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

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TSN.ca Staff
6/25/2014 2:51:19 PM
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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 heating up towards a busy off-season.

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

Defensive Depth

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun is reporting the Toronto Maple Leafs have considerable interest in unrestricted free-agent defenceman Dan Boyle. LeBrun says one source believes Toronto's interest is "serious." The Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers are also interested in the services of the 37-year-old. LeBrun says the New York Islanders still remain an option with the Montreal Canadiens likely out of the running after re-signing Andrei Markov.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported on the following issues:

Patience is a Virtue

Minnesota Wild forward Dany Heatley and former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone may have to be patient in free agency according to Dreger. Dreger says their willingness to take one-year contracts will draw attention from more teams. The Lightning used their second compliance buyout on Malone on Wednesday while Heatley will become an unrestricted free-agent on July 1.

Draft Talk

Conversation regarding the Florida Panthers' first overall pick should heat up Thursday ahead of Friday's NHL Entry Draft. If offers for the top pick don't improve, Florida intends to hold on to it.

Canucks Complex Dealings

The Vancouver Canucks are still trying to trade Ryan Kesler but this is a complicated negotiation. It's believed Kesler has identified just two teams in the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks. That puts rookie general manager Jim Benning and the management of the Canucks in a tough spot because they're just negiotioation with the two teams. Maybe it's possible that the Canucks try to pull in their horns in an effort to encourage Kelser to expand his list.

Blackhawks Hope to Keep the Band Together

GM Stan Bowman and the Chicago Blackhawks are very eager to make sure the star component remains intact for a lengthy period of time. We're talking about how the new CBA is going to impact the superstar model of player and certainly Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews qualify as such. No longer is it allowed to frontload and go with that 10, 12 or 15-year mega-deal. Now we know it's a maximum of eight years so it's not inconceivable that, as long as the salary cap climbs to around $75 million in 2016 that Kane and Toews could come in around $11-12 million each.

Iginla and Alfredsson Drawn Together

Jarome Iginla and Daniel Alfredsson could have an impact on each other's future, depending on whether they both get what they want, which is to sign where they played last year. Iginla wants to stay with the Boston Bruins and there's talk they're negotiating on both a two-year deal and perhaps a one-year deal maybe very similar to the contract he signed with the Bruins last year with a cap hit of $1.8 million with a bonus structure that deeply impacted the Bruins. If they can't get a deal done in Boston, then the Detroit Red Wings are among the teams that are keenly interested in Iginla as well. The Red Wings also have interest in Alfredsson, who is believed to be coming back but he hasn't made it 100 per cent certain yet. He works on his own timeframe, similar to Teemu Selanne but I'm also told he's willing to be flexible.

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Shopping Around

Despite a good conversation between the team and his agent, Paul Stastny plans to test the free-agent market before making a decision on his future. Adrian Dater of the Denver Post spoke with Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic, who said Stastny wants to field offers before seeing if his current team will match the amounts.  Dater also reports Sakic saying that he isn't put off by Stastny's plan to field offers because he's earned the right to be in that position.

Vinny On The Move?

Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Flyers general manager Ron Hextall might be willing to move veteran forward Vincent Lecavalier if he agrees to waive his no-trade clause.   In the report, Hextall is quoted as saying he's spoken to Lecavalier's agent but would not elaborate further.  Carchidi's story also talks about Flyers draft prospects and the players they are looking at selecting in the upcoming NHL Draft.

Jarome Iginla (Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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