After spending this season embroiled in contract negotiations — ones that often stalled — Marc Methot knows his time in Ottawa might be coming to an end.
“I hope it settles quick,” Methot said, per the Ottawa Citizen. “And I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about it every single day. This kind of stuff is hard to ignore, the potential of being moved is obviously real at this point. It’s no secret that I want to stay here. At this point, I’m leaving it all to my agent and the team to settle it.
“All I can do right now is play.”
Methot, 29, will reportedly have one final shot at an agreement with Ottawa later this week, when agent Mike Liut meets with Bryan Murray to try and hammer out a new deal. The meeting comes with Methot now fully recovered from a back injury that sidelined him for most of the season; the veteran rearguard has looked good since returning on Jan. 8, playing in 13 games while averaging over 21 minutes per night.
As is often the case with stalled negotiations, money and term are at the center of the Methot situation. Earlier this year, reports surfaced that he was looking for a five-year deal with an average annual salary of $5 million; the Sens, a fiscally tight team with an internal salary cap, want to lock him in for less and could see greater value in trading Methot than re-signing him.
And there have been rumblings of interested suitors. The likes of Detroit and Anaheim were reported to be in the mix, and it stands to reason more teams could join them — Methot is a big-bodied, experienced guy than can chip in offensively; last year, he recorded career highs in goals (six) and points (23) while averaging nearly 22 minutes per game.
OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.
The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.
Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.
The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.
Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.
CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.
The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.
The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.
The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.
The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.
The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.
Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.
The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.
TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.
“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”
Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.