Check in regularly for today’s notable player moves during the opening day of the NHL’s annual free-agent market.
New York Islander sign goaltender Semyon Varlamov to a four-year, $11 million contract.
Detroit Red Wings sign center J.T. Compher to a five-year, $25.5 million contract.
New York Islanders sign Scott Mayfield to a seven-year, $24.5 million contract.
Seattle Kraken signed Brian Dumoulin to a two-year, $6.3 million contract.
Colorado Avalanche signs Jonathan Drouin to a one-year, $825K contract.
Pittsburgh Penguins sign Lars Eller to a two-year, $4.9 million contract.
New York Islanders sign Pierre Engvall to a seven-year, $21 million contract.
Colorado Avalanche sign winger Miles Wood to a six-year, $15 million contract.
Pittsburgh Penguins sign defenseman Ryan Graves to a six-year, $27 million contract.
Pittsburgh Penguins bring back goaltender Tristan Jarry on a five-year, $28.875 million contract.
Anaheim Ducks sign Alex Killorn to a four-year, $25 million contract.
Arizona Coyotes sign Jason Zucker to a one-year, $5.3 million contract.
Detroit Red Wings sign Daniel Sprong to a one-year, $2 million contract.
Dallas Stars sign Matt Duchene to a one-year, $3 million contract
Tampa Bay Lightning sign Conor Sheary to a three-year $6 million contract.
Boston Bruins sign defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Nashville Predators sign forward Gustav Nyquist to a two-year, $6.37 million contract.
Detroit Red Wings sign defenseman Justin Holl to a three-year, $10.20 million contract.
Washington Capitals sign Max Pacioretty to a one-year, $2 million contract.
Vancouver Canucks sign Carson Soucy to a three-year, $9.75 million contract.
Nashville Predators sign Ryan O’Reilly to a four-year, $18 million contract.
Carolina Hurricanes sign defenseman Dmitry Orlov to a two-year. $7.75 million contract.
Carolina Hurricanes bring back goaltender Frederik Andersen on a two-year, $6.8 million contract.
Ottawa Senators sign goaltender Joonas Korpisalo to a five-year, $20 million contract.
Buffalo Sabres sign defenseman Erik Johnson to a one-year, $3.25 million contract.
Edmonton Oilers sign winger Connor Brown to a one-year, $4 million contract.
Anaheim Ducks sign defenseman Radko Gudas to a three-year, $12 million contract.
San Jose Sharks sign goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood to a two-year $4.7 million contract.
New York Rangers sign right wing Blake Wheeler to a one-year, $800K salary plus $300K max bonuses.
Boston Bruins sign left wing James van Riemsdyk to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Boston Bruins sign winger Milan Lucic to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Los Angeles Kings sign Cam Talbot to a one-year, $1 million contract.
Montreal Canadiens traded defenseman Joel Edmundson to the Washington Capitals for a third-round pick and a seventh-rounder in the 2024 NHL draft. The Canadiens are retaining 50 percent of his cap hit.
Nashville Predator sign Luke Schenn to a three-year contract with an AAV of $2.75 million
Florida Panthers sign defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a one-year, $2.25 million contract.
Toronto Maple Leafs sign forward Ryan Reaves to a three-year contract with an AAV of $1.3 million.
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (NHL Images)
Flyers general manager Daniel Briere was asked about the status of Carter Hart during his press conference announcing the Provorov trade. The 24-year-old goaltender has been the subject of trade speculation after Briere recently indicated he would listen to offers.
“I’m still in the same spot I was,” said Briere. “We’re open for business. We listen on everybody. Everybody’s being treated the same way for us on our side.”
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Marc Dumont noted a rumor that surfaced immediately following the Provorov trade claiming the Flyers were working on a deal involving Hart. He mused over whether the Canadiens should pursue him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been nothing new thus far regarding that rumored Hart trade. Perhaps we’ll learn more details soon or maybe it’ll come to nothing. What’s clear is Briere isn’t afraid to make bold moves involving one of his core players provided he gets a solid return. He could trade Hart if someone makes him a good offer.
