroke.

[Paywall] How the Pens & Preds were built, and what we can learn (The Athletic)
One of the really interesting things about this Stanley Cup final is the two men in charge of its teams. Jim Rutherford, 68 years old, hockey lifer. David Poile, 67 years old… hockey lifer. Lou Lamoriello, with the Maple Leafs, is the only older general manager than these two in the NHL right now. And they are succeeding at a time when there’s this push against old-school in the league — old-school ideas and old-school cronies. That’s not what they are.

Ducks extend Randy Carlyle’s contract through the 2018-19 season (LA Times)
“I have a lot of respect for Randy and what he does,” Ryan Kesler said. “I think just the fact that he’s changed as a coach and evolved with the game. … He’s evolving with it and I think he’s the right coach for this group. He listens to the group, but at the same time he’s stern and gets the best out of his players.”

What Central Scouting says about top 5 North American prospects (Sportsnet)
A huge centre at six-foot-five and 215 pounds (the biggest players of these top five), Rasmussen is a goal scorer with an underrated playmaking ability. The Surrey, B.C., native enjoyed a big uptick in goals this season, jumping to 32 in 2016-17 from 18 in 2015-16. That’s good enough for a top 30 spot in the WHL, although he played 50 games – 13 fewer than a year ago. If you’re looking for a little bit of a knock against that production, nearly half of Rasmussen’s goals (15) came on the power play, so his even strength production was much more pedestrian.