Ask Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli who he thinks has the edge in the Eastern Conference final.
"(The Penguins) are a lock, right?" he quipped in front of a room full of reporters on Sunday.
Chiarelli’s B’s will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in what’s shaping up to be a dream East final, especially after the well-documented Jarome Iginla saga at the end of March.
Instead, the Bruins got Jaromir Jagr, who’s registered just four points – no goals – through the first two playoffs rounds.
"It's been well-chronicled, the Iginla stuff and the Jagr stuff, so we're happy with who we got,” Chiarelli said. “I know (Jagr’s) been snake-bitten a little bit, but he's had a lot of chances; he's created a lot of chances.
“But more importantly, in addition to the looks he gives the PP, he wears down the D, and there's always two guys on him. I think we would've been fine with either, but we're very happy with (Jagr)."
As for that dream matchup.
"I always thought we’d have to go through (the Penguins) to get to where we want to go at some point," Chiarelli said.
To say the Columbus Blue Jackets are confident ahead of next month’s NHL Entry Draft would be a massive understatement.
With three first-round picks and a comfortable amount of cap space to work with, the Jackets are already shuffling through a number of possibilities ahead of what they expect to be a productive off-season.
“We were talking a lot about those three picks, how we would entertain turning one of those picks or even more than one of those picks into something that makes sense for us long-term,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen told the Columbus Dispatch.
“A very bright prospect or a player very young in his career is maybe something that would work, and I’m sure a few other teams are thinking the same.”
Columbus acquired the New York Rangers’ first-round pick in a trade that sent Rick Nash and Steven Delisle to Madison Square Garden. After that, the Jackets received the Los Angeles Kings’ first-rounder in a deal that saw Jeff Carter sent to southern California.
While a number of teams are poised to be well over the league’s shrinking salary cap this summer, the Dispatch reported the Jackets have close to $20 million in space.
“We’re in a great spot in that we have draft picks and we have (salary-cap) room, and we have a very keen interest in making our team more competitive,” Kekalainen said.
STARS GET PICK
The Dallas Stars are set to benefit from the Boston Bruins reaching the Eastern Conference final.
As part of a deal that sent Jaromir Jagr to the B’s in early April, the Stars picked up a conditional pick.
That condition, according to NHL.com, depended on how deep the Bruins ventured into the post-season.
Already set to pick 10th in the first round of 2013 draft, the Stars now have multiple first-round selections ahead of the 40th overall pick (second round).
The Texans also have a bit of cap space to work with heading into the off-season. According to CapGeek.com, the Stars have in the neighbourhood of $20 million in cap space for 2013.