NHL Free Agent Updates – September 18, 2016
A look at the status of several notable remaining unrestricted free agents plus the latest on New York Islanders restricted free agent Ryan Strome.
SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently provided an update on the top-10 remaining NHL unrestricted free agents. The Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames were linked to defenseman Kris Russell, while blueliner James Wisniewski is on a professional tryout offer (PTO) with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The New Jersey Devils are speculated as a possible destination for defenseman Kyle Quincey. The Devils say there’s no timetable for a possible return of forward Patrik Elias, who underwent offseason knee surgery.
The Ottawa Senators reportedly kicked tires on former Boston Bruins rearguard Dennis Seidenberg. Eight teams are apparently interested in offering a PTO to winger Tomas Fleischmann, while forward Tuomo Ruutu accepted a tryout offer with the Vancouver Canucks.
Left wing Alex Tanguay isn’t interested in a PTO and prefers a one-way contract. Two or three teams reportedly have interest in him. Winger Kris Versteeg accepted a PTO with the Edmonton Oilers, while blueliner Christian Ehrhoff hopes his performance with Team Europe in the World Cup of Hockey bolsters his fading stock.
TSN 1050 (VIA TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Bob McKenzie recently speculated Kris Russell could have a new contract “in the next number of days.” He claimed multiple teams have spoken to the defenseman, but the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t believed among them. McKenzie also believes Russell could a one-year deal.
NHL.COM: Dan Rosen recently suggested the Devils could be a potential fit for Russell because he believes they need another veteran defenseman. He thinks Russell, Kyle Quincey, David Jones, Lauri Korpikoski and Tomas Fleischmann will “definitely find work soon.”
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports the Ottawa Senators are closely following Dennis Seidenberg at the World Cup of Hockey. He speculates Seidenberg will likely sign with the Senators once the tournament is over.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Islanders policy of cutting off contract talks when training camp opens gives restricted free agent forward Ryan Strome until Thursday (Sept. 22) to re-sign. GM Garth Snow also said that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t match an offer sheet for Strome after that date.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Apart from Simmons’ report that Seidenberg could sign with the Senators, there’s nothing really new regarding those other UFAs. Russell’s agent recently said he expected his client be signed before the end of the World Cup of Hockey. One reason for the delay could be that the clubs with interest in Russell are waiting to see what the Anaheim Ducks do once they re-sign RFA blueliner Hampus Lindholm, as there’s talk they could put Cam Fowler on the trade block.
As for Strome, if he and the Isles fail to agree to a deal by Sept.22nd, Snow could decide to trade the 23-year-old forward. Strome had a promising 50-point sophomore performance in 2014-15 but managed only a disappointing 28 points last season.