Stanovich expects Gavrikov will be signed soon, perhaps to a three-year, $6 million per year deal. He also stated there’s nothing linking the Kings to Carter Hart but wouldn’t be surprised if they were in the mix.
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Stephens also weighed in on what the Kings’ next moves could be. He agrees the Provorov trade makes it easier for them to re-sign Gavrikov. Stephens cited colleague Pierre LeBrun indicating the blueliner’s agent seeks a two-year deal while Eric Duhatschek speculated Gavrikov could get around $5.7 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The thinking here for the Gavrikov camp is he could be in line for a much bigger payday in 2025 when the salary cap is expected to rise by a significant amount. He made $2.8 million annually on his current deal so something between $5.5 million and $6 million would be a healthy raise.
As for Korpisalo, Stephens suggested they could re-sign him or look at bringing in another goalie to share the duties with Pheonix Copley.
MAYOR’S MANOR: The influential Kings’ blog offered their analysis of what the Provorov deal means for this club. In addition to re-signing Gavrikov, they believe it allows the Kings to retain forwards Alex Iafallo, Trevor Moore and Viktor Arvidsson. The trio was to be considered cost-cutting trade candidates.
They anticipate the Kings will add another goaltender but will likely only have around $2 million to make that move. “We are not expecting Joonas Korpisalo to be an option for LA.” They also ruled out the possibility of pursuing Anaheim’s John Gibson or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With just over $13 million in projected cap space and 16 active roster players under contract, the Kings can easily afford Gavrikov. However, it will take a substantial bite out of their cap space. That’s why they’ll likely pass on Korpisalo in favor of more affordable goaltending options.
The Provorov trade might be the only major one the Kings make this summer. They could look at a smaller deal for a goalie or seek a cost-effective option via free agency.
THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline speculates Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen might not be done dealing after acquiring Provorov. He noted that Kekalainen said his club will keep evaluating with free agency coming up and he didn’t rule out making another trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blue Jackets have some promising centers on their roster (Kent Johnson, Cole Sillinger. Dmitri Voronkov) and could attempt to select another such as Leo Carlsson with the third-overall selection in this year’s draft. However, they still need more experienced depth at that position. With $12 million in cap space and 19 active roster players under contract for next season, Kekalainen could set his sights on a center through the trade or free-agent markets.
The trio pondered whether general manager Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe will be replaced. Dubas is in the final year of his contract and could garner interest from other clubs if his bosses decide not to re-sign him.
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (NHL Images).
They also noted that Auston Matthews is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. Does he sign a lengthy and expensive contract extension or decide his future belongs elsewhere?
Simmons mused over whether Leafs president Brendan Shanahan survives after yet another solid regular season dissolved into another unimpressive playoff run.
Meanwhile, Mirtle took note that William Nylander is also a year away from UFA status and wondered if Nylander or Matthews becomes the priority to re-sign. He also wondered which players on the current roster under expiring contracts will be brought back given that next season’s salary cap is expected to remain flattened.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This seems like feasting on a carcass while it’s still barely breathing but it’s understandable given the rarity of clubs overcoming 0-3 postseason series deficits.
There was talk about Dubas and Keefe having saved their jobs during those giddy days following the Leafs series victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. All of that has disappeared in this series against the Panthers.
Barring a miraculous comeback those issues will be paramount in the minds of Leafs Nation.
What does the future hold for Dubas, Keefe and Shanahan? Will it be Dubas attempting to open contract extension talks with Matthews and Nylander or someone else?
Are those players interested in staying in Toronto? Have they grown weary of the fishbowl existence and postseason underachievement and intend to their sights elsewhere?
The answers to some of those questions could be coming by the end of this week if the Leafs get swept on Wednesday.
POTENTIAL TRADE DESTINATIONS FOR HELLEBUYCK
SPORTSNET: Ryan Dixon recently looked at seven potential off-season trade suitors for Connor Hellebuyck. The 29-year-old Winnipeg Jets goaltender is a year away from unrestricted free-agent eligibility. He indicated during his end-of-season interview that he’s not interested in a roster rebuild if Jets management goes that route.
