On the Tampa Bay Lightning and Nikita Kucherov …
Bob McKenzie: Of the remaining restricted free agents, McKenzie thinks Nikita Kucherov and the Lightning are most likely to get a deal done before the start of the season. Thinking now that it will be a two or three year bridge deal.
Bob McKenzie: The Lightning’s current salary cap situation won’t allow them to sign Kucherov to a long-term, fair valued deal – five to seven years at $6 million plus a season.
On the Carolina Hurricanes …
Bob McKenzie: Hearing that there may have been as many as three teams that put a waiver claim on Martin Frk (Det). The Hurricanes had the least amount of points last season and were awarded Frk.
On Nail Yakupov …
Igor Eronko: Nail Yakupov’s dad told @Sports_BO that the Blackhawks, Ducks and Stars were the frontrunners to land Nail until the Blues stepped up just before the trade happened.
On the Edmonton Oilers …
Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun: A couple years ago Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Justin Schultz, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins were thought of as the Oilers cornerstones of their rebuild. Now only two remain – Eberle and Nugent-Hopkins.
Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli has made it known that if you are not going to part of their solution going forward, you won’t be around.
“There is no fear to make those changes,” said McLellan. “So step up and perform or who knows what will happen.”
Chiarelli hasn’t been afraid to make an unpopular move if he believes it’s the right move at the right time.
“We try and address issues, we try and address needs, then you try and fix them,” he said. “So sometimes hard decisions (have to be made). Yes, we’ve traded profile players since I’ve been here, but I know it’s for the betterment of the team. We want to make the playoffs, we want to win the Stanley Cup.
“We have some good young players and that’s part of the recipe and part of the reason I’m in this chair, to make those decisions.”