Not only do the Minnesota Wild still have to get Devan Dubnyk signed, they also have a trio of restricted free agents — Mikael Granland, Erik Haula and Christian Folin — in need of new deals.
Granlund, the former ninth overall draft pick, finished with 39 points in 2014-15, the fifth most on the team. The 23-year-old’s agent provided an update on contract talks to the StarTribune.
“We’ve been talking on and off since training camp basically,” said Todd Diamond. “I wouldn’t say we’re way off. It’s like a marathon. The last half mile is the most difficult. I would surmise that’s where we are.”
While Granlund, 23, is obviously a big part of the Wild’s future, Dubnyk, an unrestricted free agent, will be GM Chuck Fletcher’s priority until July 1.
According to the StarTribune, Fletcher will meet with Dubnyk in Las Vegas at next week’s NHL Awards and, soon after that, he’ll meet with Dubnyk’s agent, Mike Liut, at the draft in Florida.
Yesterday, the Wild confirmed their intentions to buy out winger Matt Cooke in order to gain some additional room under the cap.
Dave Hakstol will have the same assistant coaches that Craig Berube did.
The Flyers announced this morning that Gord Murphy, Ian Laperriere and Joe Mullen will all be back next season.
The announcement — a surprise to some — comes a day after the Sabres added Terry Murray to Dan Bylsma’s staff. Murray confirmed to the Philadelphia Inquirer that he met with Hakstol to discuss a position with the Flyers.
“We had lunch and did a lot of talking,” Murray said. “I was hoping something good happened from it.”
Related: For NHL rookie Hakstol, the right assistant coaches will be key
From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ price for Phil Kessel:
Two hockey executives from rival teams said that over the past several weeks the Leafs have a price for Kessel that is way, way too high. So the executives are staying away until it comes down. Can’t blame Toronto for starting high. Why wouldn’t you?
“They’re going to have to eat more of his salary than they think right now,” said one of the rival executives.
We wrote earlier in the week about Kessel’s reported no-trade list, and whether he could effectively block Toronto from dealing him.
The salary-retention angle is an interesting one as well. Kessel is signed through 2021-22 for a cap hit of $8 million. The Leafs would obviously prefer to cut ties completely, as opposed to having a portion of a former player’s cap hit on the books for seven seasons. If there’s a bad contract they could take back to grease the wheels (one that doesn’t have so many years remaining), that would likely be their preferred route.
Related: Are we seeing the last of Kessel in Toronto?