SHOULD THE AVS SIGN KADRI OR CONSIDER OTHER OPTIONS?
THE DENVER POST: Mark Kiszla doesn’t blame Nazem Kadri for wanting top dollar on the open market. However, he points out that Colorado Avalanche president of hockey operations Joe Sakic doesn’t have a reputation for overpaying talent.
Former Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (NHL Images).
Kiszla suggests Kadri should fit in somewhere between Valeri Nichushkin’s $6.125 million annual cap hit and Gabriel Landeskog’s $7 million. He believes it would be foolish for the Avalanche to pay more than $26 million over four years for him. The Avs would also have to make a cost-cutting trade to fit him into their cap payroll for the coming season.
Sakic could opt instead to look outside the organization to replace Kadri. Former Avalanche center Paul Stastny remains available via free agency. Kiszla also suggested attempting to acquire Jonathan Toews from the Chicago Blackhawks sometime before next year’s trade deadline.
THE ATHLETIC: Peter Baugh also looked at possible options if the Avalanche can’t afford to bring back Kadri. Stastny, Sonny Milano and Evan Rodrigues remain on the open market plus he didn’t rule out going the rental player route at next year’s trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avalanche would love to bring back Kadri and he’d love to return but the cost of doing so is simply too much. They can’t afford him unless they ship out someone like Samuel Girard to free up the cap space and that’s apparently not something they want to do. So, they’ll either have to go with a more affordable option via free agency or the trade market or look within the organization.
The New York Post’s Larry Brooks reports that “the usual suspects” claim Kadri still seeks a long-term deal starting around $9 million annually. He believes that explains why he remains unsigned. Meanwhile, there’s been ongoing speculation linking Kadri to the Islanders. Speaking of which…
SHOULD THE ISLANDERS TRADE BARZAL TO MAKE ROOM FOR KADRI?
NYI HOCKEY NOW: Stefan Rosner believes the Islanders must soon decide if Mathew Barzal remains part of their future before it’s too late. The 25-year-old center becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer and will also be a year away from UFA eligibility.
Barzal has said he views his long-term future with the Islanders but Rosner reminds us that John Tavares said the same thing before he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He cited colleague Jimmy Murphy tweeting a hypothetical trade in which Barzal is traded to the Detroit Red Wings to clear cap space to sign Kadri.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello could surprise us by trading Barzal to the Wings or another club and use the $7 million savings for 2022-23 to sign Kadri. However, I don’t see that scenario happening. Lamoriello can find other ways to shed sufficient salary for Kadri such as shopping Anthony Beauvillier or packaging Josh Bailey with a draft pick or prospect.
Trading Barzal would be a rather extreme measure on Lamoriello’s part. Since he wouldn’t want to take back much salary in return, he’d be getting pennies on the dollar for a gifted playmaking center in his playing prime just to make room for a soon-to-be 32-year-old center seeking big bucks on a long-term deal.
UPDATE ON BERGERON AND KREJCI
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci technically remain unsigned. However, the word around town is Bruins general manager Don Sweeney remains confident they’re done deals with the veteran centers to sign on for one year.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Speculation since June has Bergeron and/or Krejci already having agreed to one-year contracts while Sweeney takes the time to determine how to fit the duo within his limited cap space. If so, the Bruins GM is taking a page from the Lamoriello playbook as the Isles GM has done the same thing in the recent past.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jackets had to ship Oliver Bjorkstand to the Seattle Kraken for next to nothing in a cost-cutting deal after signing winger Patrik Laine to his new contract. No room for Kadri in Columbus unless they can shed more salary.
Kadri rejected a trade to the Flames three years ago. Maybe he had a change of heart if they’re willing to meet his asking price but I wouldn’t hold my breath. The Islanders would also have to move out some salary. Perhaps they’d do that by shopping Anthony Beauvillier, who’s been a fixture in the rumor mill since last season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Fox suggests, it appears Klingberg overplayed his hand, leading to his change of agents earlier this week. With the Stars having to re-sign rising stars Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger, I don’t think there’s sufficient room for him to return to Dallas now.
