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The Rumour Mill

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 9:05 am
by AaronRStanley
Welcome to the newest corner of the WHL, the Rumour Mill. Here you'll find rumours from around the league, updated semi-frequently.

Pre-Draft Speculation

The San Jose Sharks are loaded with picks in the draft, having 8 first rounders. Four of those are in the top 20, and despite failing to secure a top 3 selection, are looking to draft well. But rumours out of the Shark tank say the team may look to move some of the later picks for prospects, in an effort to get the team performing better, and maybe save the GM his job.

Staying in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche hired a new GM after the surprise retirement of GM Eric Moore. The new management team is said to be aggressively shopping Carl Soderberg and Jiri Hudler, both big ticket items. Insiders say one of the teams' defensemen might also head to the trade block. The Avs are looking to make another push at the Cup, and spending to the cap has apparently been ok'd.

The Dallas Stars are said to be looking to improve, but for a team that has failed to make the postseason in consecutive seasons, amid lofty expectations, the future might be dark unless they can resolve a goaltending situation that is bleak. Neither Harri Sateri nor Kari Lehtonen were able to help drive the team into the playoffs in the weaker Western Conference. Could one or both be available to another team if the Stars look to upgrade their goaltending? Or will the team look to improve from within?

The Chicago Blackhawks moving Nikita Nesterov and Carl Dahlstrom were parts of many moves the team has made. The core of the team remains intact, but much has changed from their Stanley Cup years. GM Mariusz Nowak has kept the team competitive, but very close to the salary cap. Don't expect the Blackhawks to make a big splash in free agency, but there are whispers the team intends on making smart moves where possible to reduce salary load.

Over the East now, where things are fast and furious.

The Toronto Maple Leafs made moves, acquiring talented young winger Vincent Trocheck. GM JJ Doan is hopeful the move will help drive a very different Maple Leafs team forward, and closer to the playoffs in a highly competitive East. The Maple Leafs are reportedly shopping young defensemen Scott Harrington and Stuart Percy.

In the city of brotherly love, where people punch each other out because it's cold outside, the Philadelphia Flyers are said to be trying to put an end to the Milan Lucic era. The lumbering winger has worn five sweaters in three seasons, and GM Aaron Stanley, interested in keeping his job, is looking to move the former King/Bruin/Blue Jacket/Panther forward, and is said to be interested in upgrading a suddenly thin blueline, and help the forward group. Chris Wideman, recently picked up from Buffalo, is said to not be interested at all in signing with the team. Will the talented blueliner make it to free agency?

Sticking with Philadelphia, the team is loaded with cap space, with only the New Jersey Devils having more. But will the patient New Jersey Devil step forward July 1? Rumour has it that unless a trade is made where the Flyers address some of their needs, they will look to flex their financial muscle. But will a comparatively weak FA class have what the Flyers need?

Re: The Rumour Mill

Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 10:36 pm
by AaronRStanley
Pre-Draft Rumour Mill, Redux

Welcome readers (both of you) to the Rumour Mill, where we give you the rundown on rumours flying around the WHL faster than Jets.

Starting in the East this time, the Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to boost an offense that produced a finish barely above their inaugural season under GM JJ Doan. The franchise is saying all the right things, but sources close to the GM claim that the number 7 pick might be in play. Insiders are split on what the team is going to do with veteran winger Mike Cammellari. He's a capable player, but many feel he is overpaid, and is a potential buyout candidate. GM Doan is said to be shopping him hard.

Word out of the Philadelphia Flyers organization is that a deal for Milan Lucic is imminent. Expect to see the hulking winger moved for help on the blueline, plus future picks. The Flyers are looking to stay competitive, but open themselves up to run the table in FA on any target they want. Look for them to shore up any holes they have.

The Columbus Blue Jackets claimed Steve Mason on waivers. Word is the Jackets are going to attempt to resign the veteran goalie, formerly of the Blue Jackets, as a backup and insurance policy on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who is healthy as a horse, but gave up more goals on the season than GM Liam Rooney is said to be happy with. Don't look for the Jackets to do much at the draft, as they do not have a selection until the fifth round.

Over in the Western Conference

The Winnipeg Jets are said to be looking for talent up front. Word is they kicked tires on Lucic, but are a bit gunshy on expensive power forwards, with Andrew Ladd's departure being publicly civil, but privately, very disruptive to the Jets season, and they made the playoffs, in the 8th seed. With a new GM, look for the Jets to try to be more competitive, which will require some bold moves from GM Eric Dyck. The Jets are said to be contemplating moving the 15th overall pick.

In the south, the Dallas Stars are said to be looking to get bigger and better up front, potentially adding another scoring winger. Word is, moving Jamie Benn, while good for the franchise in the long wrong, is now considered a potential misstep, if the Stars fail to climb up the standings.