The latest on Thomas Vanek, Ryan Miller, Cody Hodgson, Alex Pietrangelo, Marcus Johansson and more.
THE BUFFALO NEWS: John Vogl reports former Sabres Brian Campbell offered up some advice to old teammates Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller on how to handle the constant questioning over their trade status they’ll receive entering this season. Vanek hasn’t closed the door on a contract extension but it’s unknown if Miller feels the same. Vogl also reported Sabres RFA center Cody Hodgson remains confident of getting a new deal in place.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hodgson’s situation will be resolved well before Vanek’s and Miller’s. I doubt we’ll see either guy moved during preseason or early in the regular season. Whether or not they’re moved by the trade deadline depends on where the Sabres are in the standings by then.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported via Twitter there’s speculation St. Louis Blues are considering former Oilers defenseman Ryan Whitney as a backup plan if Alex Pietrangelo remains unsigned when training camp opens next week.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whitney, or another UFA blueliner, would receive a professional tryout offer (PTO), with the possibility of landing a new contract even if Pietrangelo is re-signed.
WASHINGTON POST: Katie Carrera reports the Capitals hope to re-sign RFA winger Marcus Johansson before training camp opens next week. It’s believed Johansson seeks a deal comparable to NY Rangers forward Carl Hagelin (two years, $4.5 million).
CBC SPORTS: Doug Harrison reports agent Pat Brisson (who represents winger Brad Boyes) back in July said he was waiting for the right setup for his client, as did agent Brad Devine, who represents Brenden Morrow. Matt Keator, who represents Ron Hainsey and Ryan O’Byrne, is preaching patience for his unsigned clients. “As we get into September and rosters start defining themselves and teams start to see where they are, things will change,” Keator said. “It happens every year.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Over the course of this month I anticipate a number of those remaining notable UFAs should be signed. Preseason always exposes roster weaknesses which leaves some GMs scrambling to the free agent market to address.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports former Red Wings forward Damien Brunner might be headed to Swiss National League A club EV Zug on a game-by-game basis as he awaits a new NHL contract.
NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock reports the Carolina Hurricanes could have a ready replacement for Joni Pitkanen in UFA blueliner Ron Hainsey if Pitkanen remains sidelined to start the season with a broken left heel bone.