Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

The Islanders have added eight more games to their Nassau Coliseum schedule, bringing the total number of home games they'll play there in 2018-19 to 20.

In other words, the Islanders' home schedule will be pretty evenly split between Nassau Coliseum, which was their home from 1972-2015, and Barclays Center. To say the least, it's unconventional for a team to have two home facilities they regularly play at. It's only a temporary situation though as the Islanders have a new stadium being built at Belmont Park, which will serve as the successor to both Nassau Coliseum and Barclays Center as far as the Islanders are concerned. That new stadium will likely open in 2021-22.
Jun 22 - 7:08 AM

The Los Angeles Kings are believed to be among the teams interested in acquiring Jeff Skinner, but are first waiting to see if they can sign Ilya Kovalchuk.

As previously reported, it seems that Skinner likely won't be traded until after Kovalchuk is signed. Given that Kovalchuk can't sign until July 1 at the earliest, we're consequently unlikely to see a draft night trade involving Skinner. While the Hurricanes aren't necessarily pressured to trade Skinner yet, he is entering the last season of his six-year, $34.35 million contract so the timing makes a lot of sense if they can get good value for him.
Jun 22 - 6:52 AM

Panthers GM Dale Tallon is confident Mike Hoffman will fit into the team's locker room.

Erik Karlsson's wife, Melinda, filed an order of protection against Hoffman's fiancee, Monika Caryk, for allegedly cyber-bullying her. The Senators traded Hoffman shortly after that news came out and Senators GM Pierre Dorion said on Thursday that he had to make the trade because "our dressing room was broken." Tallon seems to believe that adding Hoffman won't result in the same issues in Florida though. "I’m real confident we have a strong locker room," Tallon said. "We have a great core of young players. All the conversations, I’m very confident he will be embraced by our team. We have a great culture down there now starting at the top with [Panthers owner] Vinnie Viola and all the way down. We’ve developed a real strong culture. We’re very confident about this player fitting in nicely. I know a lot of people that know him. I know a lot of players that know him and I have no issues and no problem with him coming into our team."
Jun 22 - 6:16 AM

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman reiterated that Corey Crawford is expected to be available at the start of training camp.

"What I said at the end of the year was still the case now, which is we expect Corey to be back," Bowman said. "We don’t have any reason to think that’s not going to happen." Beyond that though, there hasn't been an update on Crawford's condition. He missed the final 47 games of the 2017-18 campaign due to a head injury and he reportedly hasn't been on the ice since February. Given that we're in the offseason, we might not get any more substantial information on Crawford's condition for a while.
Jun 22 - 6:10 AM

It seems likely at this point that Rick Nash will test the free agent market.

Boston GM Don Sweeney did note that if the Bruins are successful in their efforts to sign Ilya Kovalchuk then that would end their pursuit of Nash. "We continue to talk to Rick, and he’s going to continue to take some time to make the decision that he wants to make," said Sweeney. "Time is on his side. He gets to make that [decision] into looking at that. Obviously, we close the door [on Nash talks] if we were fortunate enough to sign Ilya, but you’re kind of jockeying simultaneously. He will have options [in free agency] as well." The Bruins acquired Nash from the Rangers to aide in their postseason push. Nash had 21 goals and 34 points in 71 contests in 2017-18.
Jun 22 - 5:27 AM

Bruins GM Don Sweeney believes Ilya Kovalchuk has significant interest in Boston.

"We’ve spoken to their camp. We have not met with them in person, but we’ve spoken and had numerous conversations with his representatives about where they’re at. We feel we’re a team he has strong interest in and we’ll see where it goes between now and however long he takes to make his decision," said Sweeney. "We’re in a position to explore it. We talked very specifically about our roster with him and where we see him fitting in, and what he brings to the table. We’ll be excited to continue to explore, but I don’t know necessarily where it goes." The Bruins have consistently been cited in reports as one of the teams in the mix for Kovalchuk. It's believed that the Los Angeles Kings, among others, have offered Kovalchuk a contract with Vegas and San Jose also reportedly pursuing his services. Kovalchuk can't sign a contract until July 1.
Jun 22 - 5:23 AM

Coyotes GM John Chayka plans to use the No. 5 pick to take the best player available as opposed to factoring in the organization's positional needs.

