Updates on Joni Pitkanen, Alex Pietrangelo, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Daniel Cleary, Martin Havlat, Ryan Malone and more.
NHL.COM: Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen will miss the upcoming season to a broken left heel bone. Pitkanen suffered the injury during a late-April game last season and it has been slow to heal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is a serious blow to the Hurricanes defense corps, and will have them scrambling to find a replacement. The club currently has around $4.885 million in cap space and four more roster spots to fill, five if you count Pitkanen’s. They will be eligible to receive cap relief when they place Pitkanen on LTIR, but only if they’re pressed for cap space and in need of filling a roster spot. So far, that’s not an issue. Ron Hainsey, who had brief talks with the Hurricanes in July, could be an option to replace Pitkanen.
STLTODAY.COM: Contract talks between the Blues and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo have broken off for now. Pietrangelo won’t report to camp without a new contract. Blues GM Doug Armstrong claims the club will retain the defenseman’s rights and will match any offer sheet.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Blues won’t shop Pietrangelo. It appears dollars, rather than term, is the issue here. Pietrangelo’s seeking around $7 million, while the Blues prefer something under $6 million per.
NHL.COM: Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson could miss a few days of training camp because he apparently forget to get his immigration paperwork in order. Management could consider fining Ekman-Larsson when he finally reports.
PHILLY.COM/CSNPHILLY.COM: Some confusion arose yesterday of the status of Daniel Cleary when it was reported an issue has arisen and he wouldn’t be reporting to the Flyers. GM Paul Holmgren denied this, claiming he expected to see Cleary on the ice today for training camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cleary had reportedly agreed to a three-year, $8.25 million deal with the Flyers, but for cap purposes he was apparently on a PTO contract. Could get interesting if Cleary indeed doesn’t report today.
CSNBAYAREA: Martin Havlat is expected to return with the San Jose Sharks this season, but he’s expected to miss the season opener. Havlat is recovering from off-season pelvic reconstruction surgery.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Lightning forward Ryan Malone hopes to remain healthy and put his “awful year” behind him.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: The Blackhawks have re-signed GM Stan Bowman to a two-year contract extension.
NEW YORK POST: With backup Martin Biron returning to his Buffalo home to attend to a personal matter, the NY Rangers have extended a professional tryout offer to Johan Hedberg.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word on how long Biron could be gone but it could be for a while if they’re extending a PTO to Hedberg. Doesn’t mean Biron is finished as a Ranger.
POST-GAZETTE: The Pittsburgh Penguins will give forward Chuck Kobasew a tryout.