Friday June 27th, 2014

• Could trades steal the draft day spotlight away from the kids? A flock of new general managers could slow the action down as caution and a lack of established relationships between them lead the newbies to play their cards carefully.

• The signing of Patrik Berglund could kick off a momentous week for the St. Louis Blues. A trade, or two, could be on the horizon as they look to increase the potency of their offense.

• Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon says he's received two concrete trade offers for the first overall pick, including one he described as going "above and beyond what's fair." So, will he pull the trigger or not?

• Whaddya know? Sam Bennett can do a pull-up after all.

• You don't hear many players come right out and say which team they want to be drafted by, but Dylan Larkin breaks the "happy to play for anybody" mold.

• Eric Duhatschek says it's harder to strike out at the top end of the draft these days and he has an idea why that's the case.

 Former Vancouver enforcer Gino Odjick measures the remainder of his life in weeks, not years after being diagnosed with a rare heart condition. This is pure heartbreak from Ed Willes. Odjick penned this open letter to Canucks fans to share some insight into what he's going through.

• While your eyes are misty you may as well move on to the story of Evan Frustaglio, a '96 whose name won't be called tonight in Philadelphia. Very nice work here by James Duthie.

• The top prospects were asked some pretty bizarre questions in the process of being vetted by potential employers. I'd love to know the right way to answer "Would you rather have a poem or a gun?"

• Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel are the most anticipated players for the 2015 Draft, but they're not the only potential superstars in that top-heavy draft class.

• The hiring of Joe McDonnell last spring didn't generate a lot of buzz outside of the hockey beltway, but it may have dramatically changed the future of two franchises.

• Martin Brodeur still says "we" when talking about the Devils, but he knows his time is up in New Jersey. He expects to have a better sense of where he'll finish his Hall of Fame career next weekCould Toronto be a viable option?

• The Washington Capitals have finished remodeling their front office and coaching staff. Now the attention turns to the product on the ice.

• Ryan Kesler is the best player up for grabs ahead of tonight's NHL draft. Will the Canucks break with history and trade him when the iron is hottest? This is new GM Jim Benning's chance to prove that he really is different than the guy who used to sit in his chair.

• As many as 15 teams are in on the Paul Stastny sweepstakes, but they'll have to ante up if they're serious. He won't take anything less than $6.6 million per year, a pretty hefty check for a player who is unlikely to dress on anyone's top line.

• Jarome Iginla promised to keep the Bruins "in the loop," but the veteran winger is exploring the market to see what interest might be out there. The B's were going to be hard pressed to fit Iggy in under the cap. If there are serious offers out there--i.e., ones that offer more than a single-year commitment--he's likely a one-and-done in Boston.

• Looks like Evander Kane would be in favor of a trade to the Philadelphia Flyers. Honestly, what is this kid thinking? His GM might be willing to accommodate him, but he's not about to give away the gifted winger.

• Remember this the next time the NHL cries poor: 2013-14 was another record-breaking season for revenue.

• Well, this is fascinating...but a little too late to help teams like Dallas, Boston, Ottawa, Detroit and Carolina.

• These are Hockey Canada's new jerseys for the organization's 100th anniversary season. Surely I'm not the only one who thinks they're terrible.

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