Latest on Sam Gagner, Jamie Benn, Gabe Landeskog & more in this morning’s collection of notable NHL headlines. 

Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly close to signing Sam Gagner.

Columbus Blue Jackets reportedly close to signing Sam Gagner.

 THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH:  The Blue Jackets are reportedly close to signing unrestricted free agent center Sam Gagner to a one-year contract, The deal coud be finalized on Monday, August 1. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets have around $4.4 million salary-cap space. Gagner, 26, is completing a three-year deal worth $4.8 million per season, but he won’t get anywhere close to that with the Jackets.


While still a versatile forward who can play center or wing with six 40-plus point seasons on his resume, Gagner’s stock is in decline. He managed a career-worst 16 points with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. He could get up to $2 million from the Jackets, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the figure is closer to $1.5 million. The fact this is a one-year deal indicates it’s more of a stop-gap measure by the Jackets to boost their depth at center. 


NBC SPORTS:  Dallas Stars center Jamie Benn is currently recovering from recent surgery to repair a core muscle injury. However, he expects to be fully recovered in time to play for Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey in September. 



NBC SPORTS:   Colorado Avalanche forward Gabe Landeskog regrets his decision to try and play through the pain of a concussion back in 2013. He’s sharing his story with a charitable foundation that focuses on concussion awareness. 


DETROIT FREE PRESS:  There’s concern that age and a nagging knee injury will continue to hinder Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall. 


SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Kronwall’s performance last season is among the reasons why Wings GM Ken Holland is keen to acquire a top-three defenseman. Should the veteran blueliner continue to struggle, Holland could ramp up his search efforts via the trade market. 


SI.COM: Michael McCann offers an in-depth examination of the NHLPA’s motion to dismiss the NHL’s lawsuit over an arbiter’s decision to reduce the suspension of Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman, who hit an on-ice official during a game last season.