Fox said the Red Wings speculation persists. The Senators, meanwhile, are rumored to be in the market for a top-four defenseman.
A report last month claimed Patrice Bergeron was returning to the Boston Bruins on a one-year contract. So far, however, there’s no confirmation from either side that this has happened. The Bruins are also in talks with David Krejci about a possible comeback.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney could be taking a page from the Lou Lamoriello playbook by waiting until the start of the season before officially announcing the deal for salary-cap reasons. Perhaps that decision is tied to getting a deal done for Krejci. Or maybe Bergeron just hasn’t made up his mind yet if he’ll return. Your guess is as good as mine but I think he’s coming back to the Bruins for one more season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stralman would be a cost-effective signing for teams with limited cap space. However, the Canadiens are pressed against the $82.5 million cap. Stralman isn’t a fit there unless they dump some salary via trade or Carey Price and Paul Byron start the season on long-term injury reserve.
Analysis of some of the biggest signings and trades from the opening day of free agency, a look at two of the notable free agents still available and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: Johnny Gaudreau explained why he signed a seven-year, $68.25 million contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He said the experience of playing at Nationwide Arena and speaking with current and former Columbus Blue Jackets players were motivating factors behind his decision.
Former Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 13. (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I analyzed Gaudreau’s new contract and those of the other noteworthy signings for Bleacher Report yesterday. His decision to go to Columbus generated considerable surprise on social media. It also left Calgary fans bewildered and upset after he rejected a more lucrative offer from the Flames to join the Jackets. Whatever the reason behind his decision, he makes the Blue Jackets a better team and should accelerate their rebuilding process.
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Gaudreau was reportedly interested in signing with the Flyers but their limited salary-cap space meant they weren’t able to make room for him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers’ offseason moves haven’t sat well with their fans who’ve been quite critical on social media. It’ll be interesting to see what general manager Chuck Fletcher intends to do to improve his roster for next season.
NBC SPORTS BAY AREA/VEGAS HOCKEY NOW: The San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights each made significant cost-cutting trades with the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sharks shipped defenseman Brent Burns to the Hurricanes while the Golden Knights sent them winger Max Pacioretty.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mike Grier, the Sharks’ new general manager, is wasting little time addressing his club’s need for an overhaul following several seasons of decline. The Golden Knights, meanwhile, got nothing in return for Pacioretty. They are paying the price for their pursuit of big-ticket talent over the past couple of years in pursuit of the Stanley Cup.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are going for it. Burns has three years left on his contract with the Sharks retaining 33 percent of his $8 million cap hit. Pacioretty is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. Both should provide a welcome boost of experience and offense to their lineup as they attempt to stage a run for the Stanley Cup in 2022-23.
THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche haven’t given up trying to bring back Nazem Kadri as their second-line center. The 31-year-old Kadri is the biggest name remaining among this year’s crop of unrestricted free agent talent.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly shows the Avs with $3.9 million in cap space. They’ll have to shed some salary if they intend to bring back Kadri.
THE ATHLETIC: The Dallas Stars attempted to re-sign John Klingberg before the defenseman became an unrestricted free agent but weren’t able to reach an agreement. The door appears closed on a return after the club signed blueliner Colin Miller and added winger Mason Marchment.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg is the top defenseman still available in the UFA market. Speculation linked him to the Seattle Kraken but other clubs could get into the bidding.
OTTAWA SUN: Claude Giroux was all smiles as he met with local media after signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Senators. Giroux makes his offseason home in Ottawa and said he was excited to be joining his hometown club. “They’ve got a lot of talented guys who like to work hard and compete,” said Giroux. “I just like the character of the team, and I’ll fit right in with them.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is the Senators’ most significant UFA signing in years. Giroux was linked to the Sens for months but there was speculation the 34-year-old forward would prefer signing with a Cup contender. He should bring a welcome boost of experience and leadership to their roster.
TSN: The New Jersey Devils have reportedly signed former Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat to a five-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Devils were in the market for a top-six winger. Palat is a solid two-way forward with considerable playoff experience. He’ll be a solid addition to the rebuilding Devils in their quest to become a playoff contender next season.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: The Bruins made a noteworthy addition by acquiring Pavel Zacha from the Devils in exchange for Erik Haula. They’re also still in talks with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on one-year, bonus-laden contracts.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A former first-round pick, Zacha struggled to play up to expectations in New Jersey. Perhaps the move to Boston will help the 25-year-old forward improve his game. As for Bergeron, there have been conflicting reports saying he’s going to return while others claim he’s still pondering his future.
DAILY FACEOFF: The Lightning wasted little time locking up three players eligible for restricted free agent status next summer. Defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Erik Cernak and center Anthony Cirelli were all signed to lucrative long-term contract extensions.
SPORTSNET: The Anaheim Ducks signed former New York Rangers center Ryan Strome to a five-year, $25 million contract on Wednesday evening.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The 29-year-old Strome will fill the Ducks’ second-line center position. This is a good move by the rebuilding club, bringing in some experienced depth to take some of the burden from rising star Trevor Zegas.
DETROIT HOCKEY NOW: Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman spent just under $20 million via free agency yesterday to make his club more competitive next season. He added forwards David Perron, Andrew Copp and Dominik Kubalik and defensemen Ben Chiarot and Olli Maatta.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings have patiently rebuilt over the past three seasons. These veteran additions should help them take the next step toward playoff contention next season. Perron, Copp and Chiarot will bring veteran skill and leadership to the Wings roster.
DAILY FACEOFF: The New York Rangers traded defenseman Patrik Nemeth and two draft picks to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defense prospect Ty Emberson.
Johnny Gaudreau heads to the free-agent market, Evgeni Malkin re-signs with the Penguins, Evander Kane stays with the Oilers, Patrice Bergeron to return with the Bruins, the Wild trade Cam Talbot to the Senators, and much more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
CALGARY HOCKEY NOW: Johnny Gaudreau has played his final game with the Flames. He reportedly rejected an offer worth over $10 million annually on an eight-year deal. Flames general manager Brad Treliving indicated the 28-year-old winger’s decision was based on family reasons and not money.
Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a disappointing outcome for the Flames. Gaudreau’s decision could also affect the club’s efforts to re-sign restricted winger Matthew Tkachuk to a long-term deal. Gaudreau is now the top player available in the unrestricted free-agent market when it opens at noon ET today. He’s been linked to the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Evgeni Malkin has agreed to a four-year, $24.4 million contract with the Penguins. The annual average value is $6.1 million and comes with a full no-movement clause.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Malkin was reportedly planning to test the market due to his frustration over negotiations with the Penguins. It appears his desire to stick with the only NHL team he’s ever played for led to his change of heart. The cap hit is identical to teammate Kris Letang’s but for two years less than Letang’s contract.
Speaking of the Penguins, they signed pending restricted free agent defenseman Pierre-Olivier Joseph to a two-year, one-way contract worth an annual average value of $825K.
SPORTSNET: Evander Kane is staying with the Edmonton Oilers after agreeing to a four-year, $20.5 million contract. The annual average value is $5.125 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers agreed to let Kane’s agent speak to other clubs but it appears whatever those teams were offering didn’t measure up to this deal. The 30-year-old winger had terrific chemistry with Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid last season. It’s a good bargain for the Oilers if Kane and McDavid continue playing well together.
Meanwhile, Kane is still waiting for his grievance to be heard over his contract termination last January by the San Jose Sharks. There’s no indication he and the Sharks are going to work out a settlement before then.
RDS.CA: Francois Gagnon reports Patrice Bergeron will be returning with the Boston Bruins. Details of the agreement are expected to be revealed later today.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There was concern among Bruins followers that Bergeron would retire, leaving the club without an established first-line center. It’ll be interesting to see what this new contract looks like.
OTTAWA SUN: The Senators have acquired goaltender Cam Talbot from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for backup goalie Filip Gustavsson. Talbot, 35, has a year remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Talbot was reportedly unhappy over the Wild bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury on a two-year contract. Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he respected the veteran netminder but didn’t want this situation to become a distraction.
In the short term, Talbot should provide a much-needed boost to the Senators’ goaltending. Gustavsson, meanwhile, will serve in a backup role to Fleury.
TSN: Speaking of the Senators, they placed defenseman Michael Del Zotto on unconditional waivers yesterday for the purpose of buying out his contract. Del Zotto joined Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom, San Jose Sharks forward Rudolfs Balcers and New Jersey Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen on the contract buyout list.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lindblom’s buyout isn’t going down well with Flyers followers. The 25-year-old winger became a fan favorite after overcoming a rare bone cancer in 2020. The move is seen as GM Chuck Fletcher’s attempt to clear cap space to pursue a big-ticket free agent such as Johnny Gaudreau.
THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondrej Palat intends to test the market today. Speaking of the Lightning, TSN reports they’ve hired former Detroit Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill as an assistant coach.
TSN: The Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman Alexander Edler to a one-year contract worth $750K.
WGR550: The Buffalo Sabres are bringing back goaltender Malcolm Subban on a one-year, $850K contract.
NHL.COM: The Kraken re-signed forward Alexander True on a one-year, two-way contract.
TSN: Scotty Bowman is stepping down as senior hockey operations advisor for the Chicago Blackhawks.
NHL.COM: Duncan Keith officially announced his retirement yesterday as an NHL player after 17 seasons with the Blackhawks and Oilers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I summarize the future Hall-of-Famer’s career on Saturday when news first broke of his impending retirement. Best wishes to Keith and his family in their future endeavors.
Updates on the contract negotiations of Evgeni Malkin and David Pastrnak, Braden Holtby’s career could be over, Anthony Cirelli underwent surgery and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
THE ATHLETIC: Evgeni Malkin appears uncertain if he’ll be returning to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Rob Rossi reports the Penguins center is wondering if the front office still wants him as contract negotiations have stalled, raising doubt in the 35-year-old’s mind.
Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (NHL Images).
Close friends and teammates of Malkin claim he’s devastated by the lack of movement on the Penguins’ part. Rossi cited congratulatory texts Malkin sent to teammates Kris Letang, Bryan Rust and Casey DeSmith after they signed new contracts with the Penguins. When they asked about the status of his contract talks, Malkin replied, “They think I’m not good anymore.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rossi also reported Penguins general manager Ron Hextall told reporters on Friday that his club wants to re-sign Malkin. He hopes to make a cost-cutting trade to free up cap space to sign the long-time Penguins star. The Penguins’ initial offer to Malkin was reportedly a three-year, $18 million deal. There’s also talk of a four-year contract worth $7 million annually.
Still, this appears to be affecting Malkin so much that team captain Sidney Crosby reportedly paid him a visit to cheer up his old friend. We’ll find out by noon on July 13 if his future remains in Pittsburgh or if he’ll be moving on to a new NHL club.
NHL.COM: Eric Russo reports Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney said contract extension talks with David Pastrnak have gone well thus far. The 26-year-old winger is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agent status. The specifics of the deal (term and salary) have yet to be addressed.
Sweeney also provided updates on captain Patrice Bergeron and former Bruins center David Krejci. He’s hoping for a final decision by Bergeron on Wednesday whether he’ll return for another season or retire. Meanwhile, Krejci is still contemplating whether he’ll return to the NHL after spending last season in his native Czechia.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins and Pastrnak have completed the preliminary stage of negotiations. Next comes determining the framework of the contract. Sweeney appeared keen to continue talks as soon as possible.
It’s rumored Bergeron is leaning toward return, with one report last month claiming he intended to play next season. Krejci’s return would resolve the Bruins’ need for a second-line center for next season. Fitting him into their tight cap constraints, however, could be difficult.
As per Cap Friendly, the Bruins have just over $2 million in salary-cap space with 22 players under contract for 2022-23. They should get some early-season cap relief with Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy expected to miss the opening weeks recovering from off-season surgery but must become cap compliant when they return to action.
THE BOSTON GLOBE: Speaking of the Bruins, team president Cam Neely seemed to suggest the players had a hand in the departure of head coach Bruce Cassidy. Confirming that Jake DeBrusk had rescinded his trade request, Neely said the players were chafing under Cassidy’s coaching style and were ready for a change.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This could raise concerns over how this makes the Bruins look and could make things difficult for Cassidy’s replacement, Jim Montgomery. However, those worries will be mollified if they play well for Montgomery.
