Before the hype for teenagers and future stars on Friday and Saturday, the NHL will offer pomp for the established ones with the annual awards on Wednesday. But the backdrop to all of it will be trade, trade and still more trade speculation.
Leading the way is the restart of the Rick Nash Sweepstakes, with several teams reportedly interested in the sniping ability behind the $7.8 million cap hit, but the Rangers treated as the entitled team as long as they don't have to give up anything of value.
In far, far less sourced scuttlebutt -- but the kind we'll see more of as teams jockey for the draft and free agency and agents jockey for leverage -- comes a suggestion that Evander Kane, an RFA, doesn't want to negotiate a new deal with the Jets. [Jets fan discuss that rumor at Arctic Ice Hockey.]
- Here is the full draft order.
- Here's a great feature on ninth-rounders who made it big, including three Islanders (and two-thirds of their top line last season). [FanShot]
- And here is nhl.com's picks for the best-ever at 1 to 30 -- obviously featuring some Islanders greats (as well as, in the "worst ever," some Islanders busts).
- Speculation on the Oilers' decision with the #1 pick will not stop.
- Scott Howson also says he's heard offers for Columbus' #2 pick.
- Newsday on the trade market entering the draft.
- On the other Stepan, expected to go in this year's second round.
- Top 10 NCAA prospects, according to HF.
Outside of the Draft
- If you're following along, no surprise that the latest proposal for Willets Point does not include a gold-plated arena for the Islanders.
- Our Spring 2012 Top 25 Islanders Under 25 continues up to #6. The remaining five are obviously NHL regulars.
- Join the junior Islanders -- no ELC required!
- Would anyone be surprised if Stephane Auger's retirement at age 41 was not fully voluntary?
Dustin Penner says he'd like to remain a King and will take a pay cut to do so.
- In that earlier Nash sweepstakes link is also a lot of talk about John Davidson, who had a window to seek a new job after the Blues ownership was transferred.
The Davidson speculation comes after former owner Dave Checketts, as he is wont to do, gave Davidson a pretty fat contract extension (reported 3 years, as much as $2 million per year) even though Checketts wasn't going to own the team any longer. The new ownership, seeing the Blues' well-staffed management, would reasonably question whether that contract is a good investment -- imagine that money going out the door to a close friend of the out-going owner when you already have a GM and other hockey personnel executives. But it's a contract, so ...
Hope all you dads had a grand Father's Day, whether it was marked by a well-intended but poorly cooked breakfast or just some peace and quiet and a beverage.