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Report: Tatar says arbitration contract ‘would probably be my last season in Detroit’

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Tomas Tatar was among 30 players to file for arbitration earlier this week.

Although there is still time to get a new deal done before his scheduled arbitration date on July 20, he has reportedly indicated that next season could be his last in Detroit if the two sides go through with the hearing and Tatar signs the one-year contract as a result.

Tatar is 26 years old, and a restricted free agent following a three-year deal that paid him $2.75 million annually.

“Detroit offered me a contract, and even with a few options — for a year, or four or five. We’re still talking about the length, and of course, the financial amount of the contract,” Tatar has told CSA.sk, per the Detroit News. “However, we aren’t going anywhere, and there’s been time enough.”

“Arbitration is the last option, I have to sign off, it’s just a mandatory contract. Unless I agree with Detroit, I’ll go to the court (salary arbitration), where they’ll give me a year’s contract. That would probably be my last season in Detroit. We’ll see in a few days or weeks before it all comes together.”

Tatar has four full NHL seasons under his belt — all with Detroit — and he’s been a consistent scorer and point producer during that time, reaching at least the 20-goal mark in each of his last three campaigns. He was on the verge of a 30-goal season two years ago.

It’s already been reported that Tatar is looking for a contract with term and to be paid in the area of $5 million annually.

Per MLive.com, Tatar had offseason shoulder surgery and may not be ready for the beginning of training camp. However, according to the same report, general manager Ken Holland expects Tatar to be ready for the start of the regular season.

Ilya Kovalchuk signs one-year deal to remain in KHL

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Ilya Kovalchuk will remain in the KHL — at least for one more year.

This follows reports earlier this week that the scoring forward was going to return to Russia for the upcoming season.

The KHL announced Sunday that Kovalchuk will stay with St. Petersburg SKA for the 2017-18 season, following several weeks of speculation that he could return to the NHL.

St. Petersburg SKA has since announced that it is a one-year deal. That in itself is significant because Kovalchuk could still return to the NHL for the 2018-19 season, and he would do so as an unrestricted free agent at the age of 35. That would allow him to sign with any NHL club he desires.

Kovalchuk, now 34 years old, has played the last four seasons with St. Petersburg. He scored 32 goals and 78 points in 60 games last season. That’s impressive production for a player at his age, and it would be interesting to see how NHL general managers react if Kovalchuk has another productive year and then indicates he wants to return to North America.

Participating in the 2018 Winter Olympics is also likely a factor in Kovalchuk staying in the KHL.

The NHL has already made it clear its players will not be taking part in PyeongChang. The Russian Hockey Federation, on the other hand, has made it clear they want its players to play in the KHL in order to prepare for the Olympics, per the Associated Press.

Related:

Did the Devils drop the ball in not trading Kovalchuk?

Report: Rangers, Jackets, Leafs are on Kovalchuk’s wish list

Nill: Signing Bishop shows Stars building a ‘winning environment’ in Dallas

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It’s been quite an offseason for the Dallas Stars.

— Ken Hitchcock was hired as the club’s head coach.

— The Stars had a big move up the selection order to third overall in the Entry Draft courtesy the lottery.

— Vegas traded defenseman Marc Methot to Dallas, which should help improve that blue line.

— The Stars signed a pair of forwards — Alex Radulov, who had a great season in Montreal, and Martin Hanzal, a towering force up the middle.

The biggest move Stars general manager Jim Nill could’ve made was to improve the goaltending situation — something that was desperately needed — and the acquisition and re-signing of Ben Bishop should provide just such an upgrade in net.

Yes, the Stars still have $10.8 million committed to two goalies for one more season, with the 30-year-old Bishop signed to $4.916 million per year for six years and Kari Lehtonen with one more year left at $5.9 million, before he’s an unrestricted free agent.

Read more: Bishop says health not an issue — important, since he’s signed until 2023

But in Bishop, the Stars have a goalie with a career save percentage of .919, helped along by three particularly strong seasons in Tampa Bay, from 2013-14 to 2015-16. He was a Vezina finalist in two of those three seasons. With a window to win right now, despite a setback and missing the playoffs this past season, getting a capable No. 1 goalie was an absolute necessity for Dallas.

“He committed his six years to this. He wanted to be on a winning team,” said Nill. “I think that kind of showed the rest of the league that this is a place to come here and play and that it was going to be a winning environment.

“It’s been a busy offseason. It’s been a good offseason. But I think the big message is … first of all, this game’s pretty humbling. We like what we’ve done but we’ve still got a lot of work to do. We’ve got to get to a point with this franchise where we’re in the playoffs every year.”

The Stars aren’t done with offseason moves yet, either. They still have to get 23-year-old center Radek Faksa under contract. He’s currently a restricted free agent, after a 33-point season.

Has Chris Chelios returned to the Red Wings?

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It was reported last month that the Detroit Red Wings and Chris Chelios parted ways, as the assistant coach pursued a potential opportunity with the NHL Players’ Association.

Based on reports this weekend, it appears Chelios is back with the Red Wings, reportedly spotted at the club’s development camp in Traverse City.

“Basically I took a leave of absence,” Chelios told Bob Duff of HockeyBuzz. “They call it a termination, which is kind of a harsh word. But I took a leave of absence so I could talk to the PA, talk to players and see if there’s anything that might be able to find something I might want to do.

“Not that I’m not happy, I love working with Blash (Detroit coach Jeff Blashill) and the Wings here. I just wanted to see. Good players were reaching out to me, so I had to resign so it wasn’t a conflict.”

Chelios is currently listed on the Red Wings website as an assistant coach.

Per MLive.com in June, Chelios’ plan was to return to the Red Wings as a part-time assistant coach if it didn’t work out with the players’ union.

“I had a great relationship with Don Fehr,” Chelios said at the time. “It would be great to sit down and talk with him. If this doesn’t work out I have every intention of coming back to the Wings. I’m just going through the process with Don Fehr to see if there’s any role and if it appeals to me.”

Ducks sign prospect Dostie to entry-level contract

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The Anaheim Ducks have signed forward Alex Dostie, their fourth-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, to an entry-level contract, the team announced Saturday.

Now 20 years old, Dostie had 30 goals and 71 points in 63 games split between Gatineau and Charlottetown in the QMJHL, before he put together an impressive postseason with the Islanders.

He posted 73 points in 54 games with Gatineau the year the Ducks selected him at 115th overall.