DAILY FACEOFF (via RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAKS): Frank Seravalli recently reported Braden Holtby won’t play next season and his career could be over after dealing with a nagging lower-body injury this season. The 32-year-old goaltender played 24 games with the Dallas Stars in 2021-22 and is slated to become a UFA on July 13.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word yet from Holtby or his agent regarding his health or future plans.
THE ATHLETIC: Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois said center Anthony Cirelli underwent shoulder surgery last Tuesday. He didn’t provide a timeline for his return.
SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: A source claims the Sharks won’t be tendering a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Jonathan Dahlen. The deadline for qualifying offers is 5 pm ET on Monday, July 11.
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports the Nashville Predators could be the host for the 2023 NHL Draft. They last hosted the draft in 2003, choosing Ryan Suter seventh overall.
THE HOCKEY NEWS: The Seattle Kraken had a solid draft this year, using their 11 picks to address a variety of needs. Highly-touted prospect Shane Wright fell to them at the No. 4 position, but they also chose such notables as Jagger Firkus, Jani Nyman, Niklas Kokko, and Ty Nelson.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The overall consensus is the Kraken did very well stocking up their prospect cupboard this year. They’ll be sitting in a good place within a few years if even a handful of those picks pan out for them.
The 2022-23 schedule is released plus the latest on Kirill Kaprizov, Filip Forsberg, Kris Letang, Patrice Bergeron, John Klingberg, Evander Kane and more on the eve of the first round of the 2022 draft in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.
NHL.COM: The league released its 2022-23 schedule on Wednesday. The regular season begins in Prague on Oct. 7 and 8 as the Nashville Predators and San Jose Sharks face off in the 2022 Global Series. The first games in North America will be held on Oct. 11 featuring the New York Rangers facing the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Colorado Avalanche will raise their 2021-22 Stanley Cup banner in Denver on Oct. 12 prior to their home opener against the Chicago Blackhawks. That evening will also see the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Montreal to face the Canadiens while the Vancouver Canucks will face the Oilers in Edmonton.
The 2023 Winter Classic will be held on Jan. 1, 2023, between the Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park in Boston. Hockey Day in Canada featuring all seven Canadian teams in action will be on Jan. 21.
The Florida Panthers will host the 2023 NHL All-Star Game with the skills competition on Feb. 3 and the All-Star Game on Feb. 4. The regular season will end on Apr. 13.
THE ATHLETIC: Media reports out of Russia claim Minnesota Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov is wanted in his native country for allegedly buying a fake military ID card in 2017 while he was playing in the KHL. The Wild and the NHL are gathering information to determine the credibility of the story.
Reports also claimed Kaprizov had fled Russia but Wild general manager Bill Guerin said he’s still in the country and is safe with family and friends. Guerin said he and the club have been in touch with Kaprizov’s agent and aren’t pushing the panic button.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a result of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Under Russian law, eligible men between 18 and 27 must serve a year in the military, though exemptions are provided for athletes. Russo cited a source claiming Kaprizov’s exemption ended on June 30.
Last week, Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Ivan Fedotov was detained under suspicion of dodging the draft and sent to a remote Arctic naval base. Fedotov broke his contract with KHL club CSKA Moscow to sign with the Flyers in May. It’s generated increasing concern over whether Russian players will be allowed to return to the NHL next season.
TWINCITIES.COM: Speaking of the Wild, they signed defenseman Jake Middleton to a three-year contract extension with an annual average value of $2.45 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Middleton was due to become a restricted free agent with arbitration rights when the free-agent market opened on July 13. Acquired from the San Jose Sharks before the trade deadline, he proved to be a good fit with the Wild. He skated with Jared Spurgeon on their top pairing, providing an additional measure of grit to their blueline.
