Updates on Henrik Lundqvist, James Neal, Sean Bergenheim, Marc-Andre Bourdon, Matt Lombardi, Michael Leighton and more.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks interviewed Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who professed his love for playing with the Rangers, adding he’s not thinking about free agency next summer. Lundqvist characterized his talks with the Rangers as in the “early stages”, but Brooks claims there’s been little, if any, negotiation between the two. Brooks also speculates Lundqvist could receive between $8.25 – $9.5 million per season on his next deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Does anyone really believe the Rangers won’t re-sign Lundqvist before next summer? It’s not a big deal that talks haven’t begun yet. After all, it’s currently late-August, and next summer’s UFA market doesn’t open until July 1. The Rangers currently have over $27 million committed to just 6 players for 2014-15, and the salary cap is expected to rebound to $70 million next summer, which would give the Blueshirts over $43 million in cap space. Plenty of space to re-up Lundqvist.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: James Mirtle reports Pittsburgh Penguins high-scoring winger James Neal hopes to impress at Canada’s Olympic camp, which opens next week in Calgary.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Mirtle reports Team Canada GM Steve Yzerman intends to put an emphasis on speed, which might not work in Neal’s favor.
MIAMI HERALD: Florida Panthers forward Sean Bergenheim (hip/abdominal muscle) expects to be ready to return to action near the start of the upcoming season. Bergenheim missed all of last season to injury.
COURIER-POST: Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Marc-Andre Bourdon has something to prove after missing last season to a concussion suffered in the AHL last November.
NEWS AND OBSERVER: Zach Boychuk hopes to earn a full time spot with the Carolina Hurricanes this season. Boychuk
signed a one-year, two-way contract with the club this summer. hopes to sign a contract similar to the one he had last season(one-year, two-way) with the Hurricanes
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW: The Penguins have hired Mike Bales as their new goaltending coach.
SLAPSHOT.CH: (H/T to DOBBER HOCKEY): HC Servette Geneva is reportedly on the verge of signing Matt Lombardi, who split last season between Phoenix and Anaheim.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: Former NHL goaltender Michael Leighton with KHL team Donbass Donetsk.