The Ottawa Senators have some money to hand out this summer. Erik Karlsson is a restricted free agent in need of a long-term deal with a likely hefty payday. His defense partner Filip Kuba is an unrestricted free agent and held the key to Karlsson’s break out season.
Sens GM Bryan Murray is looking at potentially having to grossly inflate the amount of money he’s spending on defense and Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen says Murray is looking at moving one high-paid, big name defender to help ease the pain in Sergei Gonchar.
Expect Murray to be aggressively selling Gonchar in advance of the NHL entry draft on June 22-23. It’s unlikely a team will take that gamble, but if the Senators are successful in somehow moving him, the return won’t be big: the benefit for the Senators in any such deal is moving the salary.
Gonchar’s cap hit is $5.5 million for next season, but he’s one of just three defensemen under contract for Ottawa next season (Chris Phillips and Jared Cowen the others). Cap space isn’t shaping up to be a major issue for Ottawa, but with Gonchar on the final year of his contract, he could be viewed as a helpful player for a team in need of an added piece to their puzzle.
There was stiff competition for the backup goaltending job in Boston, but with a signing this afternoon, it seems likely that the matter has been resolved.
The Boston Bruins announced that Jonas Gustavsson has agreed to a one-year, $700,000 deal. It’s a one-way contract, according to the Boston Globe’s Amalie Benjamin.
That contract is still small enough that the Bruins could bury it in the minors if they so desire, but it does set him apart from his last competitor for the goalie position, Jeremy Smith, who has a two-way deal. The fact that Boston went this route seems to imply that Gustavsson will serve as Tuukka Rask‘s understudy, although both netminders attended Sunday’s practice.
In Smith, the Bruins would be getting a 26-year-old goaltender who was dominant with the AHL’s Providence Bruins last season, but has no NHL experience. By contrast Gustavsson, 30, has played in almost 150 NHL games.
Boston sent Zane McIntyre and Malcolm Subban to the minors last week, but an argument could be made that either one of them is worthy of the backup job. However, both of them have a lot of potential and it’s not surprising that the Bruins felt they were better served by staying in the minors where they can play regularly and focus on honing their game.
The Calgary Flames have released Ryan Wilson from his professional tryout.
The 28-year-old was trying to make a comeback after missing 79 games with a shoulder injury last season.
Even with T.J. Brodie sidelined because of a broken hand, Wilson still faced long odds to make the final roster.
The veteran will be hard-pressed to find NHL work with another team.
He hasn’t suited up in more than 12 regular season games since 2011-12.
The Stockton Heat, Calgary’s AHL affiliate, also made some news on Sunday.
The club announced that they’ve signed Colton Orr to an AHL contract.
The 33-year-old tough guy suited up in just one game for the Toronto Maple Leafs last season. He has 12 seasons of NHL experience under his belt.