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Dreger's Mailbag: Talking Radulov, Isles and Patrick Kane

Darren Dreger
6/8/2012 4:07:12 PM
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Got a question on the latest news and rumours? E-mail Hockey Insider Darren Dreger and he'll answer your emails at dregereport@tsn.ca!

Hey Darren,
 
Awesome job and greetings from NYC. Do you see the Islanders making a splash either on draft day or chasing some free agents? They have so far to go to get to the cap floor that they are going to have to do something don't they?
 
Ryan Murray with the No. 4 pick?
 
Thanks and keep up the great work.
 
Howie Israeloff
 
A: Garth Snow has a track record for wheeling and dealing at the draft and I suspect he will consider anything thrown his way in the next couple of weeks.

The Islanders, like all NHL teams, are eager to see what the collective bargaining agreement is going to look like. A new CBA may help guide them, but the Isles will have to comply with whatever the structure of the salary cap is. However, without a new building and the ongoing speculation over the future of the franchise, selling free agents on the merits of moving to Long Island is a very difficult challenge.

The Isles are a good, young team that isn't far from being a very good team, but the uncertainty that plagues this organization definitely impacts the on-ice product.

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Dregs,
 
With Rick Dudley gone to the Canadiens, do you see the Toronto Maple Leafs filling in his vacated spot or will Brian Burke stick with the rest of his group?
 
Emerson
 
A: Emerson - At the moment, the Leafs have no intention of replacing Dudley, but that may change down the road. Dudley was mainly responsible for evaluating each NHL team's player personnel. He also helped prepare Toronto's draft strategy, but stayed focused for the most part on the top picks. He's a well respected, knowledgeable hockey man and a great hire by Marc Bergevin and the Montreal Canadiens.

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Good Day Mr. Dreger,

I would appreciate some clarification two issues here.

The Tomas Vokoun trade between the Caps and Pens puzzles me because I'd like to know how teams can trade players while the playoffs are still ongoing?  What if Brodeur decided to retire at season's and and the Devils were interested in Vokoun, but are now unable to acquire him - how is that fair?

Also, there was a "report" that the Rangers were interested in acquiring Alexander Radulov as a free agent. This seems like tampering to me since the Preds haven't said they won't sign him nor has anyone from the Radulov camp said they don't want to be back in Nashville or any other NHL team or be back in the KHL.  I understand that this "report" could appear to be forcing the hand of the Preds to do or say something, but is this the normal thing in the NHL nowadays?

I really enjoy your blogs and your commentaries during the regular season and playoffs.
 
Thank you,
Ian Pyatt
 
A: Ian, aside from the designated roster freeze, NHL clubs can trade players whenever they wish. Obviously, these players aren't eligible to play in the playoffs. New Jersey could have made the same deal with Washington for Vokoun as the Penguins did. As for Radulov, a Czech Republic based report generated the speculation the Rangers have considerable trade interest in Radulov. I don't believe that to be the case, or at least the interest New York may have, is far less than what has been suggested. In any event, the Preds will either sign Radulov, trade his rights, or he'll return to the KHL.  

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Darren,
 
We've heard all sorts of reports about Tim Thomas and how his teammates may or may not like him and how he feels about non-hockey matters, etc. That said, how are the Bruins as an organization feeling in regards losing Thomas next season? A sigh of relief because the distraction aspect is gone? Frustration because he counts against the cap regardless? Or worried because their MVP won't be in the lineup?
 
Emma Lee
 
A:  This is less about the Boston Bruins and more about Tim Thomas. He has decided to take a year off to recharge and intends on returning to the NHL for 2013-2014. It's hard to imagine he will have much bargaining power coming back, but the memories of his stellar play and Conn Smythe performance last year in the Stanley Cup final are still very vivid.

At times this past season, Thomas was a distraction and a frustration for his teammates and those who knew he was contemplating taking the year off didn't believe he would do it. Fortunately for the Bruins, Tuukka Rask is ready to assume the role as Boston's starter and has the team's full support.

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Darren,
 
Have you heard any trade rumours concerning the Chicago Blackhawks and more specifically, Patrick Kane? Or is that off-ice incident last month something the Blackhawks are going to work through with him internally (Hey, trade rumours are juicier, no?)?
 
Thanks,
Craig White
 
A:  Craig - The rumours are always out there and regardless of stature, the best players in the world can be linked to trade possibilities and that includes Patrick Kane.

Kane is a young man living his life the way he chooses to live it. Some may not agree with how he enjoys part of his offseason, but he's free to make his choices. That said, very little sneaks past the public eye and social media, so when Kane attracts negative attention the Chicago Blackhawks and by extension, the NHL share the spotlight.

As long as Kane produces on the ice, his value is significant. He is a fierce competitor and loves the game and remains a key part of the Hawks' nucleus. I doubt that will change anytime soon. More than a few NHL coaches took notice of Dale Hunter's management of Alexander Ovechkin's ice-time during the playoffs.  Perhaps, Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville will apply a tad more tough love to whip his stars back in to shape?

Got a question on the latest news and rumours? E-mail Hockey Insider Darren Dreger and he'll answer your emails at dregereport@tsn.ca!


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