2010 NHL draft: Oilers willing to listen for trades, Bruins not so much

With the 2010 NHL draft coming our way next weekend, business is starting to pick up for the top two teams as far as trade discussions go and it’s fun to see the politicking that goes on as both the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins are handling things quite differently.

With the first pick in the draft, the Oilers are apparently all ears, you know, just in case someone gets anxious to get the right to pick Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall, at least TSN’s Darren Dreger has heard as much.

Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini says teams continue to call, inquiring about what it might take to convince Edmonton to trade the first overall pick in next week’s NHL Entry Draft.

Tambellini’s response remains the same; he says he’s not sure what it would take to move such a valuable asset, but he’s willing to listen and consider all offers.

I’m sure it’s just lip service, but having the general manager of a team say that he’s not sure what it would take to get the top pick in the draft away from him seems baffling. Then again, given how far out of the running for the playoffs the Oilers were last year and how they weren’t able to cast a spell on Dany Heatley to get him to come to Edmonton… Perhaps we shouldn’t be so shocked.

Then again, the Oilers have some dynamic youth on the way in the form of Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, ditching out on their choice of Seguin or Hall to get a more established playmaker (Ottawa’s Jason Spezza has been rumored) could be a franchise-defining move. Tread carefully, Tambellini.

As for the Bruins, general manager Peter Chiarelli is being a bit more obvious about his intentions regarding the Seguin/Hall debate as the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinozawa found out.

“I’m not moving it,” Chiarelli said of the No. 2 position. “We’re going to take one of those two forwards.”

That probably won’t stop teams from making phone calls to Chiarelli, but then again, the Bruins also have the 15th overall selection in the draft as well. Perhaps someone thinks they might be able to pry that away from Boston but for the Bruins, this is their big opportunity to add a couple of fantastic young pieces to a farm system that was starting to look bleak. With former Denver University standout Joe Colborne coming into the system as well as last year’s first round pick and the picks from this year’s draft coming soon, business is about to pick up youth-wise.

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    Goalie nods: Niemi expected for Stars against Penguins

    Antti Niemi, Jonathan Toews
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    Talk about getting thrown into the fire.

    Antti Niemi is expected to be the starting goalie tonight in Dallas when his Stars host Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Niemi has, not surprisingly, been given the assignment over Kari Lehtonen, the latter of whom struggled badly during the preseason, allowing 15 goals on 84 shots.

    Not that Niemi was razor sharp himself. He allowed eight goals on 65 shots, for a save percentage of .877.

    Considering the Stars have a combined $10.4 million in cap space tied up in those two veteran netminders, it’s no wonder the number-one question facing the club is whether the goaltending has indeed been fixed.

    We’ll start to find out tonight.

    Marc-Andre Fleury will undoubtedly be in goal for Pittsburgh, though that hasn’t been confirmed.


    Craig Anderson, the goalie the Senators decided to keep, versus Robin Lehner, the one they traded to the Sabres.

    Cam Ward will start for Carolina when the Hurricanes visit the Predators, who will obviously go with Pekka Rinne. The consensus is that Eddie Lack will eventually supplant Ward as Carolina’s starter, but that apparently hasn’t happened yet.

    Brian Elliott goes for the Blues versus Cam Talbot for the Oilers. Elliott was excellent in the preseason, stopping all but two of the 57 shots he faced, while Jake Allen allowed six goals on 60 shots.

    Steve Mason for the Flyers versus Ben Bishop for the Lightning.

    Ondrej Pavelec for Winnipeg versus Tuukka Rask for Boston.

    Devan Dubnyk likely for the Wild versus Semyon Varlamov for the Avs.

    Flyers want to prove doubters wrong

    Jakub Voracek, Claude Giroux
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    Jakub Voracek totally understands why nobody’s expecting much from the Philadelphia Flyers. When a team finishes 14 points out of the playoffs the year before, that’s typically going to be the case.

    “We weren’t good enough last year, let’s face it,” Voracek told CSN Philly. 

    So, no, it doesn’t upset him that the Flyers aren’t considered among the Stanley Cup favorites.

    That being said, “it makes you feel you want to prove them wrong.”

    The Flyers get going tonight with a tough game against the Lightning in Tampa Bay. They also play Saturday in Florida against the Panthers, before a rematch with the Panthers Monday in Philadelphia.

    “My biggest concern would be getting off to a good start,” GM Ron Hextall said. “That’s one thing that we need to do.”

    That’s something they didn’t do last year. In fact, they won just once in their first six games. By the end of November, they were 8-12-3 and in a big hole — one that proved too deep to climb out of.

    Related: Flyers to start season with seven defensemen