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What's Next For The Leafs?

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Like other days this week, there are lots of small moves being made to prepare for the big show on Friday. In this morning's FTB we've got news on Jagr, Erhoff, Varlamov, Dupuis, and Ian White, among several others.

Naturally, we're more interested in a Leafs-centric point of view around here, and Jonas Siegel wrote an article today for the first time in a while, echoing a lot of the commonly-held hopes and thoughts around here on PPP on what could be in store for Brian Burke & Co.. (Frankly, it sounds like he's been reading our posts for a while.) That said, he does raise an interesting point that hasn't been given much attention lately: what about moving Kessel to centre and then then looking for a winger?

The wild card might well be Phil Kessel. While he resisted a shift to the middle in the past--a brief stint last season offered muddled results--his skill, hockey smarts and underrated (and under-utilized) passing ability might make his defensive liabilities worth the trouble. Additionally, acquiring a top-line winger would prove considerably less challenging.

This and more, after the jump.

Leafs Links:

Can we just let Jonas Gustavsson play?
Michael Langlois wants to hand the backup job to Gus.

Other Hockey Links:

Ian White is "Comfortable on the Coast" - Fear The Fin
Sounds like Ian White would like to stay put for a while, after being a part of four different teams in two seasons.

Why Semyon Varlamov chose KHL over Washington Capitals
Interview with Varly's agent from Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy.

After Isles rebuff, Ehrhoff’s rights sent to Buffalo
We'll see if Erhoff's interested in some Pegula dollars. He probably wants to test open waters at this point, but I can also see why the Sabres would be a good fit.

What, no Jagr? Agent, teams baffled on Jaromir decision day
UPDATE: Late word from Rob Rossi of the Tribune-Review, who is all over this story: "Longtime acquaintances of team co-owner Mario Lemieux and NHL agents told the Tribune-Review an agreement [with the Penguins] was in place even as Jagr flew from the Czech Republic to the United States." Related: Detroit Red Wings

Habs trade Wisniewski’s negotiating rights to Columbus
Montreal lands an unspecified draft pick and future considerations in a deal with the Blue Jackets.

Chad LaRose stays with Hurricanes
Veteran forward signs two-year deal with Carolina worth $3.4M over two years.

Sharks make several moves
Reached agreements on new one-year contracts with forward Andrew Desjardins and goalie Alex Stalock.

Penguins re-sign Pascal Dupuis
Pittsburgh winger inks new two-year deal worth $1.5M per season.

Montreal police to question Chara soon about Pacioretty hit
Police tightlipped about when, where meeting will take place, as probe nears completion into hit last March that sidelined Montreal forward. Story from Sidhartha Banerjee at the G&M.

Paul Kariya announces retirement and has a few choice words for the NHL
"The thing that I worry about," Kariya said in an interview, "is that you’ll get a guy who is playing with a concussion, and he gets hit, and he dies at centre ice. Can you imagine what would happen to the league if a guy dies at centre ice?"

NHL enters hazy, crazy days of summer
I know this gets said every year, but Eric Duhatschek also raises an eyebrow at how much players are getting paid.

Shot Counting, In Pictures. - Arctic Ice Hockey
BN uses some visuals to show shot-recording bias over the last ten NHL seasons.

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