“There won’t be any problems,” DeKeyser said of his contractual status with Detroit, per MLive.com. “It’ll be done before camp. So, no one needs to worry about that.”
Detroit has always been notoriously slow on re-inking its restricted free agents, often letting negotiations stretch deep into the summer (last year, Gustav Nyquist didn’t sign until Aug. 20). Of Detroit’s three RFAs this offseason, only one — Riley Sheahan — has inked a deal, agreeing to a two-year, $1.9 million extension on July 1; Tomas Tatar and DeKeyser still remain unsigned.
That said, it’s obvious that retaining DeKesyer is important. The 24-year-old rearguard that blossomed in his second professional season last year — despite missing significant time with a separated shoulder, he racked up 23 points in 65 games while averaging 21:38 TOI. Technically considered a rookie, DeKeyser finished second among all freshman D in minutes per game (only Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba played more.)
As such, it’ll be curious to see what kind of money he gets. DeKeyser’s first NHL contract was a two-year, $2.7 million pact and he’s going to get a nice bump with his second one — but how big? Detroit has approximately $8 million in cap space for him, Tatar and veteran UFA Daniel Alfredsson, but must be mindful of next offseason when it’ll have four RFAs to negotiate with: Nyquist, Joakim Andersson, Tomas Jurco and Brendan Smith.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: