Author: Jason Brough

Nashville Predators v Colorado Avalanche

Avs still hoping to sign O’Reilly to extension


Perhaps Ryan O’Reilly won’t be traded after all.

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Avalanche have had contract talks with representatives for the 24-year-old forward, who can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Avs GM Joe Sakic hopes to get a deal done before the start of next season:

This, of course, does not mean that O’Reilly is definitely staying in Denver. As we noted yesterday, his tenure with the club has been marked by contentious contract negotiations.

Also, the Avs may be loath to give him a richer deal than they gave Matt Duchene (five years, $30 million). O’Reilly would presumably have little trouble getting at least that on the open market.  

O’Reilly can officially sign an extension on July 1.

Related: Roy ‘would be surprised’ if O’Reilly is traded

Ron Rolston named head coach of Springfield Falcons

Head coach Ron Rolston of the Buffalo Sabres stands on the bench during action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at First Niagara Center on March 21, 2013 in Buffalo, United States.
(March 20, 2013 - Source: Rick Stewart/Getty Images North America)

The Arizona Coyotes have hired Ron Rolston to coach their AHL affiliate, the Springfield Falcons.

“We are very pleased to name Ron as our new head coach for the Springfield Falcons,” said Coyotes GM Don Maloney in a release. “Ron is an experienced head coach and a great communicator. He has an excellent track record for developing players and we are confident that he is the right coach to lead our top prospects.”

Rolston coached the Buffalo Sabres for 51 games in 2013. He was fired, along with GM Darcy Regier, in November of 2013.

Regier is now the GM of the Falcons.

Cooke on waivers — buyout coming?

ST. PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 10: Matt Cooke #24 of the Minnesota Wild is congratulated by teammate Dany Heatley #15 after scoring a goal during the game against the Winnipeg Jets on October 10, 2013 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

It sounds like Matt Cooke’s time with the Minnesota Wild is over.

According to TSN’s Ryan Rishaug, Cooke has been placed on waivers, the move likely a precursor to a buyout.

Cooke has one year remaining on his contract, with a salary of $3 million and cap hit of $2.5 million. According to CapFriendly, the buyout will result in a cap hit of $500,000 next season and $1 million in 2016-17.

The Wild could use the cap relief. Goalie Devan Dubnyk is a pending unrestricted free agent, while forwards Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula are pending RFAs.

Cooke appeared in just 29 games for the Wild in 2014-15 (he had a sports hernia), scoring four times with six assists.

Related: Wild reporter pegs Dubnyk deal at ‘well north of $3 million per’

‘Canes re-sign Jordan to one-year, $625,000 contract

New Jersey Devils v Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes have re-signed defenseman Michal Jordan to a one-year contract worth $625,000.

“Michal took great strides last season, and continued that progress when he represented his home country (Czech Republic) as it hosted the World Championship,” said GM Ron Francis in a release. “He’s still a young defenseman, and we expect him to continue to improve going forward.”

Jordan, 24, played 38 games for the ‘Canes in 2014-15, scoring twice with four assists while averaging 15:57 of ice time.

He was a pending restricted free agent.

UFA of the Day: Shawn Matthias

Tuukka Rask, Shawn Matthias, Dennis Seidenberg

Check PHT every day until June 30 for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Shawn Matthias

Canucks GM Jim Benning said yesterday that Matthias would probably test the market on July 1. The club doesn’t have the cap space to re-sign the 27-year-old forward, who came to Vancouver as part of the Roberto Luongo trade.

Matthias is coming off a quietly productive season. Following a slow start, he finished with a career-high 18 goals, and he did so in a bottom-six role with barely any time on the power play.

In fact, his 17 even-strength tallies ranked second on the Canucks, behind only Radim Vrbata’s 19.

“I would love to be back,” Matthias said in April, per the Vancouver Sun. “But, in the business side of things, you never know what could happen. It’s a salary cap world. I mean, if I go to July 1st, I’m going to do what’s best for myself. So we’ll see what happens.”

Matthias’s expiring contract came with a cap hit of $1.75 million. Safe to say he’ll be looking for a good-sized raise.

Matthias is listed as a center but spent much of 2014-15 on the wing. His most common linemates were center Brad Richardson and winger Zack Kassian.

Click here for more UFAs.