2010 NHL Draft: Panthers may be taking Gudbranson third overall

While a lot of the talk surrounding Friday’s NHL Draft surrounds the Tyler Seguin/Taylor Hall debate for who will go to the Edmonton Oilers and Boston Bruins, it’s looking like the Florida Panthers, picking third, have zeroed in on who they’re looking to take in the third spot. George Richards from On Frozen Pond fills us in.

A few signs on Friday pointed to Gudbranson being Florida’s choice at No. 3 – with two general managers within the Panthers division saying they are penciling him in as Florida’s selection.

Not only is Gudbranson a physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds who plays a tough brand of hockey. But Gudbranson is also a good looking, well spoken player the team will be able to market to South Florida.

Gudbranson is a beast of a specimen as far as things go and other writers have taken notice of him as well, like Islanders Point Blank’s Chris Botta sharing a couple of nice quotes from the soon-to-be first round pick.
On his trip to Long Island: “Everyone lays on the (car) horn pretty good,” he said with a smile, adding that he loved his visit with Garth Snow and to the Coliseum. “You walk in the arena, people say it’s a dump, but you see all the banners and see all the history. I was really blown away by that. That had an effect on me.”
If he’s blown away by the facilities in Nassau County, then the arena in Sunrise, Florida as well as Miami’s South Beach should really knock him on his rear end when/if the Panthers take him. In fact, I hope the Panthers were smart enough to take him the long way to the arena for a visit, the kind that shows off the beaches a lot.

After all, showing off a 14 year-old Eastern Conference championship banner kind of loses its luster after a while, especially when the guys being drafted this year were four years-old when the Panthers were last that deep into the playoffs in 1996. There, now I feel sufficiently far too old now.

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    Royal pain: Kings’ Greene to have shoulder surgery, out indefinitely

    Jiri Hudler, Matt Greene
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    The Los Angeles Kings lost one of their most veteran defensemen on Tuesday, as the club announced Matt Greene would be out indefinitely following shoulder surgery.

    Greene, 32, had only appeared in three games this season, missing extensive time with the ailment. He had recently resumed skating with teammates and looked to be on the way back to a return, but never got to the point where he was participating in drills, or taking contact.

    With Greene out of the lineup, the Kings have primarily gone with a six-man defensive unit of Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, Christian Ehrhoff, Jamie McBain and Brayden McNabb. Derek Forbort and Jeff Schultz have also been in the mix, but sparingly.

    If Greene misses extensive time, L.A. could be in the market for a defenseman come trade deadline day, like they were last year before acquiring Andrej Sekera from Carolina. Greene is one of the most playoff-tested players on the L.A. roster, with 79 games and two Stanley Cups on his resume (and another Stanley Cup Final, with Edmonton in 2006).

    Looks like the Canucks will have an interesting lineup tonight

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    The Vancouver Canucks got banged up last night in Anaheim. As a result, it looks like they’ll have an interesting lineup tonight in Los Angeles.

    Coach Willie Desjardins confirmed this morning that wingers Chris Higgins and Jake Virtanen were hurt and wouldn’t dress against the Kings.

    In game-day line rushes, AHL callup Andrey Pedan, a defenseman, was skating on the wing with Jared McCann and Radim Vrbata.

    But hold on, that doesn’t necessarily mean Pedan will make his NHL debut tonight. This morning, the Canucks announced they’d called up d-man Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Theoretically, inserting Biega could allow the offensively inclined Yannick Weber to move up to forward. Biega and Weber both shoot right. Pedan shoots left.

    But wait, there exists another possibility — that both Pedan and Biega could play. That will depend on Chris Tanev‘s status. He got banged up yesterday as well, though he was able to skate this morning.

    Confused? It’s OK. So is everyone.

    As an aside, the Canucks not only got banged up last night, they also got pushed around and embarrassed in a 4-0 loss to the Ducks.

    On that note, here’s what Pedan did to Jarred Tinordi in a Utica-Hamilton game last season:

    Francis, Kurri, McKenzie named to Hockey Hall of Fame committee

    Ron Francis
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    The Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee added some big names on Tuesday — most notably, a pair of Hockey Hall of Famers.

    Ron Francis (inducted in 2007) and Jarri Kurri (2001) have been appointed to the committee, the Hall announced. Longtime hockey scribe and hockey insider Bob McKenzie was also named; together, he and Francis and Kurri will replace an outgoing trio of Lanny McDonald, Mike Emrick and Peter Stastny.

    Francis currently serves as the GM in Carolina while Kurri holds the same title with Jokerit of the KHL.

    More, from NHL.com:

    McDonald resigned his spot on the committee to become chairman, while the terms of Stastny and Emrick expired.

    The Hall also announced Eric Duhatschek, Michael Farber and Bill Torrey were reappointed to the selection committee for a further three-year term.

    The next big meeting for the new members of the selection committee comes in late June, when everyone gathers to consider candidates for the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame.

    The announcement for new inductees will be made on June 27. As we’ve written about in the past, the list of first-time eligible entrants isn’t exactly overwhelming, so this could be the year some “passed over” candidates get in.

    Among those in that category? Eric Lindros, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi and Jeremy Roenick, to name a few.

    Related: Poll: Who should be in the 2016 Hockey Hall of Fame?

    Suter admits to ‘saying stuff I probably shouldn’t have said’

    Ryan Suter

    For the Minnesota Wild, today was a day for damage control.

    Try to act surprised, OK?

    “We’re obviously on the same page,” defenseman Ryan Suter told the Star Tribune. “It’s a story that shouldn’t even be a story. I think the heat of the practice yesterday, I was just saying stuff I probably shouldn’t have said.”

    In case you missed it, what Suter said was that he shouldn’t be playing with a left-shot defenseman like Jonas Brodin.

    “I don’t know what [the coaches are] thinking,” said Suter.

    But in addition to that — and this was the really eye-opening stuff — Suter effectively questioned how head head coach Mike Yeo was reacting…

    …to the latest bit of adversity the Wild were facing.

    “Now’s when you need leadership more than ever,” said Suter. “It’s easy to be a coach and a leader when things are going good.”

    The Star Tribune has more on what everyone was saying today, so be sure to click on the story.

    Yeo, predictably, downplayed Suter’s remarks, chalking them up to a “guy that when you ask him to do something, he might tell you his opinions, but nobody will go out there and do it better than him.”

    The Wild take on the Blackhawks tonight at United Center (on NBCSN).

    Oh, and Suter will, indeed, skate with Brodin against the defending champs. Those two have only been together a bit this season, but they were a frequent pairing last season.

    Expected pairings (shoots)
    Ryan Suter (L) – Jonas Brodin (L)
    Marco Scandella (L) – Jared Spurgeon (R)
    Nate Prosser (R) – Matt Dumba (R)

    P.S. — This is why the Wild were hoping for better things from young Dumba.