With the NHL Draft coming up on June 27 and free agency opening on July 1, discussions between NHL general managers will be heating up over the month of June.
Each day this month, TSN.ca will provide the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat.
Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail reports the Anaheim Ducks will likely be in the market for one of the top three centres expected to be available via trade this off-season in Jason Spezza, Ryan Kesler, and Joe Thornton. Duhatschek also breaks down how each of these players would fit with the Ducks.
According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, contract talks between the Colorado Avalanche and centre Paul Stastny will likely not restart before June 20. The Avalanche tried to work something out at the trade deadline and are still optimistic a deal can be made before Stastny becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Tony Gallagher of the Vancouver Province speculates that recently-fired Dan Bylsma could be the frontrunner for the Canucks head coaching vacancy. While in Carolina, GM Ron Francis is considering much as seven candidates for their coaching vacancy, including Bylsma, according to a report from newsobserver.com. And in Pittsburgh, where Bylsma coached last year, the Post-Gazette lists another seven candidates for their open spot.
Tweaks in Boston?
According to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, sources say the Boston Bruins may be willing to wheel and deal ahead before free agent season opens. Forward Brad Marchand and defenceman Johnny Boychuk are two players who could be traded to open up some salary cap space to re-sign the likes of Reilly Smith, Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Shawn Thornton, Jarome Iginla (or another player to replace him on the line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic). Currently, the Bruins have $9 million to spend but dealing Marchand and Boychuk would free up over $8 million more.
Looking for defence
Ansar Khan of MLive.com speculates on who the Detroit Red Wings could target when looking to add defencemen this off-season. While he believes the team would love Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, if made available in a trade, he also lists some more reasonable targets on the free agent market.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe reports the Chicago Blackhawks are likely to stay the course with their roster this off-season save for a few minor changes. Shinzawa reports the Blackhawks could be looking for a taker for winger Kris Versteeg, who was a healthy scratch in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, and will be looking for a replacement for centre Michal Handzus.