Early Draft Day Stories
Three stories to watch in the early going on Friday as NHL teams ready for the draft:
1. Possible move of Ryan Smyth. L.A. general manager Dean Lombardi confirmed Thursday on a conference call to discuss the Mike Richards trade that the 35-year-old Smyth has asked for a trade. But what can you get for a player who had 23 goals last year and comes with a monstrous cap hit of $6.2 million in the last year of his contract before unrestricted free agency.
Not much is the answer, although you never know what some team might cough up Either the Kings get little or they'd have to take back an ugly contract. Say, for example, they were willing to accept Sheldon Souray from the Oilers. Worth watching today, and if L.A. can move the Smyth contract, it would position them to take a shot at Brad Richards on July 1st.
Can you imagine an L.A. team down the middle with Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Brad Richards? Wow.
2. It's believed Robyn Regehr will decide today on whether he'll accept a trade to Buffalo and waive his no-trade clause. If he doesn't, Calgary GM Jay Feaster may have to make another move.
3. Naming of the Winnipeg franchise. Doesn't it just make sense to unveil that today before the draft or when the new team makes it's first round pick? They've got players, a GM, a head coach - isn't it about time they deliver on the name?