The New York Islanders have a handful of contracts that need to be dealt with prior to next season. With three restricted free agents to deal with, the top priority is top defenseman Adam Pelech. We look at his potential contract and more in today’s Daily Links!
Casey Cizikas is headlining a stable of pending unrestricted free agents that the New York Islanders have to deal with. Lou Lamoriello and the rest of the Islanders front office also have a handful of restricted free agents that need new contracts, including Adam Pelech. As part of the Islanders’ top defensive pair, Pelech is in store for a raise after the year he had for New York and he will get one. Lamoriello told reporters on Tuesday that his plan is to keep the RFAs that the Islanders have without having to ship one away to help make room under the salary cap. Sportsnet’s Elliott Friedman suggested that the Islanders offseason could begin with getting a deal worked out for Pelech, and that would make sense. But how much is Pelech worth and what would a new contract look like for him? (NYI Hockey Now)
So far, Ron Hextall has executed just one Pittsburgh Penguins trade since taking over the GM spot in February, following Jim Rutherford’s shocking resignation in January. In the first course of the Pittsburgh Penguins offseason, we’ve circled a few players via free agency or via the NHL trade market who could or would make the Penguins a better team in 2020-21. Still, there has been little movement around the league in advance of the July 21 expansion draft. Could his next move be involving forward Jake Guentzel? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
It’s July 1, which usually means the start of free agency, but more importantly, Canada Day. In honor of the national holiday, Ben Raby pitched a tremendous idea: what would the Washington Capitals all-time Canadian lineup look like? Here are the best Canada-born players to lace ’em up in D.C. and the ultimate Canadian starting lineup(Washington Hockey Now)
Should the Detroit Red Wings go after Jack Eichel? Look at the number of intriguing players general manager Steve Yzerman added since the rebuild started. Why disrupt what seems to be working? Regardless, it is worth a phone call to the Buffalo Sabres. (Detroit Hockey Now)
As it stands today, the Vegas Golden Knights have 19 players on the roster. Twelve forwards, five defensemen and two goalies. With more players left to sign and potential trades to be made, they have roughly $5.2M in open cap space. It’s definitely not enough room to re-sign everyone from last year’s team who might be UFA or RFA this season. Something has to give. Someone has to go. But who? (Vegas Hockey Now)
For every Joe Pavelski, there’s an Evgeni Nabokov. That is to say, there are gems to be found in any round of the draft. The San Jose Sharks uncovered Pavelski — 1,086 games played and counting — in the seventh round of the 2003 NHL Draft. They dug deeper for Nabokov, 697 big league contests to his credit, in the ninth round of the 1994 Draft. Yesterday at San Jose Hockey Now, we looked at the first round of the NHL draft from a historical perspective, as we considered top goaltending prospect Jesper Wallstedt with the San Jose Sharks’ seventh pick. Our conclusion? “The odds of getting a successful NHL’er — or a bust — in the first round seems fairly even whatever position you pick.” (San Jose Hockey Now)
The Tampa Bay Lightning are heading into a hostile setting for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Friday and coach Jon Cooper can’t wait to get there. “It’s like a pinch-yourself moment a bit that you have an opportunity to coach in the building and be a part of that environment,” Cooper said before the Lightning flew to Montreal on Thursday. “How much history and memories and books have been written about that franchise? So I know the people in there won’t be cheering for us, but I’m sure excited to be a part of it.” (NHL)
The Montreal Canadiens expect to have coach Dominique Ducharme back for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final on Friday, a huge boost when they return home after losing the first two games of the best-of-7 series to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ducharme tested positive for COVID-19 on June 18 and was required to quarantine for 14 days. The earliest he could return is Game 3 at Bell Centre. “I think, as far as I know, he’ll be back in the building first thing tomorrow with the team and ready to go just like he was right before he left,” assistant Luke Richardson said Thursday before the Canadiens flew to Montreal. (NHL)
Ron Hextall and the Buffalo Sabres are moving toward a solution regarding treatment for the center’s injured neck, his agent told The Associated Press on Thursday. The Sabres captain and Buffalo have not agreed on treatment for a herniated disk that ended his season in March. Eichel has expressed interest in surgery; the Sabres have said their doctors aren’t comfortable with a procedure that has not been performed on an NHL player, preferring an approach of rest and rehab. “We are communicating with the team and are heading toward a resolution,” agent Peter Fish told the AP in a text. (NHL)
Matthew Beniers, in line to become the first NHL Draft pick by the Seattle Kraken, said Thursday he is considering staying to play next season at the University of Michigan. The center, and Michigan defenseman Owen Power, are projected by NHL.com to be the No. 1 and No. 2 picks in the 2021 NHL Draft, which will begin July 23 (8 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, SN NOW). “I’m definitely leaning towards coming back,” Beniers said. “We’re going to have a really good group, a lot of good players, and we’re going to get a real run at a national title. I definitely want to win a Big Ten championship and kind of do that whole college thing after getting closed down last year because of COVID.” (NHL)
The Montreal Canadiens believe they are trending in the right direction in the Stanley Cup Final despite losing the first two games of the best-of-7 series to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Forward Cole Caufield said the Canadiens can draw from the experience of when they rallied from down 3-1 to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup First Round and bouncing back from a Game 1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights for a six-game win in the Stanley Cup Semifinals. “There’s just no panic in this room,” Caufield said Thursday. “I think we’ve been here before and we’ve got great leadership in the room to keep our emotions intact, and I think that’s how we’re going forward with this.” (NHL)
Viktor Arvidsson was traded to the Los Angeles Kings by the Nashville Predators on Thursday for two NHL Draft picks. Nashville received a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft for the 28-year-old forward. (NHL)
The Arizona Coyotes have hired veteran NHL assistant and junior coach André Tourigny as head coach. Tourigny replaces Rick Tocchet, who was fired May 9 after the Coyotes failed to reach the playoffs for the seventh time in eight seasons. The 47-year-old Tourigny has spent the past four seasons as coach and vice president of hockey operations for the Ottawa 67s in the junior Ontario Hockey League. He previously served as an assistant coach with the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators. (TSN)
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