Ryan Dadoun

Phil Kessel

What noteworthy players might get moved at the draft?

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June 26th is the day that Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel will finally be drafted, but that’s not all that will happen. Each year there are typically some major trades made just before or during the draft. In that spirit, here are some of the popular candidates to be moved this time around:

Phil Kessel — Toronto is looking to go in a new direction and it seems likely that will involve Kessel finding a new home. The big question though is if Toronto can get what it would consider fair value for him. Toronto is reportedly willing to take on a contract to make his $8 million cap hit through 2021-22 more palatable, but it would still be difficult for many contending teams to take him on. At the same time, Kessel has five 30-plus goal seasons under his belt and has reached the 80-point mark on two occasions. He doesn’t have much playoff experience, but he has scored 13 goals and 21 points in 23 postseason games.

Patrick Sharp — Chicago has had to part ways with a lot of talented players over the last several years in order to stay under the cap. The Blackhawks once again have cap issues after winning its third Stanley Cup in six years. They might be able to address it without moving Sharp, but he’ll be 34 years old in December and he has two more years with a $5.9 million cap hit, so now might be the time to move him from a value perspective. Speaking of which:

It would be surprising to see Chicago get that, but this might also be a case of the Blackhawks starting the bidding high so they have something to work down from.

Cam Talbot — In two seasons with the Rangers, Talbot has a 2.00 GAA and .931 save percentage in 51 games. That’s made him the ideal understudy, but it also means that the Rangers aren’t likely to retain his services when he becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2016. With that in mind, it would make sense for New York to move him now, especially seeing as there’s reportedly considerable interest in him. As Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman noted, Talbot isn’t eligible to sign an extension until Jan. 1, 2016, which means any team acquiring him will have an increased risk of watching him walk as a free agent. That might hurt the Rangers’ return a bit.

Kyle Okposo — He is a recent addition to the rumor mill as Newsday’s sources said that he could be on the trading block. Okposo only has a year left on his contract and while he currently comes with an affordable $2.8 million cap hit, he’s due for a big raise after recording 120 points in 131 games over the last two seasons. Still the Islanders have cap space to spare and they’re only now emerging as serious contenders, so it would be surprising to see them turn around and trade Okposo this summer. He certainly wouldn’t be the first player moved to catch people off guard though.

Craig Anderson/Robin Lehner — When the Ottawa Senators decided to sign Andrew Hammond to a three-year extension, it all-but guaranteed that they would move a goaltender this summer. The only question is which one. Lehner is just 23 years old (24 in July) and is locked in for two more years at roughly $2.2 million. That would be a pretty good deal if he lived up to his potential, but he’s had a rough couple of years. Anderson was the better netminder in 2014-15, but the fact that he’s 34 years old and still has three years left on his contract at $4.2 million per might give other general managers pause.

This shouldn’t be taken as a complete list, just a sampling of some of the more interesting cases.

Report: GMs, players want overtime changes, but disagree on specifics

Ryan O'Reilly, Ondrej Pavelec
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It might not be long before the overtime format is significantly different, but what those changes will be is still up in the air, according to Sportsnet.

The general managers reportedly favor adopting the model that the AHL employed last year. In that league the overtime period is seven minutes long, with the first three minutes featuring 4-on-4 play. If there’s no winner at that point then the whistle is blown and the remainder of the extra period is play 3-on-3.

The NHLPA has expressed concerns about that format in the past as they believe it would put “more wear and tear” on the players. Their solution appears to be to support a five minute overtime that’s 3-on-3 from start to finish.

It’s worth noting that either format is likely to reduce the number of games that end in shootouts. Among AHL games that reached overtime in 2014-15, there was a 40% drop in shootouts compared to the previous year as of March 13, per the Associated Press.

Rangers RFA Klingberg heads to KHL

Carl Klingberg
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Carl Klingberg announced today that he will begin “a great adventure” with Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod of the Kontinental Hockey League.

The move, which confirms an earlier report by Igor Eronko, means that the Rangers have lost the only asset they acquired in the Lee Stempniak trade with the Winnipeg Jets back in March. Klingberg was a restricted free agent this summer after completing his one-year, two-way contract that came with a $650K cap hit at the NHL level.

The 24-year-old forward had 17 goals, 41 points, and 45 penalty minutes in 64 AHL games in 2014-15. He also has a goal in 12 career NHL contests.

The then Atlanta Thrashers selected him with the 34th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

His younger brother is defenseman John Klingberg, who enjoyed a breakout 40-point campaign in 2014-15.

Report: Nonis to join Ducks as senior advisor

Dave Nonis
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After being dismissed by the Toronto Maple Leafs in April, former general manager Dave Nonis might be headed back to the Anaheim Ducks as a senior advisor, according to the Vancouver Sun.

Nonis previously served as a senior advisor with the Ducks before joining the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 7, 2008 to become the franchise’s senior vice president of hockey operations. He was elevated to the post of general manager in 2013, replacing Brian Burke.

In the roughly year long gap between Nonis’ promotion and Brendan Shanahan being brought as team president, Nonis handed out big contracts to Phil Kessel (eight-years, $64 million), Dion Phaneuf (seven-years, $49 million), Tyler Bozak (five-years, $21 million), Joffrey Lupul (five-years, $26.25 million), and David Clarkson (seven-years, $36.75 million).

During that stretch Nonis was also responsible for acquiring goaltender Jonathan Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin, and a second round pick.

If he does indeed return to Anaheim, Nonis will be working under Ducks GM Bob Murray. In addition to Murray being around during his previous stint with the Ducks, the two also worked together in Vancouver.

Calgary locks up RFA Mikael Backlund

Mikael Backlund
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The Flames announced that they have signed Mikael Backlund to an extension.

Calgary didn’t provide didn’t provide contract details, but it’s reportedly a three-year deal worth roughly $10.7 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Roger Millions.

He would have become a restricted free agent this summer after completing his two-year, $3 million contract. By inking him to a three-year deal, Calgary has also gotten his first two seasons of UFA eligibility.

The 26-year-old center is coming off of a trying campaign as he missed roughly two months due to an abdominal injury that required surgery. When he was healthy he recorded 10 goals and 27 points in 52 contests. He also averaged 17:44 minutes per game, including time in both power play and shorthanded situations.

Since being taken with the 24th overall pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, he has scored 51 goals and 128 points in 298 career NHL games.

The Flames still have a number of restricted free agents to deal with this summer, including Lance Bouma and Paul Byron.