This is an important week in the Detroit Red Wings’ offseason, with Petr Mrazek‘s arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday and Danny DeKeyser‘s for Thursday.
GM Ken Holland would prefer to avoid the hearings, which can sometimes result in hurt feelings.
“I think a negotiated settlement is always better than having an arbitrated settlement,” Holland told MLive.com. “Obviously, both sides run (the risk) of somebody’s not going to be happy.”
That being said, in Mrazek’s case, the two sides still have a ways to go. Remember that the 24-year-old netminder was excellent for most of 2015-16, but in Holland’s words, “the wheels came off a little bit in the middle of February.”
Hence, the divide:
DeKeyser, meanwhile, is more of a proven NHL commodity. He’s had three full seasons in the league. In the 26-year-old defenseman, the Red Wings pretty much know what they’ve got.
“There’s way more comparables, I think, in Dan DeKeyser‘s case so it was easier to figure out what was the market place,” said Holland. “That’s certainly not the case of Petr Mrazek’s situation.”
Holland’s work will not be finished once Mrazek and DeKeyser are signed. He still wants to add another defenseman, and he’s got a surplus of forwards to work with.
Related: Holland makes argument to keep Jimmy Howard
The Flyers won’t require today’s scheduled arbitration hearing with Brayden Schenn. They’ve agreed to terms with the 24-year-old forward on a four-year contract with a reported cap hit of $5.125 million.
Schenn had a career-high 26 goals and 33 assists in 2015-16. His 59 points were the third most on the Flyers, behind only Claude Giroux‘s 67 and Wayne Simmonds‘ 60.
The Schenn signing leaves the Flyers with just over $1 million in cap space for 2016-17, but no major free agents remaining. RFA defenseman Brandon Manning still needs a contract, but that’s it, per General Fanager. Manning has an arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.
Related: Coyotes sign Luke Schenn
Ben Scrivens is off to Belarus. The 29-year-old goalie has reportedly signed with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL.
Scrivens made 14 starts for the Montreal Canadiens in 2015-16, failing to really take advantage of his opportunity with the Habs and finishing 5-8-0 with a .906 save percentage.
In total, Scrivens made 144 appearances (130 starts) in NHL games, his best season coming in 2013-14, which he split between Los Angeles and Edmonton. The Oilers gave up a third-round draft pick to get him. They eventually acquired Zack Kassian when they dealt him away.
Related: Maple Leafs reportedly close to signing Jhonas Enroth
The United States will replace injured winger Ryan Callahan on its World Cup squad with New Jersey Devils forward Kyle Palmieri.
Palmieri is coming off a 30-goal season. He led the Devils with 57 points and recently signed a five-year contract extension.
“Kyle brings an all-around game that we’re confident will fit nicely with the framework we’re looking to build,” said Team USA GM Dean Lombardi in a release. “He’s coming off an outstanding year in New Jersey and will play an important role with our team.”
Palmieri, 25, is more than just a goal-scorer. He finished second among New Jersey forwards with 129 hits, a statistic that no doubt appeals to head coach John Tortorella. Ditto for Palmieri’s 51 blocked shots, also the second most among Devils forwards.
Many had wondered if Callahan would be replaced by Phil Kessel. It’s not known if the Penguins’ star winger was a consideration; he recently underwent hand surgery and was still wearing a bandage on Monday during his day with the Stanley Cup in Toronto.
Related: Kessel on World Cup snub: ‘It is what it is’
For just $7.5 million over the next two years, the Dallas Stars may have found themselves a top-pairing defenseman in free agency.
Stars GM Jim Nill was interviewed on TSN 1040 radio yesterday and was asked where he saw Dan Hamhuis playing next season. Nill replied that it was “wide open” heading into training camp, but didn’t rule out a major role for the 33-year-old veteran.
“There’s a chance he could play with John Klingberg,” Nill said, per Today’s Slapshot. “John’s got great offensive skills. I think Dan Hamhuis might be a great fit for him, to be the guy back there moving the puck out, giving the puck to him.”
Klingberg spent most of last season paired with Alex Goligoski, who’s in Arizona now. The Stars also lost Jason Demers to free agency and didn’t re-sign Kris Russell, leading Nill to target Hamhuis on July 1.
If Hamhuis, a left shot, isn’t paired with right-shooting Klingberg, there are “lots of other options” for a partner, according to Nill.
“We’ve got Stephen Johns,” Nill said. “We’ve got this Esa Lindell. Patrik Nemeth. We’ve got Jordie Benn. So we’ve got lots of young defensemen that could always use the mentorship of a veteran like Dan Hamhuis.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how Hamhuis fares with his new team, and not just from a Stars perspective. Despite not being far removed from winning Olympic gold for Canada in Sochi, the Canucks did not make him a priority to re-sign, opting instead to acquire Erik Gudbranson from Florida and bolster their forward group with Loui Eriksson.
Related: Dallas loves its young defensemen, which could mean goodbye for some vets