The opening shots in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft have been fired as teams jockey for position in the Great Goaltending Hunt of 2007.

The San Jose Sharks started the puck rolling when they traded goalie Vesa Toskala and C/LW Mark Bell to the Toronto Maple Leafs for either a 2007 or 2008 first round draft pick (San Jose’s choice), the Leafs 2007 second round pick (#44) and a fourth round pick in 2009.  Unlike Isiah Thomas’s debacle in the Eddy Curry trade with the Chicago Bulls, Toronto built in protection of the Sharks opt for the 2008 first rounder.  If that pick is in the top 10 in 2008, then the pick becomes a 2009 first rounder.

The next volley came as the Nashville Predators continue to dismantle in the wake of their uncertain ownership/location situation.  The Predators traded goalie Tomas Vokoun to the Florida Panthers for their 2008 first round draft pick, their 2007 second round draft pick (#58) and a conditional 2007 or 2008 second draft pick.  Nashville still has Chris Mason and top prospect Pekka Rinne in goal. 


In a smaller trade, the Chicago Blackhawks managed to move one of their “unmovable” contract when they sent defenseman Adrian Aucoin and a 2007 seventh round draft pick to the Calgary Flames in exchange for a pair of defenseman – Andrei Zyuzin and Steve Marr (who played in the AHL with Omaha last season).

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