Tatar goes to arbitration — are his days in Detroit numbered?


Unlike the St. Louis Blues, who struck a last-minute deal with Colton Parayko, the Detroit Red Wings were unable to come to terms with Tomas Tatar, meaning an arbitration hearing went ahead today.

Tatar had 25 goals in 82 games last season. The 26-year-old forward can only be awarded a one-year deal, as he can become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

So unless the two sides can come together on a long-term contract before the arbitrator rules, Tatar may end up becoming a trade chip for GM Ken Holland to play.

After all, the Wings will be hard-pressed to make the playoffs next year, and they can’t afford to lose Tatar for nothing.

The Athletic’s Craig Custance believes that Tatar will be awarded a one-year deal worth “around $4.8 million.”

Tatar has said that a one-year deal would likely mean his “last season in Detroit.”

Related: Wings, Tatar over $1 million apart as arbitration looms

Forbes calls report of offer to buy Hurricanes ‘bogus’ and ‘fake news’


Yesterday’s report from Bloomberg that the Carolina Hurricanes were close to being sold for “about $500 million” has been refuted (and kinda ridiculed) by another media outlet.

According to Mike Ozanian at Forbes, the report is “bogus” and “fake news.”

Yes, Chuck Greenberg is trying to buy the money-losing NHL franchise. But all Greenberg has right now is a non-binding letter of intent. Moreover, the real price (enterprise value) is nowhere near $500 million (perhaps the $500 million includes future money the potential buyer is promising to put into the team?), according to my sources.

And by the way, Greenberg is not even close to raising the money to buy the Hurricanes. Not even for $400 million.

Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos did say yesterday, per NHL.com, that he’d received an offer to sell.

In a statement, the club would only say, “Since an offer has been made to purchase the team, Mr. Karmanos intends to evaluate that offer and also will continue to evaluate his other options, including retaining his ownership of the team.”

Flames give Curtis Lazar two-year extension


The Calgary Flames have taken care of another restricted free agent.

The day after coming to terms with Micheal Ferland, the Flames announced today that 22-year-old forward Curtis Lazar has signed a two-year extension with a cap hit of $950,000.

Calgary acquired Lazar from Ottawa at the trade deadline. For the Flames, it was a calculated gamble on a young player whose development had stalled.

“We’re not making this bet based on what he’s doing today. We think there is significant upside,” GM Brad Treliving said. “He fits right in with our age group. He’s got a lot of work to do to get to the level we want him to and he’s committed to doing that.”

Lazar responded with one goal and two assists in four games for the Flames: however, he was a healthy scratch for three of Calgary’s four playoff games.

The Flames still have one RFA to sign in forward Sam Bennett.

Blackhawks sign Gustafsson; Kings avoid arbitration with Gravel


A couple of 25-year-old defensemen signed contract extensions today.

First in Chicago, where Erik Gustafsson has re-upped for a year. No financial details were released by the club.

Gustafsson has not played for the Blackhawks since the 2015-16 season.

From the press release:

Gustafsson, 25, registered a team-high 25 assists and led club blueliners with 30 points in 68 games with the American Hockey League’s Rockford IceHogs during the 2016-17 regular season. He also led the team with 185 shots and ranked second with 14 power-play points (1G, 13A). The Nynashamn, Sweden, native has posted 41 points (8G, 33A) in 95 regular-season games with the IceHogs over the past two seasons.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Kings avoided an arbitration hearing with Kevin Gravel, who got a one-year, two-way contract extension.

From the press release:

The 25-year-old (born March 6, 1992) 6-4, 212-pound native of Kingsford, Michigan appeared in 49 games last season with the Kings, posting seven points (1-6=7), a plus-3 rating and six penalty minutes.

He registered his first NHL point on Nov. 8 against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and scored his first NHL goal on Feb. 23 against the Boston Bruins.

Gravel’s deal is worth $650,000 at the NHL level.

Penguins’ Pouliot feeling good about his game


The eighth overall draft pick in 2012, it’s been a while since Derrick Pouliot was considered a prized prospect.

These days, Pouliot is just trying to scrape out some semblance of an NHL career. The Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t use the 23-year-old defenseman at all in the 2017 playoffs, despite having a number of injuries on the back end.

During the regular season, Pouliot only appeared in 11 games for Pittsburgh. He spent most of his time in the AHL with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Still, Pouliot got a one-year contract extension earlier this week, and he liked the direction his game was going by the end of last season.

“I was playing with a lot of confidence,” Pouliot told the Post-Gazette. “I was defending well, defending hard. That’s a thing that’s always been stressed by Pittsburgh and in Wilkes, to make sure you’re playing well defensively; everything else will take care of itself. Just playing an all-around solid game. I felt really good at the end of the season.”

Pouliot finished with seven goals and 16 assists in 46 games for the Baby Pens. He was also plus-15.

“It hasn’t necessarily happened as quick as a person would like, but you’ve got to stick with it,” he said, per NHL.com. “It’s not an overnight thing for some guys, it takes a little longer. I think with the season I had last year once I got going, it helped in my development and I hope to continue that coming into this year.”

Of note, Pouliot will no longer be exempt from waivers next season.

Related: Another setback for Pouliot in Pittsburgh