Darren Dreger suggests Niklas Hjalmarsson would be moved before Brent Seabrook, Elliotte Friedman believes there’s a “bomb or two” in store this offseason, Phil Kessel leads the Penguins in goal differential in back-to-back Cup win, and more in the links.

Leafs/NHL Links

Dreger: Expect a lot of trade activity over next few weeks (TSN1050)
TSN Hockey insider Darren Dreger joined Naylor & Landsberg to discuss the Penguins back to back Stanley Cups, what moves will be made over the next few weeks and if the Blackhawks could be set to trade one of their core defencemen.

As strange as it sounds, I feel like Hjalmarsson is the more likely [to be traded] of the two [Seabrook or Hjalmarsson] and there are some that believe that maybe that process is already underway in that he has submitted his list of teams he would be willing to waive to. I’m just speculating on that because we’ve been immersed in the Stanley Cup Finals and I haven’t had an opportunity to connect with anyone from the Chicago Blackhawks to verify that. That is some of the rumbling.

Where might he go? Who are the teams that might be on his list? I don’t know that, but — based on the whispers I’m hearing — if it comes between those two guys, it’s likely Hjalmarsson.

Leafs Lunch with Andi Petrillo, Dave Poulin and Pierre LeBrun – Hour 2 (TSN1050)
In Hour 2, Frank Seravalli discusses Marc-Andre Fleury’s future and sets the table activity leading into the expansion draft, plus the panel discuss possible changes coming in the NHLPA.

Pierre Lebrun on the Brent Seabrook rumours:

My understanding is — I’m pretty confident in saying this — the Brent Seabrook rumours, in particular… there is zero chance he is being moved. In fact, the Hawks have not talked to a single team about him. They value his leadership. I understand why people are worried about that contract, but, as it stands right now, all I can tell you is there is absolutely zero intention of wanting to do anything there.

Friedman: Possible moves ahead of draft (Fan 960)
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman fills in Boomer and Pinder on some of the speculation ahead of the Las Vegas expansion draft and the NHL draft.

It has a chance to be [very busy], there is no question about that. There is a lot going on. I think Anaheim, with their D, a lot of the talk is around Sami Vatanen. That is a big one.

Minnesota, with their D, there is Dumba and Brodin. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of those two go. I’m curious about their forwards; they’ve got a lot of protection issues there.

New Jersey, with the number-one pick, I’ve heard they like a number of defencemen there and I’m curious to see if they’ll move down.

Vancouver — there is a lot of teams looking for D, seeing if they can pry Chris Tanev loose. I haven’t followed that one as closely, but I know about a week ago people were talking to them about it. I’m curious to see if anyone will step up for that price.

Vegas is at the epicenter of it all. I think they’re looking at a deal with Columbus, most likely for David Clarkson, and they’ll get some nice pieces out of that — probably a first-round draft pick and maybe a prospect or two.

Tampa is looking for a D. There is a lot going on out there.

LA — they’re looking for a forward and they’ve got extra D.

Chicago is hosting the draft, and I think they’re trying to move up.

You know who is really quiet, who is another guy who I think isn’t afraid to pull off big deals? Doug Wilson in San Jose. He’s got a team where the window is open now. I just have a feeling he might do something, too. I think it’s one of [Marleau or Thornton], and I think it’s more likely Thornton [will be back in San Jose] than Marleau.

I think there is going to be a bomb or two in this one. I really do. I think we’re going to have some things that we’re not expecting.

Analyzing Draft Pick Value: Can a draft really be “weak” after 1st round? (MLHS)
When the Toronto Maple Leafs traded for Brian Boyle at the deadline this season, I posed a question: When is buying worth it? Should you buy just to make the playoffs, or only if you view yourself as a true contender? One of the main responses I received was that this is a weak draft so trading a second doesn’t really matter in the big picture. That made me wonder: After the first round, are drafts really deep or not, or does the first round really just sway our opinion on an entire draft class.

Isaac Ratcliffe – 2017 NHL Draft Profile (MLHS)
Ratcliffe is a very interesting prospect; I could see him being drafted anywhere from 15 to 50. Bottom line: The key word with Ratcliffe is potential, which I’ve already used several times to describe him. He’s a huge kid who could develop as a scoring power forward under the right tutelage and with improvements to his conditioning.

It is still June, and the Leafs have 50 players under contract (PPP)
The Leafs can’t take a player in trade currently under an NHL contract for 2016-2017 without sending at least one contract back. If all of these Chicago rumours are true, and deals are to be made, the only way the Leafs can get in on it is by trading back a player on that 50-man SPC list.

Latest Stanley Cup for Crosby, Penguins etches their place in history (Sportsnet)
Pittsburgh is the first team to go back-to-back since the 1997-98 Detroit Red Wings and took a much different path to this championship than the last one. It needed strong play from two goalies – Fleury and Matt Murray, who posted consecutive shutouts to close out the Predators – and survived despite being routinely outshot and icing a makeshift blue-line in the absence of Kris Letang. Whereas last year’s team broke opponents with unmatched scoring depth, this one was top heavy. Malkin, Crosby, Phil Kessel and Guentzel, the unheralded rookie, did the bulk of the damage.

Kessel: ‘I don’t even know what to think, back-to-back is crazy’ (TSN)
Phil Kessel tried to put his emotions into words after winning his second Stanley Cup and talked about the belief the team had all season.

Statistically Speaking: Penguins go back-to-back (TSN.ca)
Pittsburgh was frequently outshot in the postseason, so their possession numbers weren’t good. Malkin struggled (36.5 CF%) in the Final, while Carl Hagelin (55.7 CF%) was the only Penguin to play more than one game and finish with a positive Corsi against Nashville. Kunitz (51.1 CF%) and Kessel (50.4 CF%) were the only Penguins regulars a Corsi better than 50.0% in the postseason. Kessel had Pittsburgh’s best goal differential (17 for, 8 against, 68.0 GF%).

Sullivan’s ‘confidence’ in Penguins leads to historic Stanley Cup title (Puck Daddy)
“There were so many challenges along the way. I just think finding ways through all the ebbs and flows of the season and the adversities that we faced – the injuries that we endured,” said Sullivan. “I think a lot of people counted us out when we lost Kris Letang. He’s a hard player to replace. He’s a special player. But this group of players, they never looked for an excuse. They just looked for that next man up and they looked for ways to win. They challenge one another and that’s the mindset that this group of players has had since I’ve been here. I can’t say enough about the leadership of this team, that leads the charge in that regard.”

Sens ask Phaneuf to waive no-movement clause (TSN.ca)
The Ottawa Senators have asked defenceman Dion Phaneuf to waive his no-movement clause so they can expose him in the upcoming expansion draft, according to TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun. The 32-year-old has yet to make a decision. The Sens want Phaneuf to waive his no-move clause so they don’t have to use a protection spot on him for the June 21 Las Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft. The Senators are projected to protect Erik Karlsson and Cody Ceci in the expansion draft, Phaneuf waiving his no-move would allow the team to protect Marc Methot, Mark Borowiecki, Chris Wideman or Frederik Claesson.