TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have the latest ahead of the NHL Draft on potential Jason Spezza trades, Dave Bolland heading to free agency, Joe Thornton and Ryan Kesler, and more.
Thirteen years ago the Ottawa Senators drafted Jason Spezza. Now are they going to trade Spezza on Draft Day or perhaps even before?
Bob McKenzie: They certainly hope so, and the talk has picked up the past 24-48 hours to the point now where there are four teams talking to the Senators about Spezza. Three of those teams are in the Western Conference and we know Anaheim and St. Louis are among that group. One mystery team in the Eastern Conference has entered the fray which makes things a little interesting.
Keep in mind Spezza has a list of 10 teams that he cannot be traded to and there are four Eastern Conference teams that are on that list including Florida, Carolina, Columbus, and the New York Islanders.
In a perfect world the Senators would like to have this done before or at the Draft; they would like to get a first-round pick in Friday's draft as part of the compensation for Spezza.
David Bolland is set to become a free agent July 1 but Toronto has been looking at getting a deal done. Now they know exactly what he wants, is it too steep?
Darren Dreger: He wants maximum value and as far as the Maple Leafs are concerned, yes it's too steep. It's believed that he's asking for the maximum eight years to stay with the Leafs and at $4.9 million per year. That's a tough hit.
At 28-years-old, Bolland's earned his right to unrestricted free agency. I believe the Leafs would be more comfortable in that 5-6 year range so it's very likely Bolland is going to unrestricted free agency. He's not healthy yet but he's well on his way and he hopes and believes he'll be at 100% as early as training camp.
Are the Edmonton Oilers in pursuit of a centre?
Dreger: Yes, they're looking for a centre and a defenceman and they're very active. They're throwing out some considerable assets as well; we know that the Oilers' third overall pick is very much in play. And Sam Gagner's name seems to surface annually at the draft, he's also trade bait for Edmonton.
And the Oilers are still in the game for the first overall pick with Florida.
Will Joe Thornton go anywhere?
McKenzie: Not right now. It's a dicey situation, I think in a perfect world the San Jose Sharks would like to try and trade Thornton and begin a rebuilding process using the return as a centerpiece for it. But as of right now, Thornton has no intention of waiving his no-move clause to go anywhere.
There's no list whatsoever, and if there was a list I suspect it would include teams the Sharks probably wouldn't want to trade him to like the Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings, or Chicago Blackhawks.
In the meantime Thornton, as the captain of the team, is meeting with the core group of players and trying to pick up the pieces and carry on but we'll see what happens.
So no list for Thornton but there definitely is a list for Ryan Kesler…
McKenzie: There is a list of six teams for Kesler and the two teams that seem to be the most interested in him right now are the Blackhawks and Ducks; that's not news. There's nothing imminent on the Kesler front because I get the sense that Anaheim and Chicago believe they're the only two teams in the running, therefore the offers aren't good enough for what Vancouver wants to do. Vancouver isn't going to do this deal if they don't get the right amount, or at least not at the draft.
And the other thing for the Canucks, like a lot of teams, they're trying to move up and get the first overall pick. Right now Panthers GM Dale Tallon has three legitimate offers, which is up from one. But don't confuse legitimate offers with a deal that he would absolutely make right now. Right now it's more likely he'll be using the first overall pick to make a selection than trading it.
Is Dan Boyle about to get a lot of legitimate offers?
Dreger: It was a brisk day in the Boyle camp, at least eight teams have made contact with Boyle's representatives, and many of those teams will meet with his representatives on Thursday and that of course includes the Maple Leafs.