Kyle Dubas
Vukets, Cynthia wrote: Kyle Dubas speaks to the press at the Essar Centre after signing on as the new GM for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Dubas is the youngest-ever GM in OHL history. Jim Egan photos.

Bob McKenzie sheds light on the Kyle Dubas-to-Colorado connection, Darren Dreger discusses William Nylander’s next contract, projects the Leafs taking right-shot defenceman Henri Jokiharju in their mock draft, and more in the links.

Leafs/NHL Links

Bob McKenzie on Kyle Dubas’ offer from Colorado (TSN1050)
Bob McKenzie, on his most recent Bobcast, shed some light on the Dubas-Colorado connection from late May:

Dubas is not going to Colorado, but here is my understanding: The contact being made was from Colorado ownership. The contact with the Leafs and Dubas was in hopes of getting Dubas to come in and run the entire hockey operation of the Colorado Avalanche. What that means for everybody else there, and what the timing on all that is, I’m not sure. But we do know now that Dubas isn’t going to Colorado; at least not now.

Dreger: Tavares more willing to wait on Isles extension (TSN1050)
Darren Dreger joined Leafs Lunch from the Stanley Cup Final to discuss Nashville evening the series, no changes to offside review, the latest on John Tavares and the Islanders contract talks, and what William Nylander’s second contract might look like.

[I haven’t heard any rumblings] as far as trade. I actually connected with Pat Brisson, who represents John Tavares, in Pittsburgh in Game 2 during one of the intermissions. I reported probably a month or so ago that Tavares wanted a pretty clear idea of the direction of the organization from their new home to what their plans are to building the team into a contending team. He wanted all of that by now, in the month of June, so that he could make a decision. He didn’t want to enter the final year of his contract with all the uncertainty.

I think that’s shifted a little bit. They now — they being Tavares and Brisson — are comfortable with what’s going on with the New York Islanders and they’re willing to wait. I suspect that that is good news for the Islanders. it doesn’t mean that a contract extension is imminent, but it also doesn’t mean that the New York Islanders should be looking at their trade options because they don’t think he’s going to sign long term.

Everyone wants to compare it to the Stamkos situation, but it’s not the same. It’s different. It does depend on what Garth Snow is able to do in the next little while specific to what pieces he wants to add. I still feel — whether or not we’re a fan of the play of Jordan Eberle — that makes sense to me. Even Matt Duchene from Colorado to the Islanders makes sense to me.

On William Nylander‘s second contract (RFA in 2018):

I’m always hesitant to try to jump into the mindset of Lou Lamoriello because more often than not I’m wrong when I guess what he’s trying to do. All I know is how William Nylander is viewed by his head coach and those around the organization, and he is highly regarded — surprisingly so, and maybe that sounds unfair given how talented this young player is. They’ve got a lot of time for Nylander and they see him as a real big part of the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ success of the future. In saying all of that, it makes sense to me that they’d want to lock him up on a longer term.

But there are other pieces to the puzzle. Obviously, Auston Matthews is a lock; they’ll sign him to eight years as quick as they can coming off the entry-level contract. And they think Mitch Marner is a star in the NHL. The problem you have with all of that is they need the salary cap to go up a lot higher than it has gone up before they consider any of that stuff, with Nylander or Marner or some of the other pieces they’re going to want to hold onto.

Burnside: Dallas moving 3rd pick “is not just idle chat” (TSN1040)
Scott Burnside suggests Stars GM Jim Nill is looking to help his team now and would move the 3rd overall pick if that’s what it takes.

This not just idle chat. I think that Jim Nill is doing a lot of due diligence on what to do with that third overall pick. My gut tells me it’s 50-50. There are a lot of moving pieces.

McKenzie: Number of teams interested in Evander Kane (TSN1040)
TSN Hockey insider Bob McKenzie says the Canucks have been interested in Evander Kane in the past, with talks getting pretty far down the road at one point. McKenzie adds he’s not sure if what stopped the trade the last time, will prevent the Canucks from being interested this time.

Mock Draft: First Round of 2017 NHL Draft; Jokiharju to Toronto (
17. Toronto Maple Leafs – Henri Jokiharju, D, Portland (WHL): An offensive-minded right-shot defenseman who excels at getting the puck out of the defensive zone to skilled forwards is exactly what the Maple Leafs need. He’s a bit on the small side (6-0, 180), but that didn’t prevent him from having a productive first season in North America with 48 points (nine goals, 39 points) in 71 games. He doesn’t turn 18 until June 17.

How Kovalchuk pitch could add up for Leafs (Toronto Star)
“The perception of Kovy was different from what he was really like,” said Ferraro, a TSN analyst whose final NHL season was Kovalchuk’s first. “He’s always wanted to win. He cares more than people think. Is he a little bit selfish? Every goal scorer is. I would think Kovalchuk’s biggest weakness has always been (that) he thinks he’s the answer to every problem. But as he’s gotten older, he’s started to trust his teammates a little bit more. He’s a really good player, and a much better person than people would think.”

With Predators peaking, Penguins searching for answers in Cup Final (USA Today)
“We have to steal one in Pittsburgh,” Nashville winger Viktor Arvidsson said. After looking mediocre in the first two games of the series, goalie Pekka Rinne is again playing like the superhero he was in the first three rounds. Asked whether the Predators were concerned about Rinne early in the series, Arvidsson said: “No. Never. He’s an unbelievable player. He’s the key to our team.”

Cherry meets top 2017 NHL Draft prospects (Sportsnet)
It’s Don Cherry’s favourite time of year and it’s become something of a tradition when he gets to meet the players of the future. Nolan Patrick, Nico Hischier, Casey Middlestadt and Gabriel Vilardi, all of whom could go in the top five of the NHL Draft later this month, joined Cherry on Monday’s Coach’s Corner and were asked to share their favourite cars and musical acts.

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