Cam Tucker

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05:  Jason Chimera #25 of the Washington Capitals looks on during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on January 5, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Capitals defeat the Bruins 3-2.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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‘Slim chance’ that Chimera will return to Capitals


Jason Chimera is an interesting case heading into free agency, which opens tomorrow.

He’s 37 years old. His two-year, $4 million deal is up and he’ll be a free agent tomorrow. He’s also coming off a 20-goal season. That ties his single-season career best from 2011-12. The 40 points he recorded this season? Two short of his single-season career best — set two years ago.

However, according to CSN Mid-Atlantic, Capitals head coach Barry Trotz said on Thursday, “I think it’s a slim chance” that Chimera returns to Washington for next season.

To the Capitals, their priorities came down to re-signing their restricted free agents like Marcus Johansson and Tom Wilson, according to Trotz.

“If those guys’ (contracts) aren’t done before that you can’t commit a bunch of dollars (to Chimera) and then all of a sudden you’re losing a guy who’s 26 versus  a guy who’s 37.”

Johansson has received his qualifying offer, while the Capitals on Thursday announced they had re-signed Wilson to a two-year, $4 million deal, and Zach Sill to a two-year, two-way deal, worth $575,000 at the NHL level next season. Fellow RFA Dmitry Orlov remains unsigned for now.

As for Chimera, Trotz is still confident the forward of 951 regular season games will sign somewhere in the NHL for next season.

“There aren’t that many 20-goal guys that can skate like Jason Chimera in the National Hockey League,” Trotz said.

“He’s a veteran guy who brings energy. I said to him, ‘If you keep taking care of yourself the way you are, (you) can play until (you’re) 45.’ I think he’s going to get a three-year deal somewhere in the National Hockey League. He’s got a 28-year-old body on him and I don’t think he’s going to get any slower in the next year or two.”

Sabres sign McCabe to three-year, $4.8M extension (Updated)

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 19: Jake McCabe #29 of the Buffalo Sabres skates around in between whistles during the game against the Chicago Blackhawks at the First Niagara Center on December 19, 2015 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Tom Brenner/ Getty Images)
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The Buffalo Sabres have reportedly agreed to terms with defenseman Jake McCabe on a three-year contract extension worth $4.8 million, according to General Fanager.

The 22-year-old McCabe, Buffalo’s second-round pick from the 2012 NHL Draft, appeared in 77 games for the Sabres last season, with four goals and 14 points. That’s his first full season in the NHL, after making appearances in each of the previous two seasons.

The 2015-16 season represented the final year of McCabe’s entry-level contract, which came with a $925,000 cap hit. His reported cap hit for next season is $1.6 million.

Updated: The Sabres have officially announced the deal.

From the Buffalo News:

Buffalo still needs to sign RFA defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and forwards Marcus Foligno and Zemgus Girgensons. The Sabres really want to hand a contract to left wing Jimmy Vesey, the college standout acquired last month. The sides have until Aug. 15 to come to a deal or Vesey becomes an unrestricted free agent.

The Sabres recently added to their blue line by acquiring defenseman Dmitry Kulikov from the Florida Panthers.

Related: Kulikov-Pysyk trade makes sense for both Florida and Buffalo

Oilers to buy out Korpikoski, open up additional cap space ahead of free agency

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 03: Lauri Korpikoski #28 of the Edmonton Oilers skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 3, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Oilers shutout the Flyers 4-0.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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The day before the opening of free agency, the Edmonton Oilers have put Lauri Korpikoski on unconditional waivers for the purposes of buying him out.

The move will save $2 million in cap space for 2016-17, as per General Fanager, and that additional space could factor into what the Oilers do Friday, when the market opens (and chaos ensues).

Korpikoski, who the Oilers acquired from Arizona for Boyd Gordon last June, was entering the final year of his contract, with a cap hit of $2.5 million.

He scored 10 goals and 22 points in 71 games for the Oilers last season.

With the beginning of free agency approaching, the Oilers have been linked to speculation, rumors and reports about forward Milan Lucic.

There were reports — citing anonymous sources — two days ago during the time teams are allowed to talk with pending unrestricted free agents that Lucic was in fact going to sign with the Oilers, who now have about $15.2 million in projected cap space for next season.

From the Edmonton Journal:

The Oilers are thought to be in hot pursuit of Milan Lucic and Jason Demers, so the riddance of Korpikoski’s overpriced pact will be helpful. It also opens up a roster spot in the bottom six for a better player, never mind a cheaper one. 

Hurricanes buy out Wisniewski, who played 47 seconds for Carolina last season

Phil Kessel, James Wisniewski
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James Wisniewski played all of 47 seconds for the Carolina Hurricanes last season, before tearing his ACL in the first period of his debut — an injury that required surgery and ended his 2015-16 season.

On Thursday, the Hurricanes bought out the final year of his six-year contract, which had a cap hit of $5.5 million. He’ll now enter free agency on Friday.

The Hurricanes initially acquired the now 32-year-old Wisniewski, a veteran defenseman with 552 regular season games of experience and 274 career points, from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for goalie Anton Khudobin a year ago.

The Ducks previously acquired Wisniewski from Columbus at the 2015 trade deadline. He played 13 regular season games with Anaheim, with five assists, but didn’t play in the post-season.

‘I’m not going to say it’s rosy’: It’s complicated between Brown, Kings management after captaincy change

Los Angeles Kings v Calgary Flames
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The relationship between the L.A. Kings and Dustin Brown has hit a rough patch, to say the least. Going in separate directions may eventually be possible, but probably not likely — not for another six years when his contract is up.

On Thursday, Brown was candid about the club’s decision to strip him of his captaincy, and his relationship with management and head coach Darryl Sutter.

Based on his comments, Brown didn’t hold back his disappointment and frustration with the situation or how it was handled from the organization’s perspective.

And his relationship with management, and the coach? According to Brown, he’s had some very honest conversations with both GM Dean Lombardi and Sutter the coach about his role going forward. Far from warm and fuzzy, particularly with management.

This could all make things very awkward between the Kings and their former captain going forward, because Brown still has six more years left on his current contract — eight years worth a total of $47 million and an annual cap hit of $5.875 million.

A buyout? That, according to General Fanager, would come with a total cost of more than $21 million. And Lombardi has said he believes Brown can get his game back.

A trade? Brown turns 32 in November and his production has dropped significantly since the end of the 2011-12 season and Stanley Cup run, scoring 11 goals in each of the last two seasons and fewer than 30 points in each of the last four seasons (one of those was the lockout-shortened campaign).

“We had pretty candid conversations. From my perspective, I think they’ve tried to trade me and have been unable to come to a deal – whether that was last week, three months ago, five months ago, or a year ago, I couldn’t tell you,” said Brown, as per Mayor’s Manor.

So, what happens now?

Anze Kopitar is the Kings’ captain now.

Brown said he believed Kopitar would do well in that position, while putting the onus on himself to play better.

“My job is to be a better hockey player for my teammates,” Brown continued. “And, as a result, help this team win. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a business and I understand all of that. I think it’s my job just to come in ready to go in September.”