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Look for plenty of trade action leading up to NHL Draft

Darren Dreger
6/17/2008 7:28:15 PM
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Trade discussions will heat up this week leading up to the draft as teams eager to move up make their play.

Tampa Bay has received a number of calls in an effort to gauge whether or not first pick overall is available.  It isn't, unless Jay Feaster and the Lightning's incoming ownership group are offered a package that is out of this world.

San Jose, Florida and the Carolina Hurricanes are considered to be among the most likely to make a significant trade.

Sharks captain Patrick Marleau is a name making the rounds this week along with his teammate Jonathan Cheechoo.  The Marleau rumours always seem to surface, but sources say San Jose did have trade discussions last year with the Vancouver Canucks in a deal that was to include Canucks' forward Ryan Kesler.

Marleau is available.

Panthers' captain Olli Jokinen has indicated to Florida's general manager Jacques Martin that he would like a trade. The big centre will continue to lure tons of interest, although one team suggests the asking price is marked at two young NHL roster players and a first round draft pick.

Carolina's Jim Rutherford remains on the hunt for a defenseman, with Edmonton's Joni Pitkanen believed to be one of his targets. Names like Erik Cole, Justin Williams and Tuomo Ruutu are being tossed around as bait.

Whether it's a trade to better a teams' draft position, a player for player swap, or a blockbuster, the potential for all three scenarios remain very much in play.

For TSN.ca, I'm Darren Dreger

Darren Dreger

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