A fresh sheet of ice as we crawl through the dog days of the NHL offseason.
Ron MacLean talks Maple Leafs, Flames, ‘underpaid’ McDavid (Sportsnet)
On the young Maple Leafs getting older, wiser: “I like Dominic Moore and Patrick Marleau coming to Toronto. San Jose was ready for a change. They’re going to have to figure a way for Logan Couture and few other guys to be the guys. I was surprised, but I know it’s a great pickup for Toronto—to get a guy like Patty who can play with the speed of the game. It’s hard to bring in a veteran nowadays. If you can’t skate, you can’t play in this NHL. Three years is the price you pay for a guy who still has wheels at 36.”
Thank you from Kyle Okposo (Sabres.com)
“Dealing with an injury like this can change your perspective on life. It makes you evaluate what’s truly important. Hockey, of course, is extremely important to me. It’s my job, and it’s what I’ve done my whole life. But in saying that, I also don’t want hockey to define me as a person. I want to be somebody who is known as a good person first and foremost.”
Sens sign Johnny Oduya to 1-year, $1M deal (Silver Seven)
Just going by players who are on one-way deals, the Senators now have: Claesson, Phaneuf, Oduya, and Borowiecki on the left-side, and Karlsson, Ceci, Wideman on the right-side. Those seven are your ‘contract bets’ to be with the big club when the regular season starts, pushing Thomas Chabot and Ben Harpur to start the year with the Belleville Senators in the AHL. With Borowiecki, Oduya, Claesson, and Wideman all making under $1.1M, I don’t think the Senators would be opposed to having two sit in the press box if Chabot does light up the AHL, but they’re clearly going to make him prove it. Perhaps, they’ve learnt the lesson of handing Cody Ceci an NHL spot too soon, and don’t want to make that mistake again. Perhaps.
Maple Leafs’ outlook adds energy to Smashfest (NHL.com)
“It’s only the summertime and you can see the buzz in this room already for this event,” Hyman said. “Especially with the additions we’ve made to the team over the offseason, everybody is excited for September for training camp and to see how everything rolls out. It’s going to be a great year and everybody is excited for it.”
Marlies boost depth with Alex Gudbranson and Kristian Pospisil signings (MLHS)
A free agent following his junior career with the Soo Greyhounds, Gudbranson signed an entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild organization in 2014. The defenceman spent the majority of the last two seasons with Quad City Mallards (ECHL) until he was picked up on loan by the Marlies in February of this year. Featuring in four games for Toronto, Gudbranson didn‘t really have the chance to make much of an impression but he certainly wasn‘t a liability on what was an injury-ridden Marlies blue line at the time. He plays a physical brand of defence and doesn’t venture too far from home.
Predators are one Johansen deal away from a salary cap work of art (PHT)
While teams like the Penguins and Blackhawks stocked up on high draft picks, the Predators’ greatest moves have largely come through shrewd drafting, savvy trades, and forward-thinking contract extensions. One can debate which setup is the best, but Poile’s work places Nashville in the upper crust, and their built to stay there for years to come.
Penguins sign Brian Dumoulin for six years with $4.1 million AAV (Pens Burgh)
Dumoulin’s a positive possession player, and a positive team goals-for player. We saw him eat a huge amount of even strength and penalty kill minutes in the 2017 playoffs and basically was the horse the team hooked their wagon to defensively. And that was all with a 1st round hand injury that never healed up. This seems like a very fair deal for each side, the Pens lock up a key player for the long-term and the player gets financial security in a deal as well.