The Blackhawks have expressed an interest in moving up from the eighth spot in Friday’s NHL Entry Draft, reports Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times. However, GM Stan Bowman admitted that given the uncertainty of who will be picked starting at the number three selection, teams thus far have been hesitant to move down. He also acknowledged that the team is “looking at our options” when it comes to possibly trading the contract of winger Marian Hossa. While his career is over, he isn’t filing his retirement papers yet so he remains on the salary cap. While Chicago can just put him back on LTIR for next season (and beyond), a team looking to stay at the cap floor while spending less in actual dollars may have some interest, similar to what Arizona did a couple of years ago with the additions of Pavel Datsyuk and Dave Bolland.
Elsewhere out West:
- The Golden Knights have not yet started contract discussions with pending RFA center William Karlsson, reports David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The Lady Byng winner is coming off of a career year where he tallied 43 goals and 35 assists; for perspective, his previous career-best in points was 25. Accordingly, he figures to be one of the more fascinating RFA cases in recent memory. Karlsson stated that his preference is to get a long-term deal done this summer.
- If the Canucks decide to move the seventh selection tomorrow night (something they are open to doing), they’re expected to covet a 20-23-year-old player in return, notes Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province. That player wouldn’t necessarily need to already be established in the NHL but it seems to be clear that they’re targeting that particular age bracket to line up with their younger core. If they decide to keep the pick, GM Jim Benning admitted that he’s leaning towards picking a defenseman.