As you all know, the Isles are in the rumor mill these days. Clarity is such a tough thing to get this time of year. Luckily, an NHL stalwart like Pierre LeBrun is here to provide some as he/ESPN try to get a sense of the rumblings in the NHL leading up to the draft.
Garth Snow to Pierre:
“We’re in the same boat as a lot of teams, we’re looking to improve this offseason. I think you’ll see pretty much the same group of players that we had last year. The natural maturation process of guys like Ryan Strome, Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, they’ll get better from the experience last year. We want to build from what we’ve done the last three years and take the next step.”
Garth on back-up goalie and defense:
“We obviously have an opening in net behind Jaro [Halak]. That’s no secret. I don’t anticipate [blueliner Lubomir] Visnovsky coming back, so there’s potential for one of our young defensemen to earn a spot, whether it’s Mayfield, Pulock, Reinhart, we’ll see what happens via the trade route at the draft and then look into free agency. Those are not guarantees. We feel we have a good group. I’m not shy to say we’d be happy to have the same group back.”
On Kyle Okposo? Pierre himself writes:
“Snow, when asked by ESPN.com, refused to comment on the report or those rumors. Clearly from my own recon I can say other teams have phoned on Okposo, but whether the Isles are actively shopping him doesn’t seem clear.”
So here is our Tale of the Tape here on Okposo:
Newsday first cited: Might be available.
Arthur Staple on Twitter cited definitely available, and that’s same as being shopped.
Elliot Friedman of Sportsnet cites differences between available and being shopped. Believe Okposo just available.
TSN’s Darren Dreger concurs with Sportsnet, and makes distinction on TSN MTL.
Pierre Lebrun of ESPN is unsure if Okposo being shopped, but knows teams have been calling about him.