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

6/24/2014 10:05:39 AM

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, provides the latest rumours, reports and speculation from around the NHL beat.

Duck Calling

With several marquee centres available via trade and expected to be available via free agency, the Anaheim Ducks could be primed to be big players in the coming days.

According to The Orange County Register, the Ducks could be in on any number of big name middle-men on both markets.

With two first-rounders - 10th and 24th overall in Friday's draft courtesy of the Bobby Ryan trade - and a host of young roster talent, the Register's Eric Stephens identifies Ryan Kesler, Jason Spezza, Paul Stastny, Eric Staal and even California rival Joe Thornton as possible targets for the Ducks.

Out for Number 1?

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger appeared on TSN 1050's Mike Richards in the Morning on Tuesday and stated that the Florida Panthers are still taking calls on the first overall pick in Friday's draft.

Dreger said that all reports at this point indicate that the number one pick is definitely in play and that Panthers GM Dale Tallon has indicated that the team would n0t be willing to go below eighth overall on the draft board.

It is worth noting that the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Toronto Maple Leafs all fit within that range.

Plan B's

The Boston Bruins are planning for the off-season under two possible scenarios: with or without Jarome Iginla.

According to the Boston Herald, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is weighing out his options in both scenarios.

While the team would love to bring him back, his 30 goal-season will make him an expensive option to retain and the team is also penalized by the bonuses he earned last season (upwards of $4 million) that will be taken out of this season's cap.

"There will be hard choices, but it may be that we don't make hard choices and we keep as many people as we can and we go into the year and maybe we do make those hard choices as the year progresses," Chiarelli told the Herald. "It may be that all these things happen at training camp, it may be that all these things happen in November. . . . I think a lot of people think that these hard choices get made July 1. Choices do get made July 1, it may be that we can't sign Jarome, it may be that we go in a different direction, it may be that we can't sign Player X or Player Y."

On the Wing

After dealing Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets, new Philadelphia Flyers GM Ron Hextall will be on the lookout for options at left wing.'s Sam Carchidi speculates that Hextall will look to fill that vacancy via free agency.

Candidates floated to fill out the forward ranks include free agents Mike Cammalleri, Matt Moulson, Benoit Pouliot or Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mason Raymond.

Hextall wouldn't close the door on more deals, though, telling Carchidi: "We'll keep our ear to the phone and see what's out there."