With just one year remaining on his contract before Henrik Lundqvist can become an unrestricted free agent, it’s understandable that Rangers fans are anxious to hear that their star goalie has been signed to an extension.
So far, that hasn’t happened.
But while assistant general manager Jeff Gorton didn’t have much in the way of an update on the Lundqvist contract situation, he did share some encouraging words today at Yankee Stadium.
“Henrik wants to be here and we want Henrik,” Gorton said, per The Record. “At the end of the day it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a deal done.”
It’s expected that Lundqvist will become the NHL’s highest-paid goalie when he signs his new deal, surpassing the top current cap hit of $7 million that belongs to both Pekka Rinne and Tuukka Rask.
As for restricted free agent Derek Stepan, Gorton was equally optimistic at the prospect of getting the young center under contract.
“We fully expect to have something by the time we’re in camp,” said Gorton.
It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.
Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.
Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.
The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension
The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.
It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.
Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.