74° Good Afternoon
74° Good Afternoon

NHL Draft day one wrap-up

There were a few major trades, but the Islanders and Rangers did not take part on Friday night. They simply made their picks at No. 5 and 15, both going for forwards.

-- Ryan Strome wants to be part of the growth process on Long Island. His junior coach described him to me before the draft as "kind of a hockey nerd," and his summer workout pal John Tavares chuckled when I told him that last night at the Isles draft party.

"Yeah, that's a good call," Tavares said. "I'm pumped about him coming here. He's going to be a great playmaker for us down the road."

-- The Rangers had offers to move down from 15, but VP of personnel Gordie Clark stuck to his guns and went with J.T. Miller, a young man who likens his own game to that of diminutive but talented Penguins center Chris Kunitz.

I got a few "what a mistake" tweets from folks last night, but I think I'll defer to Clark, who has overseen the last four drafts and made these first-round picks: Michael Del Zotto (No. 20, 2008), Chris Kreider (No. 19, 2009) and Dylan McIlrath (No. 10, 2010). The Rangers are pretty high on all three of those guys.

-- Now, the deals. The two whoppers last night were the Sharks sending 30-goal scorer Devin Setoguchi, college prospect Charlie Coyne and the No. 28 pick last night to the Wild for defenseman Brent Burns and a second-rounder. The Wild were looking to move Burns, who has one year left on his deal; Setoguchi just signed a three-year, $9-million deal on Thursday.

The Sharks wanted a big puck-mover on defense, and now they won't have to overspend in free agency; the Wild could use some dynamic scorers, so Setoguchi will help there. A decent deal for both sides, though the Sharks may win out since they're already a contender.

-- The Panthers took on Brian Campbell's $7.14-million cap hit, sending Rostislav Olesz to the Hawks. Florida GM Dale Tallon was the one who signed Campbell to the eight-year, $57-million contract in Chicago that helped put the Hawks into cap trouble in the first place; the Panthers came into the draft needing to add $31-million of salary just to get to the 2011-12 cap floor, so this deal makes sense from that angle, but Campbell is not the anchor for a thin defense.

The Hawks, with that deal and one that sent RFA Troy Brouwer to the Caps for the 26th pick last night -- Chicago took two a pair of Canadian junior forwards, Mark McNeill and Phillip Danault, with the 18th and 26th picks -- now have some cap room to breathe and sign Patrick Sharp to an extension.

-- Robyn Regehr has reportedly waived his no-trade clause to go from the Flames to the Sabres, along with former Ranger Ales Kotalik, for a couple of young players and a draft pick, though it's not official as of yet. The Flames were the most cap-strapped team in the league after the Flyers made their purge on Thursday, so this proposed move gets $7-million off their cap and allows them to try and keep remaking their very mediocre roster.

Still can't believe Kotalik has a year and $3-million left on that horrific deal Glen Sather signed him to.


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