Topping Dixon’s list is the Los Angeles Kings if they decide to part ways with trade-deadline acquisition Joonas Korpisalo. Taking on Hellebuyck, whose annual average value is $6.16 million, would be more expensive than re-signing Korpisalo. However, the former Vezina Trophy winner could help the Kings finally reach their potential.
Dixon also included the Maple Leafs in his list. However, their limited cap space would probably take them out of the running.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know yet whether the Jets’ ever-cautious management will shake things up or attempt to bolster their depth around core players like Hellebuyck for one more run next season.
Nevertheless, Hellebuyck will garner plenty of interest if he hits the trade block. Several of those aforementioned clubs are bound to come calling. I would also include the Pittsburgh Penguins in that bunch.
Trade-deadline acquisition Vladislav Gavrikov was a terrific fit for the Kings. While his teammates went to bat for him to return, Kings GM Rob Blake noted his club has just $2.5 million in cap space for next season. Stephens believes Blake must make a cost-cutting trade to keep Gavirkov.
Defenseman Sean Walker could be a trade candidate. He appeared in just two of the six playoff games against the Oilers and was a healthy scratch at times in the second half of the season. Walker carries a $2.65 million cap hit for 2023-24.
Stephens also noted the Kings’ goaltending situation remains unsettled. Trade deadline pickup Joonas Korpisalo is slated to become a UFA this summer and Blake was noncommital over whether he’ll re-sign him.
Pheonix Copley is signed through next season. Meanwhile, the Kings might have no choice but to try and improve Cal Petersen, who struggled in the first season of his three-year contract with its $5 million annual cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Walker was a frequent subject of trade speculation this season as a cost-cutting candidate. It seems likely he’ll be on the move to clear space for Gavrikov if the latter is willing to stay and doesn’t seek an unreasonable raise over his current $2.8 million cap hit.
Korpisalo seemed certain to be re-signed by the Kings following his strong play down the stretch and early in that series with the Oilers. However, he struggled as that series went on which would explain Blake’s seeming reluctance to include him in his future plans.
Could the Bruins shop Linus Ullmark? Will the Rangers trade one of their young forwards? What’s the latest on the Red Wings and Senators? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
COULD ULLMARK BECOME A TRADE CANDIDATE?
BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites a former NHL executive claiming the Bruins entertained trade talks for Linus Ullmark but elected to retain the 29-year-old goaltender.
Ullmark went on to become the favorite to win this Vezina Trophy this season after going 40-6-1 with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage. However, the executive felt he could be traded this offseason.
The Bruins have limited salary-cap space for 2023-24. Ullmark is signed through 2024-25 with a $5 million average annual value. Despite his struggles in the Bruins’ opening-round elimination by the Florida Panthers, his regular-season performance ensures he’ll have value in the trade market.
Boston Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has only 14 active roster players under contract for 2023-24. Cap Friendly shows the Bruins with a projected $10.5 million in cap space but that doesn’t appear to take into account their $4.5 million in performance bonus overages.
Sweeney will have to shed some salary to ice a 23-man roster next season. Trading Ullmark, however, won’t be easy. His no-movement clause for this season reverts on July 1 to a 16-team no-trade list for 2023-24. A number of clubs also have salary-cap constraints.
COULD THE RANGERS TRADE A YOUNG PLAYER?
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks observed the Rangers might need to restructure their roster following their first-round elimination by the New Jersey Devils. He believes they still need a line with “a lockdown mentality and match-up capability,” noting they also lack a true checking-line center.
The Rangers also have limited cap room to work with this summer and limited maneuverability with their no-move veterans. That could lead to them perhaps moving a young player such as defenseman K’Andre Miller or a forward like Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko or Filip Chytil.
