Washington Capitals defenseman Tomas Kundratek must’ve made a nice impression on coach Adam Oates last season.
The team announced they’ve signed the Czech blue liner to a two-year extension. Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com says the deal is worth $1.1 million total with a cozy cap hit of $550,000 each season.
This past season, Kundratek was pressed into action and didn’t perform too bad. In 25 games he had a goal and six assists while averaging third-pair minutes (16:09 per game).
He’s been a steady performer in the AHL with the Hershey Bears and the first year of his new deal is a one-way deal. Unless the Caps want to pay him just over half a million dollars to play in the AHL, it’s setting up that he’ll be in competition for the third-pair once again.
Vincent Lecavalier apparently won’t be headed to the Motor City.
John Shannon of Sportsnet reports the Detroit Red Wings have been told they are no longer in the hunt for the former Lightning captain.
The Wings have an opening on their second line for a center with Valtteri Filppula headed to free agency and had thoughts on bringing in Lecavalier. With his contract likely coming in at $5 million per year on a long term, that would’ve been tough for Detroit to swallow anyhow.
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun says the race for Vinny’s services could come down to Boston, Dallas, or Montreal with the Habs being the top choice if he wants to go there. The Stars have been rumored to be heavily in on Lecavalier as it offers a similar setting to Tampa Bay.
As for Detroit, they’re exploring other options at center and are ready to move when free agency starts on July 5.
The Flames are in need of help up front and they went out and got some today.
ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun reports Calgary acquired forward T.J. Galiardi from the San Jose Sharks for a 2015 fourth-round draft pick. Calgary also announced they’re re-signed Galiardi to a one-year deal worth $1.25 million. For the Flames it gives them some forward depth, but for the Sharks they’re clearing room.
San Jose acquired Tyler Kennedy from the Penguins on Sunday and they’ve got prospect Tomas Hertl coming through the pipeline as well at center. With Galiardi, San Jose had too many centers and not enough open positions on their third and fourth lines.
Calgary, meanwhile, has a dearth of centermen. Their first-round pick this year, Sean Monahan, could slide into a starting role right away this coming season. Matt Stajan is on the downside of his career and Mike Cammalleri is a player GM Jay Feaster has been trying to move.
It’s a little ugly in Calgary to say the least. Galiardi will give them help on their third line and provide them with a decent penalty killer.
We’ve had plenty of talk about Valeri Nichushkin on here of late but as it goes with Russian players, there’s always the worry they’ll stay in Russia for a while. In Nichushkin’s case, he says he doesn’t want to play at home at all.
Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News hears from Nichushkin’s agent Mark Gandler that his client’s only aim is to play in Dallas next season.
“When they asked about whether there was a desire to go back to KHL, he said, ‘I am here, I want to play in NHL, and I will play in NHL,’” Gandler said.
For what it’s worth, the Stars didn’t seem concerned about it either as they said the “Russian factor” wasn’t an issue for them. As it is, Nichushkin has previously said he has permission from his KHL team, Moscow Dynamo, to go to the NHL. That said, if he doesn’t make the team out of camp, he’ll return to Russia rather than go to the AHL.
Former Avalanche head coach Joe Sacco isn’t going to be out of work very long.
According to John Vogl of The Buffalo News, Sacco is set to join Sabres head coach Ron Rolston on his staff as an assistant. Rolston has been looking for experienced help on his bench since former assistants Kevyn Adams and James Patrick were let go.
Both Rolston and Sacco have history together as they were assistants under Scott Gordon for Team USA during the 2010 World Championships. Sacco coached Team USA to the bronze medal at this year’s Championships.
Sacco was fired as head coach of the Avalanche following yet another disappointing season this year. He’ll join Teppo Numminen on Rolston’s coaching staff. Numminen was the only holdover from Lindy Ruff’s tenure in Buffalo.
Update (3:08 p.m. ET): Sabres make it official Sacco is on board. Press conference to come at 4:30 ET today.