By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning's must-read hockey stories:
• Vincent Lecavalier met with several teams yesterday, and is scheduled to sit down with Detroit and Calgary today. His short list of preferred landing spots should be public some time this morning. My money's on the Wings. Detroit gives him a chance to compete and has a reputation for reviving the flagging fortunes of players in decline.
• George Johnson believes signing Lecavalier would be a step in the wrong direction for the Flames. Don't think he has to worry too much. Does anyone honestly think Vinny is signing up with a ground-floor rebuild?
• I thought I'd heard it all about likely first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon, but this was a new one on me.
• Sounds like the Flames are looking into starting next season in Saskatoon if the flood-damaged Saddledome isn't ready to go. Makes sense, in terms of arena size anyway, but Flames fans might prefer Red Deer.
• While everyone is focused on the first round, here's an AGM who says there will be some real beauties uncovered in rounds 4-7.
• Talks are continuing between the Penguins and Kris Letang's people, and GM Ray Shero says there's no deadline by which a deal has to be made. So if you were hoping for a splashy draft-day trade, you can take off the rain coat.
• GM Stan Bowman says the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks will undergo changes this summer .. .and some of those might happen today.
• Seven players from the legendary 2003 Draft class stepped immediately into the NHL the following season. There's a good chance this year's group could top that.
• Really? Mike Gillis is considering trading Cory Schneider to break up his goaltending log jam? This sounds like a leverage ploy to me.
• Tony Gallagher isn't buying it, either. Gillis has painted himself into a corner and floating this rumor is one way to get himself out.
• Stephen Harris has a postseason report card for the Boston Bruins. Tyler Seguin's final grade is eye-catching...but that's not the real reason he's reported to be up for grabs.
• With Jaromir Jagr and Nathan Horton heading to free agency and Seguin on the trade block, the Boston Bruins are in for a massive roster overhaul this summer. Peter Chiarelli has earned a rep as one of the league's smarter GMs. Let's see if he builds on that...or tears it down in one fell swoop.
• Steve Simmons forecasts a future filled with regret for Horton, among other topics, in this week's Sunday column.
• The Blue Jackets are in the market for a young, skill forward under contract, which means they're rumored to be in on the Seguin and David Perron talks. I could see them making something happen with the Bruins. Not sure they have what the Blues want--someone to jump start their offense in return.
• Trade or not, the Jackets should add a few bricks today.
• Willy Palov calls this the deepest crop of QMJHL talent in history. I'd listen to him if I were you.
• Larry Brooks touches on the chances of Rick DiPietro being bought out and speculates on the troubled ownership situation in New Jersey.
• As for the draft, he reminds us that Rangers fans might want to sit this one out.
• Sportsnet reminds us there are no throwaway picks in the NHL by profiling the success of several players selected last overall. Take heart, Nick Ebert!
• A couple years back, I wrote a piece suggesting that the legend of Detroit's scouting prowess was built on a few lucky guesses. That didn't sit too well with the vocal elements of that team's fan base. But hey, whaddya know? Turns out the match shows I might have been right for a change! Yes, I know what they say about a blind squirrel...
• Bill Roose introduces us to Detroit scout Joe McDonnell and six likely picks for the Red Wings. I know they'd like a forward, but I'm betting the BPA at 18 is going to be a defenseman.
• This might be the easiest day of the season for the hardest working men in hockey.
• An NHL player was robbed and assaulted at an ATM in Sweden. Sweden!
• The Sabres might have an eye on goalie Zach Fucale with their second pick in the first round at 16. That's nice. I don't think he drops that far.
• Even if Glendale city council and the prospective purchasers of the Coyotes can come to an agreement by Tuesday, , it won't bring about closure for the team's fans. An out clause after five years leaves that sword of Damocles hanging over their heads...and, conveniently, buys Seattle time to get that new arena built.
• Apparently hockey cards smell like heroin these days.
I always enjoyed the smell of that hard slab of pink bubblegum myself, but I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.