Walker considers Miller too valuable to part with but the 21-year-old Lafreniere might be a trade option. The 2020 first-overall pick is a natural left winger but the Rangers’ depth at that position has him struggling to play on his off-wing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers general manager Chris Drury could consider another trade option to free up cap room to add a right winger. Perhaps he’ll shop checking-line forward Barclay Goodrow. He could then give the Kid Line of Chytil, Lafreniere and Kakko another go next season.
It’s difficult to believe Drury could trade Lafreniere. Then again, he wasn’t the general manager who drafted him. Despite his struggles, the youngster would garner plenty of interest in the trade market.
Lafreniere is a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level contract and should be an affordable bridge-deal signing. The Rangers aren’t getting any cap relief by trading him as they would with players signed through next season like Chytil ($4.4 million) or Kakko ($2.1 million).
I’ll be shocked if the Rangers trade Miller. He’s only going to improve and is too valuable to their blueline now and down the road.
Khan believes they have to assets to do it if the Senators are willing to trade DeBrincat within the division. However, he wondered if the 5’7”, 165-pounder is the type of scorer they want when they seeking more pushback and being harder to play against. He also noted it would cost $$9 million to qualify DeBrincat’s rights.
Another reader asked Khan if the Red Wings could acquire Kyle Connor. He believes prying the 26-year-old winger away from the Winnipeg Jets is a bigger long shot than acquiring DeBrincat.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $30 million in cap space, five picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft and a deep pool of prospects, Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman has the trade capital to make a significant addition or two to his roster for next season.
DeBrincat would address their need for more scoring but they’d have to look elsewhere to add more size and toughness to their roster. As for the Jets, they could shake things up this summer but Connor is under a long-term contract and I doubt he’ll be part of any changes they make.
Free-agent goalie options could include Los Angeles’ Joonas Korpisalo, Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry, Vegas’ Adin Hill, the New York Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov and perhaps bringing back Alex Nedeljkovic.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo is the best of the bunch if they’re seeking a potential starter. That’s assuming the Kings don’t re-sign him. Hill or Varlamov would be good options if they prefer a backup for starter Ville Husso.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dumba’s stock dropped over the past two seasons. The same goes for Klingberg and Severson. Maybe they can regain their form with a change of scenery. Gudas would add that snarl to the lineup that they’re seeking. Mayfield would be a solid shutdown addition.
POTENTIAL GOALIE OPTIONS FOR THE SENATORS
SPORTSNET: Wayne Scanlan recently listed seven pending UFA goaltenders and offered his assessment of them as options for the Ottawa Senators next season.
Scanlan would pass on Jonathan Quick given his age (37) and two sub-par seasons. Other notables include Pittsburgh’s Tristan Jarry, Carolina’s Frederik Andersen or Antti Raanta, Vegas’ Adin Hill, the Islanders’ Semyon Varlamov and Los Angeles’ Joonas Korpisalo.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Andersen and Raanta are solid, reliable netminders when they’re healthy. Their respective injury histories should be a red flag. Jarry’s inconsistency likely means the Penguins will part ways with him. Maybe he finds stability with a change of scenery.
Korpisalo might be a better option if the Senators seek a starter. Varlamov or Hill would be a solid backup choice.
Figuring out how to free up more salary-cap space should be a priority. Veterans like Alex Killorn, Corey Perry and Ian Cole are eligible for unrestricted free-agent status this summer. They also have limited trade capital with just three picks in this year’s draft.
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Alex Killorn (NHL Images).
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois did a fine job managing his limited cap space to maintain a contender for the past three years. However, he now faces a different challenge in figuring out how to restore the depth around his core talent before their best seasons are behind them.
BriseBois could find it easier should the salary cap increase this summer by more than the projected $1 million. Otherwise, he could face another offseason shedding more roster depth and trying to find suitable replacements at cheaper prices.
Ryan S. Clark examined what could be in store this summer for the Los Angeles Kings following their second straight first-round elimination by the Edmonton Oilers.
The Kings will have to ensure they’ve got sufficient cap space to re-sign restricted free-agent forward Gabriel Vilardi. They’ll also have to decide what to do with pending unrestricted free agents Joona Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov.
