Today is going to be fun. Halford and I are here in Philadelphia to cover the draft. We’ll be heading over to the rink in a couple of hours. In the meantime, a few thoughts...
--- Still no official salary cap number. But if you’re a fan of a team like the Bruins, you should be cheering for one as high as possible. It already seems like Jarome Iginla will have to move on from Boston...
Is there any way they could keep Iginla? Well, Johnny Boychuk is a name that Boston reporters have been throwing around as a trade chip Peter Chiarelli could play to clear cap space, with picks or prospects coming back. But a move like that probably won’t happen today...
Peter Chiarelli told the Bruins media they could come off "high alert" as he didn't anticipate pulling off any major deals this weekend— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) June 27, 2014
And if the cap number is lower than expected, the B’s might still have to trade a veteran like Boychuk, while also losing Iginla to free agency.
--- If Ryan Kesler and Jason Spezza are traded today -- and we’d be surprised if at least one wasn’t -- the pressure will really build on the teams that miss out. Anaheim, Chicago, and NY Rangers are among the many clubs that would like to add a top center. And even with Patrik Berglund signing an extension in St. Louis, the Blues may still try to add a play-maker at the position. Paul Stastny, Mikhail Grabovski, Dave Bolland, Olli Jokinen, David Legwand, Brad Richards, and Mike Santorelli are still unsigned and pending unrestricted free agents. July 1 is only a few days away.
--- Will there be a trade that takes everyone by surprise, like last year’s deal that sent Cory Schneider to New Jersey. Hopefully! On that note, the Detroit Red Wings are reportedly interested in Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers, who would fulfill their need for a right-shooting blue-liner, plus give them a former rookie of the year with, yes, a big contract, but also still a ton of potential. You have to think Mike Babcock would love a crack at coaching a talent like Myers, a 24-year-old that once looked like a future Norris Trophy winner, only to see his game and confidence degenerate in Buffalo.
--- There’s also the actual draft today. (Just in case anyone forgot, what with all the trade talk.) While there may not be the “wow” factor with this year’s group of draftees, it’s still going to be produce a star or two. Don’t forget that players like Shea Weber and Patrice Bergeron weren’t selected until the second round. Pavel Datsyuk didn’t go until the sixth round. It’s after the top prospects are taken that a team’s scouting department can really differentiate itself. Chicago and Los Angeles are proof of that.
Enjoy the day, everyone.