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The NHL Entry Draft is only one week away! We are going to host a live chat on DobberHockey with all of your favourite writers! I expect a lot of trades this year.
Elliotte Friedman's thoughts on the Halak trade. "This is the money quote from Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier: “When we discuss players, we discuss what they are going to do in the future. … We made this decision based on our projections, and we’re very comfortable with [Price] as the future.”This confirms what Halak suspected for years – no matter how well he did, the organization always swooned over Price’s physical gifts and potential. It’s why he didn’t fully trust the Canadiens and, while disappointed, probably isn’t surprised."
Ian Schultz will probably join former WHL teammate Ryan White in Hamilton.
Per Michael Russo, the Wild had offered Josh Harding to St. Louis. They also tried to trade for Lars Eller (I assume in the same deal), but were denied by the Blues. The Wild are trying hard to move Harding, but the goalie market is dead right now. I could see Tampa Bay taking a chance on him. Maybe San Jose if they decide to let Evgeni Nabokov walk.
The Avs shipped out TJ Hensick yesterday to the Blues. In return, they received Julian Talbot, an undrafted minor league forward with little NHL upside. Hensick had no future in Colorado, but it doesn't get any easier for him in St. Louis, a club with a ton of talented young forwards. Hensick had 70 points in only 58 AHL contests in 2009-10. There was a rumour circulating a few days ago that Hensick had/was close to signing with an unnamed SEL team – I guess you can put the kibosh on that for now.
Hensick one again won't be the only TJ on his team (Galiardi on Colorado, and now Oshie on St. Louis). I get paid the big bucks to come up with this stuff!
Colorado also signed a few of their RFA's, including Kevin Porter. Porter had two goals in 16 games after the deadline day trade from Phoenix. He projects as more of a third line energy player at the NHL level.
Pavel Valentenko is coming back to North America. He was drafted by Montreal but is now Rangers property, as he was involved in the Scott Gomez deal last summer. He had 16 points in 57 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs back in 2007-08. The Rangers are knee-deep in young defensemen, so expect Valentenko to be AHL bound.
The Coyotes re-signed defenseman Adrian Aucoin to a two-year contract yesterday. He won them a ton of games in the shootout last season (I believe six, but that is just off the top of my head). He is a great veteran to build around, and has been a positive influence on Keith Yandle. He can still hammer the puck, too. Aucoin's new deal will pay him an average of $2 million in each of the next two seasons.