They’ll also have to decide what to do with goaltender Cal Petersen, who’s completing the first season of a three-year contract worth $5 million annually. The struggles of Petersen and now-former Kings goalie Jonathan Quick led the Kings to turn to Pheonix Copley for large stretches of the season before acquiring Korpisalo at the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how general manager Rob Blake addresses this situation. Vilardi’s performance this season has him in line for a significant raise while Korpisalo and Gavrikov were solid additions who are worth retaining if there’s sufficient cap room to do so.
Trading Petersen could free up valuable cap space to re-sign Vilardi and retain Korpisalo and/or Gavrikov. Given his struggles over the past two seasons, however, it’s unlikely they’ll find any takers unless they retain a portion of his salary or take back a bad contract in return.
LATEST ON THE JETS
WINNIPEG SUN: Ted Wyman reports Jets winger Kyle Connor isn’t interested in being part of a roster rebuild at this stage in his career. “I don’t think anybody in that locker room wants to be part of a rebuild,” he said. Connor is among the few Jets stars with more than one year remaining on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much of the focus on a possible Jets rebuild is based on shipping out Scheifele, Wheeler, Hellebuyck and Dubois and using the returns to build around players like Connor, Josh Morrissey and Nikolaj Ehlers who still have term on the contracts beyond next season. It hasn’t taken into account that those players might not want to be part of that process
Connor pointed out he has no say in what management does. Nevertheless, his comments could have some impact on their offseason decisions. Instead of trading those players for draft picks and prospects, perhaps they seek returns that provide a quicker turnaround in the Jets’ fortunes.
Speaking of Dubois, Wyman reported he was dismissive of the rumors about his future. Nevertheless, the 24-year-old center made no secret that he’d like to choose where he plays once he becomes a UFA.
“The right to choose is something that personally, it gives you power,” said Dubois. “You can make your decision and not just go where you’re told. So for me, that’s something that’s pretty important.”
Speculation has linked Dubois to the Montreal Canadiens since his agent last summer hinted that he might like to play for them one day.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dubois playing coy over whether he’s interested in a long-term deal with the Jets. His comments will only stoke speculation that he could be traded to the Canadiens this summer.
Hellebuyck has no idea if he’ll be part of the Jets future beyond this season. “I don’t know what their plans are, and I don’t know if I’m in it, to be honest,” he said. “If they decide to move me, that’s their call. If they decide to try to talk, I haven’t really thought about that yet.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hellebuyck also isn’t interested in a rebuild. “My main goal is to win a Stanley Cup and I’m running out of time,” said the 30-year-old goaltender.
Scott Billeck reported Scheifele was non-committal about his future. He learned his lesson from last year when season-ending remarks about doing what’s best for him and his career sparked weeks of trade speculation.
“I think it’s too early to talk about,” said Scheifele. He plans to take time in the coming days and weeks to think about it and figure things out.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ll be very surprised if the Jets return next season with their current core intact. They’ve been in decline over the past five seasons. General manager Kevin Cheveldayoff has been patient to a fault but it’s apparent that this group isn’t getting any better. Changes are necessary and could be coming as early as June in the lead-up to the 2023 Draft in Nashville.
NHL WATCHER: cited Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek on the “32 Thoughts” podcast wondering if Blake Wheeler might be a fit with the Philadelphia Flyers or Boston Bruins given the questions about the futures of Flyers center Sean Couturier and Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. Marek believes Wheeler fits the mold of those teams.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Chuck Fletcher were still the Flyers GM, then yes, Wheeler would fit their mold. Not anymore. The Flyers are rebuilding and Wheeler (who turns 37 in August) is too old to be a suitable part of that process. As for the Bruins, I think they’d be more interested in someone who’s younger as a possible replacement for Bergeron.
The first is whether general manager Lou Lamoriello will be back. It’s unknown if the 80-year-old has signed a contract extension to stay on as president and general manager of the Islanders for next season. His current deal is believed to expire at the end of this season.
