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Over The Boards

Bigger nets, 2016 Draft, playoffs among questions

NHL.com's Dan Rosen answers weekly mailbag

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Here is the April 20 edition of Dan Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the 2015-16 NHL season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Do you think the NHL will eventually make the nets bigger to increase scoring? -- @fltrn77

It's the last possible option, which means it's still an option. If this were to happen, it's way down the road. The general managers, whose ideas and vision determine these possible options, are more interested to see the impact streamlined goalie equipment can have on scoring. They also are more focused on scoring chances than actual goals. I've had several GMs tell me if we started to get games that featured only a handful of scoring chances on each side we'd have a problem, but that's not the case. However, many of them would like to see on average seven goals scored per game; it's under six now. Bigger nets have been discussed, but I wouldn't expect anything that radical to happen any time soon.

Do the Colorado Avalanche trade away one of their core players on draft day? -- @C_DUB_85

I don't know, but it should be a consideration. The question is always what kind of return are you going to get, and is it worth the value of the player you're giving up? Say, for example, the Avalanche try to trade Matt Duchene. If I were a GM, I'd want him on my team. But do I want him on my team for a top-pair defenseman? I value top-pair defensemen more than I value top-line forwards. The good ones are harder to get. But looking at this with the big picture in mind, the Avalanche do seem like a team that could use a bit of a core shakeup. They're not at the Edmonton Oilers level, but they need to balance out the team a bit and they really could use a top-pair defenseman. If I had to guess, I'd say general manager Joe Sakic is going to be making a lot of phone calls leading up to the draft and would be willing to part with a core piece for the right return.

Are we beginning to see Detroit-Colorado rivalry 2.0 in the Lightning-Red Wings series? -- @Sr_Vincenzo

I think we need to see a lot more for Detroit-Tampa Bay to turn into Detroit-Colorado. This looks like the early stages of a budding rivalry, one that could continue for years if they stay in the same division, but it's premature to think of it like Detroit-Colorado. For starters, the talent level on each side is not close to the same, which isn't a knock on Detroit-Tampa Bay. It's just the truth. There were 12 Hall of Fame members competing in the Red Wings-Avalanche alumni game at Coors Field earlier this year. There are maybe two or three potential future Hall of Fame members in this rivalry now considering Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Steven Stamkos, who isn't even playing this season and might leave the Lightning in the offseason. The other thing is when they play. The Red Wings and Avalanche met in the Western Conference Final three times and twice more in the Conference Semifinals over a seven-year span. The Red Wings and Lightning have met only in the Eastern Conference First Round.

Does the New York Rangers' lack of a top-four right-handed defenseman end their championship hopes? -- @Lkay_398

I'd argue they have at least one top-four righty in Kevin Klein. He's a legit top-four defenseman. Dan Girardi and Dan Boyle are not top-four material at this point in their careers. Dylan McIlrath is not a top-four defenseman either. Klein is. The other thing is that both Ryan McDonagh and Brady Skjei have shown the ability to play on the right side if necessary. So, no, I don't think the righty issue immediately eliminates the Rangers from winning the Stanley Cup. There are many other issues that could, such as having to get through the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals just to get to the Eastern Conference Final.

Video: Kings Fight Back Against the Sharks (again)

What has been your favorite series to watch this year? -- @arielgonzo97

I've been covering the Penguins-Rangers series, so that is the one I'm most invested in for work purposes. In terms of entertainment, the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings as well as the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues have been great to watch. Those are some heavyweight teams going at it and it's been great to watch the back-and-forth, the adjustments both in-game and between games, the goaltending, the defense and the skill. That Chicago-St. Louis series in particular has had a lot of everything.

Thoughts on the job Ray Shero and John Hynes did in year one with the New Jersey Devils? What are you looking for this offseason? Are Kyle Okposo and Mikkel Boedker fits? -- @dsf_9d

Devils' fans should be happy with the direction the team appears headed. Shero is a smart, savvy, active GM. He's not afraid to pull the trigger on a trade. I think he'll be active this summer to improve the roster. They need a No. 1 line, or at the very least a No. 1 center. It's hard to get one, but that's where they have to start. Getting Okposo and/or Boedker would be nice, but the Devils need to build depth down the middle. Adam Henrique is a solid No. 2 center. At this point, Travis Zajac could be one of the best No. 3 centers in the League. Neither is a No. 1. Devils' fans should be thrilled with Hynes too. I think he got the most he could out of a team that clearly isn't built to win right now. Cory Schneider, as good as he is, helps too. There's going to be some good hockey coming to New Jersey soon enough.

Do you see the Arizona Coyotes making a huge deal to trade up for Auston Matthews at the draft? -- @kinglewimcmxc

So, you're saying you're not buying the Coyotes and their 6.5 percent chance of winning the NHL Draft Lottery? I understand. But, in all seriousness, provided they do not win the lottery, they won't be able to trade up to get Matthews if they don't have a general manager in place before the draft. The lottery will be held April 30. That means the Coyotes will know who has the No. 1 pick from that date until draft day on June 24. That's plenty of time to come up with offers to get that pick so they can draft the hometown guy in Matthews, but they need a GM with the savvy to pull this one off. Who do you trade to do it? I almost certainly think that Anthony Duclair would have to be part of the trade. Max Domi is untouchable. Dylan Strome could be part of it too, but I wouldn't give up Strome and Duclair. Maybe the Coyotes two No. 1 picks (remember, they have the Rangers' first-round pick as well) and either Duclair or Strome could get it done. But it depends on who wins the lottery, and who is making this move for the Coyotes. They need a GM before this becomes a consideration.

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