Robin Brownlee
June 19 2013 08:43PM

As an NHL beat writer, I used to love and hate the weeks leading up to the annual June Entry Draft and free agency.

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Oilers Nation makes the Toronto Star! Kind of!

Jonathan Willis
June 19 2013 01:43PM

Photo: SimonP/Wikimedia

Everybody knows the Toronto Star. It bills itself as Canada’s largest daily (and carefully doesn’t mention it has lost more readers over the last four years than anyone else). Still, seeing Oilers Nation in one of the big national giants on Wednesday was kind of cool.

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Jason Gregor
June 19 2013 11:34AM

The next three weeks will be extremely exciting for hockey fans. Compliance buyouts could start as early as Monday, June 24th, or as last as Friday, June 28th, the 2013 NHL entry draft happens Sunday, June 30th and the free agent signings occur July 5th.

Between now and then we will hear some juicy rumours, witness some interesting trades, debatable draft selections and some horrendous UFA signings.

I can't wait, and thankfully we won't have to with copious speculation already circulating around the hockey world.

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Jason Gregor
June 18 2013 04:13PM

The free agent frenzy officially began yesterday with reports the Flyers had signed Mark Streit to a four-year, $21 million contract. The Flyers can't officially announce the signing until they shed some salary, which should happen when they buyout Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov.

Briere is an easy buyout. His cap hit is $6.5 million for the next two seasons, but he's only owed $5 million in cash over both years. The Flyers can buy him out for only $3.33 million, while Brzgalov is a much larger hit at $23 million. Despite the massive payment to Bryzgalov you can expect the Flyers to eat that since they desperately need some cap space.

Briere will garner a lot of interest, but will Bryzgalov get another NHL deal?

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The Third Pairing

Jonathan Willis
June 18 2013 11:11AM

If, as expected, the Edmonton Oilers add at least one top-four (ideally left-side defenceman) to round out a group that already includes Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Ladislav Smid than there will need to be some decisions made on the third pairing. Who stays? Who goes?

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