Wings to announce Datsyuk decision today, Flames hire new head coach & more in this morning’s collections of NHL headlines.
THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings are expected to announce Pavel Datsyuk’s decision on his plans for next season today. Datsyuk has been leaning toward playing in Russia next season for family reasons. He’s still under contract with the Wings for next season at a cap hit of $7.5 million.
NBC SPORTS: cites Sportsnet’s John Shannon reporting the Wings could simply terminate Datsyuk’s contract, rather than attempt to move it to a team with cap space in need of reaching the salary-cap floor for 2016-17. Because it’s a plus-35 contract, the full cap hit will still count against the Wings’ cap.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If that’s the case, it means the asking price from rival clubs for Datsyuk’s contract includes either a high draft pick, a top prospect or a promising young player. It also means the Wings have to consider other options to shed salary in order to make a big splash in this summer’s UFA pool.
CALGARY SUN: The Flames officially hired former Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Glen Gulutzan as their new head coach.
NBC SPORTS: Agent Allan Walsh, who represent Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin, said his client withdreaw his trade request and wants to remain with the Lightning. Meanwhile, New York Islanders GM Garth Snow said he wishes pending unrestricted free agent Kyle Okposo the best, which likely means he’s not re-signing the right winger.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering Drouin’s playoff performance, it’s no surprise he’s changed his mind. A bigger question could be how this possibly affects the Lightning’s contract negotiations with Steven Stamkos, Given how well Drouin played in this year’s playoffs, perhaps the Bolts management will see him as Stamkos’ replacement.
As for Okposo, I don’t think anyone’s surprised he’s heading to free agency. Since last summer, there’s been a sense that Snow was willing to move on from the winger. Don’t feel too badly for Okposo, as he’s likely to cash in big when the free-agent market opens on July 1.
THE MERCURY NEWS: San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns “is one of four nominees for the Sports Humanitarian of the Year award as present by ESPN.”
NHL.COM: League commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL intends to honor Gordie Howe with “a lasting tribute to his immortality.”
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Former Sabre Mike Robitaille is one of 104 former NHL players suing the league as part of a concussion lawsuit.