Tons more NHL Draft Day Rumors – June 25, 2010

1. More Bruins-Oilers talk expected

2. Blues want to make a deal for Keith Ballard?

3. More Stuff from The Panthers at the NHL Draft

4. Clubs not lining up to acquire Spezza

5. Sources: Flyers Inquire About Boston Goalie Thomas

More Bruins-Oilers talk expected

GM Peter Chiarelli remains adamant that he will not move tomorrow’s No. 2 pick. However, Chiarelli said he’ll continue to talk to Edmonton counterpart Steve Tambellini regarding a trade that would allow the Bruins to choose between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin.

In such a scenario, the Oilers would keep the No. 1 pick and the Bruins would remain at No. 2. But Edmonton would receive assets in exchange for letting the Bruins pick between the two. Chiarelli repeated that the gap between Hall and Seguin is so tight that it may not be worth giving up players, prospects, or picks for the right to select one over the other.

“I’m not in a position right now, based on how big I feel and how big our group feels the gap is,” Chiarelli said of making a deal. “I’m not in a position right now. I don’t know if I ever will be, to go to Edmonton and say, ‘Here’s this, this, this, and this, let us take our guy.’ I think those players are so good at that 1-2 that it’s not worth, to me, to go and give something where I think I could get something somewhere else.”

Blues want to make a deal for Keith Ballard?

**Word is the St. Louis Blues are interested in trading for Keith Ballard. I’m hearing center Patrik Berglund would potentially be available in return. Berglund is coming off a down year, but he’s young and at 6-4, 210, he fits the billing of a big center that GM Dale Tallon likes. Whether it’s Ballard or someone else, Tallon is looking to unload a defenseman.

***Tallon said today that no other Panthers player besides Nathan Horton has requested a trade or expressed discontent. Unlike Horton, who was traded Tuesday, the rest want to be here, he said.

***Keep your eyes out for Minnesota high school center Nick Bjugstad. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers take him at No. 15 – or trade down, as I expect they will do to ac*****ulate more picks, and then take him lower in the first round.

Panthers scouting director Scott Luce called Bjugstad one of the biggest surprises at the combine in Toronto last month as Bjugstad dominated in physical testing. He’s 6-4, 188 pounds and had 29 goals and 31 points in 25 games this past season and won Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey Award.

More Stuff from The Panthers at the NHL Draft

— Dale Tallon says he’s going to work on hiring an assistant GM, a director of player personnel and assistant coach for the Panthers after the draft.

He says he has been looking around for Florida’s second assistant, but will know who is out there after contracts expire and such on June 30.

I then asked if that meant Mike Kitchen was officially out. Tallon said no. But it sure sounds like it.

Also, don’t expect former GM Randy Sexton to be offered the assistant GM gig.

— Tallon says don’t expect the Panthers to get one of the top two picks. Well, if he couldn’t get the No. 2 out of Boston in a Nathan Horton deal, I don’t know what he has left to give them to get it now.

Edmonton is not trading the No. 1 pick, especially to a Panthers team with little to offer. The Panthers could make a deal with the Oilers for the 15. The Penguins could also have a deal working for that selection.

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Clubs not lining up to acquire Spezza

Like him or hate him, Ottawa Senators fans should be prepared to welcome Jason Spezza back next season.

As much as general manager Bryan Murray tossed out his name in trade talks in recent weeks, the response around the NHL was luke warm, to say the least. While Murray could make a deal or two involving draft picks here today and Saturday at the NHL draft, don’t hold your breath waiting for a blockbuster involving his star centre.

“There’s nothing going on with Jason,” Murray said Thursday. “There has been very little in the way of any conversations with other teams, at any rate. And this got bigger than it should have. (A trade) is a non-existent thing at this point. I’m not trying to trade him. I thought maybe a team or two would call and inquire. I’ve had a couple of teams call me and that’s it.”

After Montreal re-signed Tomas Plekanec and San Jose secured Patrick Marleau this week, the market for star unrestricted free agent centres has dwindled considerably, but it apparently hasn’t sparked any more interest in Spezza.

Sources: Flyers Inquire About Boston Goalie Thomas

Goalie Tim Thomas is 36 years old and would cost $5 million a year in cap space, “if” someone decided to make a trade with Boston.

Sources at the Board of Governors confirmed on Thursday that Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren and Boston’s Peter Chiarelli have spoken about the netminder, who has three years left on his contract and has been replaced as a starter by Tuukka Rask.

Chiarelli is trying hard to unload Thomas and has spoken to a number of clubs. Neither Holmgren nor Chiarelli would comment.

Flyers’ sources say, however, they consider Thomas “too expensive,” despite his 2.56 goals-against average and .915 save percentage in 43 games last season.

Outside sources say, however, the Flyers are willing to move two players “if” they decide to go the Thomas route and “if” it’s the right players to move. Those sources added the only untouchable Flyers are Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

That said, these sources have the impression that, in the end, the Flyers may end up re-signing Michael Leighton.

There were rumors here this week that the Flyers and Los Angeles have talked about acquiring one of two goalies: Jonathan Quick or Jonathan Bernier. The Kings want Carter, but again, the Flyers won’t offer him.

Earlier on Thursday, sources said the Flyers were not close on reaching an agreement with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defenseman Dan Hamhuis, who they traded for over the weekend.

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