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Stan Very Busy Before The Draft

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Stan Bowman ties up some loose ends before rolling up his sleeves in Philadelphia.

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

A general manager like Stan Bowman lives and breathes for the draft weekend.  He is always thinking about three years ahead, but today he took care of the immediate future.  This morning news came across that Ben Smith and Antti Raanta both signed two year contract extensions.  About four hours later, after losing out out Ryan Kesler, Jeremy Morin was also signed to a two year extension.  These moves shore up the bottom six with two young forwards and keeps Raanta in Chicago as Corey Crawford's backup.  All three players will cost the Blackhawks lightly over $3 million combined for the next two seasons.  Nicely done.

The Canucks have had a busy day as they finally moved the disgruntled Kesler and their 3rd round pick to the Anaheim Ducks for Nick Bonino, Luca Sbisa and Anaheim's 1st and 3rd round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.  I am not sure how close Bowman was to bringing Kesler to Chicago, but obviously the price was too high for him.  Canucks also sent Jason Garrison, Jeff Costello and their 7th round pick to the Tampa Lightning for their 2nd round pick.  They finished off their pre-draft flury by acquiring Derek Dorsett from the New York Rangers for a 3rd round pick.

And just coming across the wire, it seems that the Arizona Coyotes will be buying out the contract of center Mike Ribeiro.  In case you are wondering, the only time I want Ribeiro near the Blackhawks is if he buys a ticket in the 100 level at the United Center.

Should be a fun in Philadelphia, stay here for all the latest.