The NHL Draft order is now complete, Stanley Cup playoff ratings, possibly only two outdoor NHL games next season, plus updates on Ryan Malone, Shawn Thornton, Michal Handzus, the Panthers coaching search and more.
NHL.COM: The draft order for the 2014 NHL Draft (June 27-28 in Philadelphia) is now complete.
NBC SPORTS: The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs were the second-most watched since 2006. There could be only two NHL outdoor games next season. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Malone has entered a plea of not guilty to DUI and cocaine possession charges while the Lightning mull buying him out.
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Ryan McDonagh could become the leading candidate for the role of Rangers captain next season.
WASHINGTON POST: The Capitals don’t intend to use their remaining compliance buyout.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In response to a question from a couple of readers, teams which don’t use their compliance buyouts cannot trade them to another team. They also cannot acquire a player from another club for the purpose of buying them out.
DALLAS MORNING NEWS: The Stars have placed defenseman Aaron Rome on waivers in anticipation of buying out the remaining year of his contract. They also won’t be making contract offers to pending UFAs Tim Thomas and Ray Whitney. Their contract offer to UFA Vern Fiddler was rejected. They reportedly don’t intend to buy out Erik Cole or Sergei Gonchar.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: The Blackhawks won’t be re-signing pending UFA center Michal Handzus.
DETROIT FREE PRESS: The Red Wings intend to bring back Jonas Gustavsson as their backup next season. Gustavsson is eligible for UFA status on July 1.
BOSTON HERALD: The Bruins are parting ways with enforcer Shawn Thornton, who is eligible for UFA status this summer.
MIAMI HERALD: The Florida Panthers intend to hire a new head coach before the upcoming NHL Draft.