Silly season in the NHL has begun and there was no shortage of whimsical storylines and rumors coming out of Buffalo as expansion was announced, general managers huddled, head coaches reviewed the rule changes from last year and yes, the 2016 NHL draft occurred. With many big names rumored to be on the trade block, such as every forward in Edmonton not named Connor McDavid, James Van Riemsdyk, P.K. Subban, Rick Nash and Kevin Shattenkirk, nothing materialized outside of the Calgary Flames' steal of goaltender Brian Elliott from the St. Louis Blues and the Montreal Canadiens acquisition of sparkplug Andrew Shaw, which doesn't make Montreal any bigger but much more of a pain in the rear to play.
Did you hear? Steven Stamkos is the “big fish” — the most coveted free agent this year, should he go to the open market on Friday. That said, another scoring forward that is garnering plenty of attention, as teams are now allowed to talk to pending unrestricted free agents, is Kyle Okposo, the 28-year-old right winger who has scored at least 20 goals in three of the last five seasons. In the final year of his five-year contract worth $14 million, Okposo scored 22 goals and 64 points this past season for the Islanders. It’s been no secret of late that the Islanders aren’t expected to re-sign Okposo, who is due for a substantial raise in free agency. The Sabres and Panthers would certainly make