Latest on the Lightning, Rangers and Oilers – October 11, 2016
Updates on Nikita Kucherov, potential waiver-wire players of interest for the Edmonton Oilers and the Rangers could shop defenseman Dylan McIlrath.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith reports Tampa Bay Lightning restricted free agent winger Nikita Kucherov flew from Russia to Tampa Bay yesterday as he nears a deal with the Lightning. It’s speculated Kucherov could sign a short-term bridge deal by as early as today.
The Lightning only have around $5.5 million in salary-cap space. It was expected Kucherov would seek a long-term deal worth over $6 million annually. He could accept a two- or three-year deal for a lesser annual cap hit with the promise of a much more lucrative deal down the road.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see what Kucherov’s new deal will be. He could become the third player this year (Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman being the others) general manager Steve Yzerman convinces to accept less than market value to remain with the Lightning.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the New York Rangers are believed seeking a trade partner to take defenseman Dylan McIlrath off their hands. McIlrath, 26, had a poor training camp, but the Rangers prefer not to put him on waivers. Even if he remains with the club, he won’t be part of the Blueshirts’ top-six defensemen.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: McIlrath is on a one-year, one-way contract worth $800K. He could be an affordable pickup for a team seeking blueline depth in the upcoming season. The asking price certainly won’t be expensive.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Bruce McCurdy lists wingers PA Parenteau, Teemu Pulkkinen and center Mark McNeil as right-shooting forwards on the waiver wire of possible interest for the Edmonton Oilers. He wonders if the club might claim one of them. All are on affordable one-year contracts, with Parenteau’s the most expensive at $1.25 million.
Jim Matheson reports former Oilers defenseman Eric Gryba, who was with the club on a professional tryout offer, left the Oilers after they signed blueliner Kris Russell over the weekend. His agent claims two other NHL teams expressed interest in auditioning Gryba.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Maybe the Calgary Flames are one of those two clubs interested in Gryba. They reportedly wanted to bring back Russell before he signed with the Oilers.