Blue Jackets not rushing into a new contract with Marian Gaborik, Bruins management happy with young defense, Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom could be re-signed soon, Alex Kovalev not surprised by Ilya Kovalchuk’s move to the KHL, and more.
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Michael Arace reports Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen isn’t rushing to re-sign winger Marian Gaborik, preferring to see how this coming season plays out. “Sure, we’re thinking about it already,” said Kekalainen, “but we’re going to let it go into the season, hope to see him score a lot of goals for us and then talk about getting him extended.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Gaborik has a good season and enjoys his time in Columbus, the Blue Jackets might be able to re-sign him to an affordable contract. Gaborik is entering the final season of the five-year contract he originally signed with the NY Rangers paying him $7.5 million per season. He’ll have to accept less than that (perhaps in the $5 million range, depending on his performance) from the Jackets.Regardless of his performance, I doubt he’ll get $7.5 million per season again from another NHL team. He’ll turn 32 this season and has a lengthy injury history.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli he’s content with his current defense corps heading toward training camp, which means young blueliners Torey Krug, Dougie Hamilton and Matt Bartkowski will be part of the Bruins rapidly-changing defense.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The performance of that trio, especially in this year’s playoffs, earned them the opportunity to become regulars on the Bruins defense.
SUN-SENTINEL.COM: Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he expects goalie Jacob Markstrom to be re-signed “shortly”, and has no intention of re-signing free agent Jose Theodore. Tallon also didn’t fully dismiss the possibility of re-signing UFA forward Peter Mueller.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like the Panthers goalie tandem this coming season will be Markstrom and Scott Clemmensen.
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Former NHL star Alex Kovalev wasn’t surprised by Ilya Kovalchuk’s decision to retire from the NHL and return to Russia to play in the KHL. Kovalev feels the expanding, improving KHL will try to attract more NHL players.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk’s situation is a unique one, as the New Jersey Devils didn’t contest his retirement to join SKA St. Petersburg in the KHL. If they had, Kovalchuk wouldn’t be playing in Russia. For several years, the two leagues have operated under an agreement they would honor existing contracts. As long as that agreement holds, scenarios like Kovalchuk’s will be rare.
TSN.CA: The Los Angeles Kings have avoided salary arbitration with defenseman Alec Martinez, signing him to a two-year contract worth an average annual salary of $1.1 million.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes have signed 2013 first round pick Max Domi to a three-year entry-level contract.
CSNPHILLY.COM: Former Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher has signed with EV Zug of the Swiss National League A.