Author: Jason Brough

2015 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship - Northeast Regional

Report: Wild win Reilly sweepstakes


From the StarTribune’s Mike Russo:

The Mike Reilly sweepstakes are coming to an end this afternoon and unless something backfires, he will be signing with the Wild.

Russo cites sources that say Reilly will sign a two-year, $1.85 million deal (plus bonuses).

The 21-year-old Minnesota native and ex-Gopher was originally drafted 98th overall in 2011 by the Blue Jackets.

However, he opted not to sign with Columbus, thus freeing him to sign elsewhere, a la Justin Schultz in 2012 and, last summer, Kevin Hayes.

Reilly’s dad, Michael, is a limited partner in the Wild.

The Chicago Blackhawks were recently the reported favorites to sign Reilly.

Report: Coyotes may buy out Gagner

Boston Bruins v Arizona Coyotes

From Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:

The Arizona Coyotes are seriously considering buying out the contract of Sam Gagner, which has the Toronto Maple Leafs interested.

The cash-strapped Coyotes are on the hunt for centremen, and have come to the conclusion that Gagner simply isn’t a fit. Arizona GM Don Maloney has been attempting to trade Gagner while at the NHL Draft, but chances are he would have to take someone else’s bad contract back. Maloney may settle for a buy-out at one-third of the money owed, as Gagner is still just 25 years old.

Gagner only has one more season remaining on his contract. Buying him out would save the budget-conscious Coyotes just over $2 million in salary, per Cap Friendly. Their cap hit would be around $500,000 in both 2015-16 and 2016-17.

Gagner had 15 goals and 26 assists last season, his first with Arizona after being traded by Edmonton to Tampa Bay, which quickly flipped him to the Coyotes.

It was hoped that a “change of scenery” would help the former sixth overall pick.

Related: The Coyotes need to spend some money

Tim Murray would have said you were ‘high on mushrooms’ if you’d said he could get Eichel, Kane, and Lehner for three first-round picks

Tim Murray

Early contender for quote of the day, courtesy Sabres GM Tim Murray:

This morning, Buffalo acquired Robin Lehner and David Legwand from Ottawa, in return for the 21st pick in today’s draft.

In February, Murray swung a blockbuster trade for Evander Kane. Part of that deal included the 25th pick in today’s draft going to Winnipeg.

And, of course, the Sabres are expected in a few hours to draft Jack Eichel with the second overall pick.

Related: Day after voicing disappointment with No. 2 pick, Murray praises Eichel

Kings re-sign Toffoli, who gets a two-year bridge deal

Tyler Toffoli

From ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun:

So, a two-year bridge deal for Toffoli, the 23-year-old who had 23 goals and 26 assists last season for the Kings. He also contributed seven goals and seven assists during the 2014 run to the Stanley Cup.

Toffoli will be a restricted free agent when this new contract expires. He’s just finishing up his entry-level deal.

Now that Toffoli’s locked up, expect GM Dean Lombardi to focus on getting backup goalie Martin Jones signed. A few weeks ago, Lombardi called it a “priority” to get those two under contract.

The Kings would also like to re-sign UFA d-man Andrej Sekera.

Sabres acquire Lehner for 21st pick, Legwand

Robin Lehner

The first domino in the goalie market has fallen.

As first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

The Sabres have since confirmed the trade.

That’s a pretty high price for a goalie, to be sure. But remember that Sabres GM Tim Murray was with the Senators when they drafted Lehner 46th overall in 2009. There’s a familiarity there, and obviously an appreciation for what the 23-year-old could become.

Legwand, meanwhile, has a year left on his contract with a cap hit of $3 million. The 34-year-old forward saw his playing time decrease dramatically under new coach Dave Cameron. The budget-conscious Senators will likely be content to shed his $3.5 million salary in 2015-16.

With Lehner off the market, attention now turns to Cam Talbot and Eddie Lack.