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Off-Season Watch: Thursday's latest from around the NHL

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TSN.ca Staff
6/19/2014 10:48:16 AM
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With the NHL Draft coming up on June 27 and free agency opening on July 1, discussions between NHL general managers are already heating up towards a busy off-season.

Each day, TSN.ca provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat.

Plenty Of Interest in No. 1

According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, at least eight teams have shown interest in acquiring the first pick overall pick from the Florida Panthers. The list of teams includes the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dreger also reports the Panthers plan on naming their new head coach by Monday at the latest. Also on the coaching front, some believe Willie Desjardins may have a choice between head coaching jobs in Pittsburgh and Vancouver but no final decisions have been made yet.

Pivotal Times In Vancouver

Ben Kuzma of The Vancouver Province writes that Ryan Kesler's trade value appears to be more appealing for a team like the Anaheim Ducks than that of Jason Spezza. Not only does Kesler have two years left at $5 million a season and Spezza one year at $4 million, the Ducks will need the grit and defensive game that Kesler would bring to the tough Pacific Division. Kuzma adds that Kesler also led the Canucks with 25 goals, while Spezza had 23 goals in a "softer conference."

Kuzma also writes that if the Senators are asking for a top-six forward, a top prospect and a first-round pick for Spezza, then Canucks GM Jim Benning can at least ask that much for Kesler.

He thens writes that the St. Louis Blues may interest Spezza because they would need help on their power play (worst during the postseason) and have assets that would interest the Senators.

Kuzma adds that the Canucks won't get a Kesler-comparable in return in any trade scenario, but Benning could get a first-round pick and can offer up a centre and young wingers to help rebuild the Canucks. And if that happens before the draft, Kuzma specualtes that Vancouver's sixth overall pick can be in play to acquire Florida's first overall pick.

That's News To Tallon

Miami Herald writer George Richards tweeted that Panthers GM Dale Tallon is refuting a report that defenceman Brian Campbell has asked for a trade.

St. Louis's Big 550 KTRS host and CBS Sports Radio St. Louis contributor Andy Strickland reported Wednesday that Campbell - who still has two years left on his contract that pays him over $7 million a season - wants out of Florida.

Done In Detroit

Detroit Wings general manager Ken Holland confirmed to The Macomb Daily that veteran forwards Todd Bertuzzi and Mikael Samuelsson won't be returning next season.

He added to the paper that as far as the rest of the unrestricted players go, the team will take a wait-and-see approach.

"The other guys I'm not sure," Holland told The Daily. "I basically told the other agents we're not doing anything right now. Under the CBA on June 27, which is next Wednesday, we can start talking to potential unrestricted free agents.

 

Ryan Kesler (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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