"It’s just like we did with Clayton Keller (at No. 7 overall in 2016)," Chayka said. "Even though everyone wanted us to take a defenseman, we took the best player available. That’s our mindset." Keller is obviously a nice example for the Coyotes given that he's coming off a 65-point rookie campaign, though with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, it is also worth noting that defenseman Mikhail Sergachev (who went No. 9) was still available and had a very promising rookie season too. In our final mock draft, we've projected that Arizona will select defenseman Evan Bouchard and we'll find out tonight if that ends up being the case.
Jun 22 - 5:19 AM

Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello isn't willing to do a sign-and-trade with John Tavares, according to Pierre LeBrun.

The Islanders are the only team that can offer Tavares an eight-year deal, so a sign-and-trade would allow Tavares to sign a max deal and play for another team. Lamoriello has no interest in doing that. The only other way he could get an eight-year deal from another team is if the Islanders trade his negotiating rights before July 1.
Jun 21 - 10:00 PM

Miro Aaltonen will head back to the KHL for the 2018-19 campaign.

Aaltonen attempted to make the shift to North American hockey in 2017-18, but it didn't work out as hoped. He was solid in the AHL with 20 goals and 43 points in 64 games, but the 25-year-old didn't end up playing at all with the Maple Leafs.
Jun 21 - 8:25 PM

The Dallas Stars plan on signing Valeri Nichushkin to a two-year contract, per Stars GM Jim Nill.

Dallas can't do so until July 1 though. Nichushkin was taken by Dallas with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 29 points in 79 contests in 2015-16, but spent the last two seasons in the KHL. In 2017-18, he had 16 goals and 27 points in 50 games.
Jun 21 - 8:23 PM

Flames GM Brad Treliving dismissed reports about his team's interest in trading Dougie Hamilton.

Treliving laughed at the inquiry and said, "No. There's lots of stuff that's reported at this time. We don't comment on that stuff. When I hear about that stuff, it usually comes out late at night when people have been into the red wine..." Hamilton is coming off a strong season where he scored 17 goals and 44 points in 82 games. He's just 25-years-old and comes with a reasonable $5.75 million cap hit, so he would command a good amount if the Flames did shop him, but his value is also reason why they likely want to keep him.
Jun 21 - 7:21 PM

The Los Angeles Kings are reportedly believed to be among the teams that have submitted a contract offer to Ilya Kovalchuk.

Kovalchuk can't sign any contract until July 1 though. In addition to Los Angeles, it's believed that Boston, Vegas, and San Jose are also pursuing his services. Previous reports also linked the Blues and Red Wings to Kovalchuk, so perhaps they also still have a chance.
Jun 21 - 6:11 PM

The Buffalo Sabres are reportedly not expected to present Robin Lehner with a qualifying offer.

If that happens then Lehner will become an unrestricted free agent. TSN's Bob McKenzie added that Buffalo is likely to look elsewhere for a goalie to partner with Linus Ullmark. Lehner's qualifying offer would have been $4 million. He struggled last season with a 3.01 GAA and .908 save percentage in 53 games.
Jun 21 - 5:48 PM

The NHL has unveiled that the 2018-19 campaign will run from Oct. 3 through April 6.

There are four games set for the season opener with the defending champion Washington Capitals hosting the Boston Bruins being the centerpiece game of the night. Speaking of the Capitals, their first rematch against Vegas will take place on Oct. 10 in Washington. Other key events include the Thanksgiving game on Nov. 23 with Philadelphia hosting the New York Rangers and the 2018 Winter Classic between Chicago and Boston at Notre Dame Stadium. The All-Star Break is set for Jan. 24-27 and will once again feature a tournament between the four divisions. Feb. 9 will be Hockey Day in Canada, which will consist of all seven Canadian teams playing, and that will be followed by Hockey Day in America on Feb. 17. Finally, there will be an outdoor game between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field on Feb. 23.
Source: NHL.com
Jun 21 - 5:44 PM

The salary cap in 2018-19 will be $79.5 million.

That firms up NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's previous estimate of $79.5 million to $80 million. While we obviously got the low end of that range, it does represent a healthy $4.5 million jump from the 2017-18 ceiling. Currently every team is below the projected ceiling with the team closest to it being the Florida Panthers, which sit at $71,155,832 for 2018-19 per CapFriendly.com after the Mike Hoffman trade. There are also eight teams that are currently more than $20 million below the ceiling. There are still plenty of RFAs that need to be signed and other financial considerations that teams will be making, but it still looks like there will be plenty of money for general managers to throw around once the UFA period starts on July 1.
Jun 21 - 5:26 PM


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