Avalanche to pass on Jones … Little chance of Letang in Colorado … Wild trade and buyout rumors
  • Adrian Dater of the Denver Post:The Avalanche will pass on Seth Jones and draft one of the top three forwards: Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin or Aleksander Barkov.

    “If we do pick first, we’re leaning more toward one of those three forwards,” Avalanche executive vice president of hockey operations Joe Sakic told The Denver Post.

    “We feel those three forwards are just too good to pass up,” Sakic said.

    The Avalanche could look to the free agent or trade market to address their defensive issues.

  • Adrian Dater: There is no chance of the Avalanche trading for defenseman Kris Letang if he’s after $7 million a year.
  • Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Trade talk around the league is picking up. Several teams will need to shed some salary. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher:

    “This is the tightest market the league’s ever seen. There’s just not a lot of money in the marketplace to spend, so it will be really interesting to see what happens this summer. The available dollars are a fraction of what they normally are. It’ll certainly have a big impact on what happens and more importantly what doesn’t happen.”

    When you throw in the fact that a number of players will be added to the free-agent crop by way of compliance and regular buyouts, Fletcher said, “There could be a pretty vicious game of musical chairs. Come July 15, it could be a scary environment to be a player. You can analyze it all you want, but that’s just common sense when you consider the reduction of overall dollars available.”

    The Wild can’t buy Dany Heatley out as he’s been deemed a “injured player.” It wouldn’t shock Russo if Cal Clutterbuck were traded this offseason and they’ve been actively looking to trade Zenon Konopka. If Tom Gilbert isn’t traded, he could be bought out by the Wild.