by Brandt Corbin
Everyone knew a few weeks ago that Don Waddell and Rick Dudley were goners when the team moved to Winnipeg, but another firing didn’t get much attention. Director of amateur scouting Dan Marr was fired the same time Dudley was. Because of the dismissal, Winnipeg’s new hockey operations department will make their first player personal decisions at this weekends draft while depending on those scout who remain with the team.
The team currently has the 7th overall pick in the first round, along with a 3rd rounder, (2) 4th & (2) 5th rounder's, (1) sixth and (2) 7th rounder's. Currently ranked #7 is Jonathan Huberdeau a 6’1 center from the Saint John Sea Dogs, but some anticipate his going 3rd overall to the Florida Panthers. Going into the draft, the team will likely target once or two specific players, so they might have to move up or down depending on how things are going.
Is it out the question for the team to make a blockbuster trade at the draft? Absolutely not they could attempt to acquire Jeff Carter, Jason Spezza or Ales Hemsky. But hockey op’s department must establish who is in the “core” and is untouchable, and who is tradable. Its also within the realm of possibilities that either Ron Hainsey or Johnny Oduya be moved for a 3rd-4th rounder, freeing up some salary for July 1.