Brenden Morrow ended up just two wins shy of winning his first Stanley Cup championship. At the age of 36, that would have left the door open to him retiring on a high note. As it is, he doesn’t seem certain about his future.
He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and has indicated that he might “give it one more go,” per the Tampa Bay Times. He’ll start working out again in two weeks and go from there.
As for his destination, he would love to stay with Tampa Bay, but he hasn’t spoke to Lightning GM Steve Yzerman yet. The Lightning don’t have a ton of cap space, but he made $1.55 million last season and might be willing to accept a cut given his modest workload, so fitting him under the ceiling might not be the main concern.
Instead, it’s up to the Lightning to decide if they want to stick with the veteran or see what the free agent market or their prospects have to offer. Morrow had three goals and eight points in 70 contests in 2014-15 while averaging 9:19 minutes. He was held off the scoresheet entirely in 24 playoff games and logged just 8:40 minutes per contest.
It took 1,213 regular season and playoff games, but Kimmo Timonen has hung up his skates as a Stanley Cup champion. That fact hasn’t sunk in yet, but he’ll have time to reflect and soak it all in over the summer. Plus he’s owed a day with the Cup.
What the future holds for Timonen beyond that remains to be seen. Flyers GM Ron Hextall has already made it known that he wants to talk to the 40-year-old defenseman about the possibility of returning to the Flyers’ organization in a non-playing capacity.
“That might be something,” Timonen told CSN Philly. “Obviously, I’m going to move back to Philly and stay there for a couple of more years, at least. Obviously, the Flyers have a special place in my heart. I had a great eight years there and they have a really great organization.
“So if we can find something that can benefit both sides, obviously, I would be interested. I’ll talk to Hexy when I get home and see what happens. I have no plans, really. I’m going to take my time. It’s been a crazy 25, 30 years, so I want to take my time and really see what my next move [is].”
Timonen played in 519 regular games with the Flyers and recorded at least 35 points in six of his first seven campaigns with them. He wasn’t able to open the 2014-15 campaign with Philadelphia due to blood clots and before he was able to make his season debut, he was traded to Chicago for a 2015 second round pick and a 2016 conditional round pick that became another second rounder thanks to the Blackhawks’ success.
Scott Stevens served as a co-coach for the New Jersey Devils alongside Adam Oates last season and he was consequently in the running to become the team’s new head coach. That job went to John Hynes instead, but Stevens was still willing to stick around as an assistant.
That won’t happen either though, per the Bergen Record.
As previously reported, the Devils hired Alain Nasreddine and Geoff Ward to work under Hynes. The addition of Nasreddine is particularly relevant because of his history of running the the AHL’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins’ defense and penalty kill when Hynes was serving as that squad’s bench boss. That was the role Stevens would have been in if he was hired.
“The decision with Alain (who will coach the defensemen) wasn’t about Scott. It was more about Alain,” Devils GM Ray Shero said.
From here Stevens is expected to pursue coaching opportunities elsewhere, but it sounds like Shero’s leaving the door open to Stevens staying with the Devils in some other role, including potentially as a coach with AHL Albany.
“That’s a conversation I haven’t had because it was more NHL assistant and there certainly are openings around the league still,” Shero said. “So, that’s a different conversation with Scott that I’ll have to have or he’ll have to have with me in terms where he wants to go with his career. Then, like with anybody, you have to make career choices and go from there.”
Fellow 2014-15 co-coach Adam Oates has already told the Devils he won’t be returning.
The Winnipeg Jets announced that Anthony Peluso has agreed to a two-year, $1.35 million contract extension.
The 26-year-old forward had two points and 86 penalty minutes in 49 games with Winnipeg in 2014-15. He was also credited with 100 hits.
He was originally taken by the St. Louis Blues in the sixth round of 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but he was placed on waivers in January 2013 before making his NHL debut. He was claimed by Winnipeg and has gone on to participate in 107 contests with the Jets.
Peluso was scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer after completing his old two-year deal worth roughly $1.1 million.
Winnipeg still has a number of restricted free agents left, including defensemen Paul Postma, Keaton Ellerby, and Ben Chiarot.
The Washington Capitals announced that they have signed a two-year, $1,625,000 contract extension with defenseman Nate Schmidt.
Schmidt’s deal is one-way and will pay him $750,000 next season and $875,000 in 2016-17. That works out to be an annual cap hit of $812,500.
The 23-year-old defenseman was never drafted, but he excelled at the University of Minnesota. In 2012-13 he was part of the All-WCHA First Team after leading all defensemen with 41 points. He finished in a tie for third among NCAA blueliners in the scoring race in the subsequent campaign with 32 points in 40 contests.
He had a goal and four points in 39 contests in 2014-15 with Washington. He also recorded three goals and six assists in 19 AHL contests.
With Schmidt locked up, the Capitals now have six blueliners inked to one-way deals. Mike Green, John Erskine, and Tim Gleason are eligible to test the unrestricted free agent waters this summer.