LOS ANGELES — Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini is definitely trying to get another first round draft pick — either by trading No. 31 and No. 48 in Round 2, or by packaging some live bodies off his team, but nothing is imminent.
The Florida Panthers (No. 3 and No. 15), Chicago Blackhawks (No. 24 and No. 30) and Phoenix Coyotes (No. 13 and No. 22) all have two picks in the first 30.
“Anything in the first round is very expensive . . . either multiple picks or very good young players,” said Tambellini, who watched Florida give up Nathan Horton to get the Boston Bruins’ No. 15, and the Atlanta Thrashers give up No. 24 in a package for Dustin Byfuglien.
Are any Oilers players off-limits in a trade for a first-rounder?
“Depends on what pick you’re talking about . . . all I’ve told general managers is I’m wide open to proposals. I’ll listen to them all, especially where we’re at,” said Tambellini.
No buyer’s remorse for Burke
For the umpteenth time, Toronto Maple Leaf general manager Brian Burke reiterated he would make the Phil Kessel trade again.
For the 30-goal winger, Burke last year gave the Boston Bruins two first-round draft picks and a second. With the first of these picks, Bruin general manager Peter Chiarelli will claim either Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin. They are considered franchise players.
“It bothers you guys more than it bothers me,” Burke told reporters when asked about seller’s regret. “We talked about this before we made the deal: ‘What if it’s Hall?’ At that point, I think we were 6-2 in the pre-season and it seemed remote. But we talked about it.
“We got a 21-year-old who scored 36 goals (in 2008-09). We’re doing it anyway.”
The 30-38-14 Leafs finished 29th. Burke doesn’t have a pick until the third round.
Blindside hit rule approved
The NHL’s board of governors met for five hours Thursday and endorsed the new wording on head shots. Blindside hits will now be a mandatory major and game misconduct, with possible suspensions coming.
“I wish we had done this before the two incidents last year,” said Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke, referring to the Matt Cooke hit on Marc Savard and Mike Richards’ hit on David Booth.
“I think we made a very sensible decision and approached it in a logical and rational manner,” said Flames president Ken King. “We didn’t eviscerate the notion of good, stiff bodychecks, but we took away the danger.
“I think it was well executed.”
Commissioner Gary Bettman also said there is now a transfer agreement in place on players with Germany, Slovakia and Denmark to go with Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic, but nothing with Russia.
Sharks might be interested in Souray
Edmonton Oilers general manager Steve Tambellini continues to try to move Sheldon Souray.
San Jose might be a possibility because Rob Blake retired, and Sharks GM Doug Wilson admitted he’s looking at adding a blue-liner.
“There’s a little bit of bias here, but as we all know, defencemen are the most important players on a team,” said a joking Wilson, who won a Norris Trophy as the hardest-shooting rearguard in the NHL when he played for the Blackhawks.
Tambellini doesn’t feel Souray helped his cause by showing his discontent publicly after the season ended, but doesn’t think it makes trading him any more difficult.
“Teams want to know more how he would fit into their salary grid. What do they have to move to acquire Sheldon? He’s a defenceman who scored 20 goals and arguably was the toughest player we’ve had in a long time,” said Tambellini.
Sutter excited about outdoor game
A smiling Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter raved Thursday about the Heritage Classic slated for Feb. 20 between his squad and Montreal Canadiens at McMahon Stadium.
“Obviously, the highlight of the schedule is the outdoor game,” Sutter said. “I’m getting goosebumps talking about it, because it takes you back, right?
“We were hoping to be a part of that last year, and it didn’t come to pass.”
The outdoor game caused some jiggling of the Flames’ February schedule to provide for makeup day on Feb. 21 should the weather prove too bone-chilling.
“There’s tough parts with the schedule, like there always is,” Sutter said. “But you know what? We had a lot of input. Did a lot of work on it, and I think we have a good schedule.”
Sutter proud of former Flames owner
Calgary Flames general manager Darryl Sutter took the time Thursday to honour the late Flames owner Daryl (Doc) Seaman for his coming induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“It’s awesome,” Sutter said. “Overdue. He doesn’t get much recognition for the fact he was a big part of bringing the Flames, along with Harley Hotchkiss, to Calgary. A big part of why the Winter Olympics were in Calgary.
“A big part of the grassroots hockey program in Canada.”
Seaman died last year at the age of 86.
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