Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon expects to get approval from chairman Rocky Wirtz to spend what he needs in free agency starting July 1. "We need a top-notch defenseman and a top-notch forward," Tallon said. "I could see (adding) two free agents and two kids. But whatever we do won't be just for next year. Any additions will be for the long term, too." Brochu's take: The crop of top defenseman includes Wade Redden, Brian Campbell and John-Michael Liles. The only real "top-notch" forward is Marian Hossa. The Hawks have a lot of cap room and I expect them to sign one of these players. Source
The Edmonton Oilers have signed forward Bryan Lerg. The 5'10, 175-pound Michigan State forward has 20 goals and 19 assists in 42 games this year for the Spartans. Lerg signed a two-year deal worth $962,000, with $175,000 in bonuses. Brochu's take: The Oilers continue to gather top college age talent. However, they are getting close to their maximum of 50 NHL contracts. Source
The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Davis Drewiske to a multi-year, entry-level contract. Drewiske, 23, had 21 points in 20 games with the Wisconsin Badgers.
The New York Islanders have signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a two-year, entry-level contract. In 41 games this season with Colorado College, the 5-11, 200-pound native of Minnesota had six goals and 31 assists for a Division I-leading 37 points among defensemen. Brochu's take: With the salary cap, many teams are now snapping up the young talent in the college ranks more than ever. Hillen will get a few games in the NHL this season to show his stuff. Source