- In somewhat of a surprise, pending UFA Sebastian Aho was retained on a two-year deal.
- Less surprising was Grant Hutton, who made his NHL debut this past season, was also retained — on a three-year deal.
- Least surprising was Robin Salo, a pending RFA, being retained on a two-year deal that will still have him as an RFA when it expires.
All three will make cases for a spot on a blueline that we all expect will no longer have Zdeno Chara or Andy Greene. But all three are just as likely to be “first callup” insurance when blueline injuries arise, as they usually do.
Salo is the younger one (23) and still has the higher upside. He made a memorable impression camp two seasons ago but was passed over a bit this past season when, according to a Barry Trotz media scrum, he hadn’t been putting in the work in Bridgeport. (That was when Hutton got his first callup.)
That (plus some other extensions, Otto Koivula, And Andreoff among them) and RFA qualifying offers is part of the more routine business before the chaos begins: Unrestricted free agents can start signing on Wednesday. You can see their cap situation at the CapFriendly link, which illustrates how big splashes are unlikely unless they do some other kind of roster voodoo.
- Kevin Kurz dives into those topics (also: Michael Dal Colle not retained just yet) and a little more on the trade for Alex Romanov. [Athletic]
- Notebook from the second day of the draft, when the Islanders made their picks. [Isles]
- Dan and Mike reacted to the Romanov trade, the draft, and looked ahead to free agency, in the latest Islanders Anxiety. [LHH]
- The Rangers are expected to let Ryan Strome walk, and the Blackhawks are expected to do the same with his brother, Dylan. [Athletic | Sportsnet]
- Duncan Keith has retired, one year after providing the Blackhawks cap relief. [TSN]
- That should give the Oilers even more space to address goaltending in what is a tough goalie-carousel market. [TSN]
- The Avalanche have extended new goalie Alexandar Georgiev for three years, $10.2 million. [Sportsnet | NHL]
- Meanwhile, the Leafs and Senators have “intensified” discussions over Matt Murray. [Sportsnet]
- The Flames still hope to re-sign Johnny Gaudreau, but what should they do if they can’t? [TSN]
- Signing Gaudrea, and keeping Matthew Tkachuk, is no slam dunk, however. [Sportsnet]
- Shane Wright says whoa, whoa, no he did not stare down the Canadiens draft table from the stage so stop with all that. [Sportsnet]
- The Kings extended Andrian Kempe for four years, $22 million. [Sportsnet]