NHL.COM: Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said his club is closer to signing Filip Forsberg now than when they made their eight-year contract offer earlier in the offseason. The 27-year-old left winger is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It looks like Forsberg will stay in Nashville barring a last-minute collapse in negotiations before the free agent market opens next Wednesday. There’s no indication from the Forsberg camp of any disagreement with Poile’s assessment of their contract talks.
I assumed a sticking point was the lack of no-trade protection. Poile indicated Forsberg will get a full no-movement clause and a full no-trade if he signs with the Predators.
The Predators GM said the holdup was over money. It’s rumored that could be between $8 million and $9 million per season on an eight-year deal.
PITTSBURGH HOCKEY NOW: Penguins GM Ron Hextall said he’d be surprised if his club didn’t get defenseman Kris Letang signed to a new contract before July 13. However, he seemed less optimistic about re-signing Evgeni Malkin but said the two sides will continue working on it.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Letang is reportedly seeking a five-year deal worth between $8 million and $9 million annually. The Penguins are also said to have put the priority on re-signing the 35-year-old defenseman before turning to Malkin.
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron hasn’t signed on the dotted line yet, but recent discussions indicate he’s considering a return with the Bruins next season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: An earlier report last month had Bergeron agreeing to come back. Back in May, he indicated that he would either return with the Bruins or retire. If he’s leaning toward playing, I think we’ll see him suiting up for a 19th season in Boston.
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli reports John Klingberg will be hitting the free-agent market next week. Talks between the 29-year-old defenseman and the Dallas Stars have been cordial but they don’t appear to be any closer to working out a new contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Reports last fall claimed Klingberg sought an eight-year deal with the Stars worth between $7.75 million and $8.5 million per season. With Jake Oettinger and Jason Robertson due for big raises coming off their entry-level deals, the Stars won’t have enough cap room to pay them and Klingberg.
SPORTSNET: Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland said his club isn’t close to a deal with Evander Kane. He said they’ll continue to speak with his agent to see if something can be worked out. Kane, 30, is due to become a UFA next week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane also has a grievance hearing over his terminated contract with the San Jose Sharks coming up sometime after July 13 unless he and the Sharks can work out an agreement before then. That could affect the Oilers’ efforts to sign him.
TSN: Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said Nicklas Backstrom is determined to play next season after undergoing hip surgery last month.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Uncertainty over Backstrom’s status raised speculation the Capitals could be shopping around for a replacement. His determination to play is admirable but that will be decided by how well he recovers from hip-shaving surgery.
WASHINGTON HOCKEY NOW: Speaking of the Capitals, they’ll get more clarity on the status of Carl Hagelin’s season-ending eye injury later this summer. Hagelin suffered the injury during practice in early March. He underwent two surgeries which permanently took away some of the vision in his left eye. It also affected his depth perception but that could return in time.
VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Canucks management indicated there’s not much to report on contract extension talks with J.T. Miller. However, they’re more optimistic about re-signing captain Bo Horvat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both players have a year remaining on their contracts. Miller has been the subject of considerable trade speculation this season. There are rumors he could be traded either during the draft or before the start of the UFA market next week.
NHL.COM: New Jersey Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald said Jesper Bratt will not be traded and has received a qualifying offer from the team. The 23-year-old winger is coming off a career-best 73-point performance and is slated to become a restricted free agent next Wednesday.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: So much for the recent speculation claiming the Devils could shop Bratt if they couldn’t work out a suitable new contract.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Speaking of the Devils, they hired Kate Madigan as their new assistant GM, becoming the first woman in franchise history to hold that role.
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets signed defenseman Adam Boqvist to a three-year contract extension worth an annual average value of $2.6 million.
NHL.COM: Former NHL defenseman Bryan Marchment died suddenly on Wednesday in Montreal. Marchment, 53, was attending the upcoming draft in his role as a scout with the San Jose Sharks.
A physical blueliner during his playing career, Marchment spent 17 seasons in the NHL with the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Hartford Whalers, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, San Jose Sharks, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames from 1988-89 to 2005-06. In 926 regular-season games, he had 182 points and amassed 2,307 PIMs. His son, Mason Marchment, plays for the Florida Panthers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: My condolences to Marchment’s family, friends, former teammates and the Sharks organization.