2011 restricted free agency: Players who still need a new deal

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Not a lot has changed in the unrestricted free agent market since Joe took a look at who’s left earlier this week. With the possibility for offer sheets and salary arbitration muddling things a bit in restricted free agency, however, it seems like a good time to give a couple updates.

First, here is a fresh update of the players who are still staring at a possible salary arbitration hearing between July 20-August 4.

July 20: Lauri Korpikoski (Phoenix), Teddy Purcell (Tampa Bay)

July 21: Andrew Cogliano (Edmonton), Brad Richardson (Los Angeles), Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers)

July 25: Andrej Sekera (Buffalo), Brian Boyle (New York Rangers)

July 28: Josh Gorges (Montreal), Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers)

July 29: Jannik Hansen (Vancouver)

Aug. 2: Shea Weber (Nashville)

Aug. 3: Chris Campoli (Chicago), Blake Wheeler (Winnipeg), Zach Parise (New Jersey)

Aug. 4: Mark Fraser (New Jersey), Dan Sexton (Anaheim), Blake Comeau (New York Islanders)

Players such as Ryan Wilson (July 22), Kevin Porter (July 26) and Alec Martinez (July 27) removed their respective days from the arbitration calendar, making for an inconsistently busy schedule on certain days. August 2 and 3 will probably be the most important two day stretch with Weber and Parise’s cases scheduled (though their teams have a nice amount of time to come to a compromise with them on a deal, which Parise stated would be a goal of his).

Now that we covered the players who might be headed for arbitration, here’s a list of some of the remaining players who are restricted free agents but aren’t going in that direction. These are players who could conceivably receive offer sheets from other teams, too.

15 notable RFA forwards (with 2010-11 cap hits)

Steven Stamkos TBL 21 $3,725,000
Kyle Turris PHO 21 $2,695,833
Steve Bernier FLA 26 $2,000,000
Mikkel Boedker PHO 21 $1,725,000
Josh Bailey NYI 21 $1,725,000
Michael Frolik CHI 23 $1,275,000
Brandon Sutter CAR 22 $1,225,000
Viktor Tikhonov PHO 23 $1,175,000
Bobby Butler OTT 24 $900,000
Oscar Moller LAK 22 $875,000
T.J. Galiardi COL 23 $875,000
Ryan White MTL 23 $850,000
Vladimir Zharkov NJD 23 $850,000
Brad Marchand BOS 23 $821,667
Victor Oreskovich VAN 24 $575,000

Some notable players who became unrestricted free agents after they didn’t receive qualifying offer: Patrick O’Sullivan and Robbie Schremp.

7 notable RFA defensemen

Drew Doughty LAK 21 $3,475,000
Zach Bogosian WIN 20 $3,375,000
Luke Schenn TOR 21 $2,975,000
Karl Alzner WAS 22 $1,675,000
Ty Wishart NYI 23 $1,121,667
Kyle Cumiskey COL 24 $600,000
Marc-Andre Gragnani BUF 24 $500,000

Some notable defensemen who weren’t given qualifying offers: Matt Smaby, Anton Stralman and Jack Hillen.

4 notable RFA goalies (OK, so Enroth is far and away the most notable, but still … )

Jhonas Enroth BUF 23 $866,667
Chad Johnson NYR 25 $850,000
Riku Helenius TBL 23 $821,667
Tyler Plante FLA 24 $687,500

The Buzzer: Tatar’s three-point night; Matthews makes more history

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Three Stars

1. Tomas Tatar, Montreal Canadiens. Two big wins in a row for the Canadiens. Two big nights for Tatar, who now has six points in his last two games. During a 7-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings, Tatar scored a goal and assisted on two others. Last season, Tatar had only two multi-point games the entire year.

2. Kasperi Kapanen, Toronto Maple Leafs. Kapanen continued his red-hot start with a pair of goals during the Maple Leafs’ 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings. He now has four goals and eight points through seven games this season, really making most of this opportunity in William Nylander‘s absence.

3. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators. A 37-save effort from Anderson helped the Senators dispatch the Dallas Stars 4-1. It was Anderson’s second win in a row and over his last two games he’s stopped 73 of 75 shots faced.

Highlights of the Night

• During their game Monday night, the Senators remembered the late Ray Emery:

• Maxime Lajoie can’t stop scoring. The Senators defensman potted his fourth of the season and now has seven points on the season.

• In his 1,000th NHL game, Tomas Plekanec scored:

• One of Kapanen’s goals was this bank shot:

• Good luck trying to stop this Matt Dumba rocket:

Factoid of the Night

Scores
Maple Leafs 4, Kings 1

Senators 4, Stars 1
Canadiens 7, Red Wings 3
Predators 4, Wild 2

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Panthers’ Matheson suspended two games for slamming Pettersson to ice

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The NHL announced on Monday evening that Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson has been suspended two games for “interference and unsportsmanlike conduct” against Vancouver Canucks rookie forward Elias Pettersson over the weekend.

Petterson has been entered in to the NHL’s concussion protocol and is expected to be sidelined for the next 7-10 days as a result of the play.

The incident took place early in the third period of Saturday’s game in Florida and left the Canucks completely furious. Just after Pettersson had dangled around Matheson in the offensive zone, Matheson again encountered the talented rookie along the boards and after checking him, proceeded to slam him to the ice with the puck nowhere near the two players.

Here is the video as well as the NHL’s explanation for the suspension.

Panthers coach Bob Boughner tried to defend his play on Monday by saying that Matheson is an honest player and that he was just attempting to finish his check hard, while Matheson’s agent said that his client was “surprised” by how light Pettersson is and that it all happened very quickly.

On Monday, Canucks coach Travis Green was still upset about the play and how it resulted in his team losing a bright young star to injury on a play that was not necessary.

“Am I mad at the play? Extremely mad. I’m really upset, I still am,” Green said. “We lost a bright young player to an injury that I don’t think was necessary. I’m pissed off right now, still talking about it.”

Matheson forfeits $52,419.36 in salary and is eligible to return to the Panthers’ lineup Saturday against Detroit.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

Crosby, MacKinnon surprise Kenyan hockey team (Video)

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Sidney Crosby and Nathan MacKinnon have teamed up before to promote Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee and donut shop, but their latest venture saw them help spread the gospel of hockey.

Tim Hortons flew 12 members of Kenya’s senior men’s hockey team to Canada over the summer for a game. The African team, which was formed in 2012 and has set a goal for future Olympic participation, has only been able to play against themselves back home and this would be a new experience playing against an actual opponent.

As the players gathered inside their locker room, which featured brand new equipment and Kenya hockey jerseys, in came the Pittsburgh Penguins captain and Colorado Avalanche star to join their team.

“It is a dream to not only have the chance to play in Canada, but to play – for the first time – in full gear alongside two of the greatest players of the game,” said team captain Benard Azegere. “When we first started playing in Kenya, we didn’t even have full equipment, but now not only do we have that, we can say we’ve played a real game with some All-Star teammates.”

“That’s the best part about the game, just how it reaches so many people in a place like Kenya where you wouldn’t think there’s even ice,” Crosby said on Monday via the Tribune-Review. “To meet people from different places and to share the game that we love to play, I think I had as much fun as any of those guys today.”

The Kenyan Ice Hockey Federation is coming soon, and the men are not alone in their pursuit of a national team. As ESPN.com documented last week, a group of five women make up the Nairobi Ice Lions, who, like the men, see Olympic participation in their future.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Alex DeBrincat is Blackhawks’ next rising star

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Alex DeBrincat spent three seasons between 2014 and 2017 absolutely dominating the Ontario Hockey League. He was one of the most productive and prolific scorers in all of junior hockey during his time with the Erie Otters, and never finished a full season with less than 50 goals or 100 points.

That sort of production, combined with his obvious talent level, should have made him one of the first picks in the 2016 draft class.

It didn’t. Mainly because he was listed at 5-7 and under 170 pounds, making him one of the smallest players in the class and, today, one of the smallest players in the NHL. As he slid out of the first round in 2016 there was always the potential for somebody to get a steal of a player.

That somebody turned out to be the Chicago Blackhawks, who ended up snagging him with the 39th overall pick in the draft.

Today, that pick is looking like one of the steals of that draft.

DeBrincat has been one of the offensive stars for the Blackhawks in the early going this season and already has nine points (including six goals) in the team’s first five games. That comes after a rookie season that saw him finish as the Blackhawks’ leading goal scorer. So far, he is one of the most productive players to come out of his draft class as the only players to outscore him have been Auston Matthews, Patrik Laine, Mathew Tkachuk, and Clayton Keller, all of whom were among the first seven players taken in the draft.

Only Matthews, Laine, and Keller have been better on a points per game basis.

All of this is a huge development for the Blackhawks.

Given their current salary cap situation they are going to need young players on cheap contracts to fill in around their big-money stars at the top of the lineup. DeBrincat is well on his way to giving them such a player and should be part of the organization’s next wave of young talent. And that next wave seems to have some promising prospects. Along with DeBrincat the Blackhawks are also getting a ton of production out of rookie defenseman Henri Jokiharju, the team’s first-round pick in 2017, and they also have Adam Boqvist, the No. 7 overall pick from 2018, waiting in the wings.

The lesson that the rest of the teams in the league should take away from this is to never let a player’s size stand in the way of giving them a chance. Over the past decade teams have been far more willing to take “undersized” players than they used to be, but they are still a little too fearful of that lack of size because there was nothing in DeBrincat’s production or play as a junior player that should have resulted in him being anything other than a first-round pick … and probably a very high one. Obviously if all things are equal with players the bigger, more physical player is preferable. But in cases like DeBrincat (and Johnny Gaudreau, and Nikita Kucherov, and so on and so on before him) all things are not usually equal.

DeBrincat has always been a highly skilled player that produced at an obscene level. There was always the potential for him to be a top-line player. A lot of teams couldn’t get past the lack of size and allowed him to slip all the way down to the second round. The Blackhawks were the team to take the “chance” on him and are being rewarded with an emerging star that could be a potential difference-maker for them for a very, very long time.

MORE: Your 2018-19 NHL on NBC TV schedule

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.