With centers Bo Horvat and Mathew Barzal under long-term contracts, Sears wondered if Jean-Gabriel Pageau or Brock Nelson might be traded for resources that could be deployed elsewhere in the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Sears doesn’t expect the Islanders to engage in a roster teardown and neither do I. However, they must bolster their offense if they hope to be more than a marginal playoff contender in the Metropolitan Division. That could involve one or two cost-cutting moves to free up sufficient cap space to address that issue this summer.
The latest on the Sabres plus speculation over Joonas Korpisalo’s future with the Kings in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
WHO COULD THE SABRES PURSUE IN THE OFFSEASON?
THE BUFFALO NEWS: In his recent mailbag segment, Lance Lysowski wrote that he believed the Sabres won’t add a goaltender that would block Devon Levi or Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from becoming their starter.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In other words, the Sabres will seek a veteran goaltender on an affordable short-term contract to mentor Levi or Luukkonen.
Lysowski believes Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams will seek a top-four defenseman via trade or free agency. However, he won’t want to hand out an expensive, long-term contract to whoever they add.
Possible trade targets could include Calgary’s Rasmus Andersson, Vegas’ Shea Theodore or Chicago’s Connor Murphy. Free-agent options could include Carson Soucy, Matt Dumba, Scott Mayfield or Ryan Graves.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Flames parting with Andersson or the Golden Knights with Theodore. The rebuilding Blackhawks, however, could listen to offers for Murphy.
They might be better off going the free-agent route with one of those blueliners mentioned by Lysowski. Graves could be a good fit if he’s available, though he could seek the type of long-term deal that Lysowski believes the Sabres want to avoid.
Asked about signing Patrick Kane, Lysowski doesn’t think the Sabres will commit to a big contract for the 34-year-old winger. They don’t want to block some of their younger, more affordable prospects from making the lineup.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kane signing with his hometown team to finish his career makes a nice story. However, the Sabres are awash in talented young scorers. Their priority is improving their blueline and adding a veteran presence in the crease. They don’t need a veteran scorer, not even one as illustrious as Kane.
Lysowski was asked if the Sabres would consider using Mittelstadt as a trade chip to add a top-four defenseman. He doesn’t see them parting with the young forward, who enjoyed a breakout performance this season.
THE ATHLETIC: In his latest mailbag segments, Matthew Fairburn was asked if Casey Mittelstadt’s performance this season makes him more valuable to the Sabres as a trade chip to bolster their blueline. He felt Mittlestadt became more attractive to other clubs in the trade market but thinks it would take a significant offer to pry him away from the Sabres.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Lysowski and Fairburn regarding Mittelstadt. Maybe the Sabres listen if the offer is a top-four shutdown defenseman in his playing prime. Otherwise, Mittelstadt isn’t going anywhere.
Fairburn also thinks the Sabres will be in the market this summer for a top-four defenseman via trade or free agency. He suggested Florida Panthers blueliner Radko Gudas would be near the top of his list for a right-shot defenseman. Other targets could include New Jersey’s Damon Severson, Minnesota’s Matt Dumba or Boston’s Connor Clifton.
DOES KORPISALO HAVE A FUTURE WITH THE KINGS?
THE ATHLETIC: Eric Duhatschek noted Joonas Korpisalo’s solid goaltending for the Los Angeles Kings early in their first-round series with the Edmonton Oilers. He’s impressed with how quickly the Kings incorporated the 28-year-old netminder into their lineup after acquiring him from the Columbus Blue Jackets before the trade deadline.
Whatever the outcome of this series with the Oilers, Duhatschek believes the Kings will need to be in the market for a starting goalie for next season. They could re-sign Korpisalo, who is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Korpisalo was pulled from Game 5 but he had a .918 save percentage in the four games leading up to that point. He was outstanding for them down the stretch with a 7-3-1 record, a 2.13 GAA and a .921 SP. Given Cal Petersen’s decline and Pheonix Copley’s inexperience as an NHL starter, it wouldn’t surprise me if they sign Korpisalo to a two or three-year deal.