The NY Rangers won’t buy out Brad Richards, latest draft news on the Avalanche and Panthers, the latest re-signings, and updates on the ownership statuses of the Devils and Coyotes.
NEW YORK POST/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The NY Rangers yesterday announced they would not exercise their remaining compliance buyout on center Brad Richards. The expectation is they could use it next summer on Richards if he fails to show improvement under new coach Alain Vigneault.
The move, however, is a risky one. If Richards should suffered a season-ending injury from which he’s not recovered by next year’s buyout period, he’d be ineligible for a compliance buyout. If he remains on their payroll beyond then, the Rangers would be subject to salary cap recapture if he retires before his contract expires.
It’s also provides them with limited cap space this summer to re-sign Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin, leaving no room to re-sign pending UFA winger Ryane Clowe.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s a gamble on the part of GM Glen Sather. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rangers still buy out Richards next summer, hoping to garner one good season out of Richards and then cutting him loose. Given the limited options in this summer’s UFA market and the Rangers limited cap space even if they had bought out Richards this summer, it would make sense to wait until next summer, when the Blueshirts would have more cap space for what could be a better UFA market.
CSNCHICAGO: Nearly 2 million people turned out in Chicago for the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade on Friday.
DENVER POST: Adrian Dater anticipates the Colorado Avalanche will retain the first overall pick in this year’s NHL draft, which will likely be used to select Nathan MacKinnon.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As I’ve repeatedly said over the past couple of weeks, unless Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy are setting up for the biggest swerve in NHL Draft history, I fully expect them to keep that pick and select MacKinnon. I don’t believe they’re engaging in misdirection by claiming they’ll take MacKinnon over Seth Jones, and I don’t believe they’ll get a good enough trade offer to part with that pick.
SUNSENTINEL.COM: Harvey Fialkov believes the signs point to the Florida Panthers using the second overall pick to select Seth Jones.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week there was talk of the Panthers offering up Erik Gudbranson and the second overall pick to the Avalanche for the first overall, which they would then use to select MacKinnon. I don’t believe that offer would be enough to convince the Avalanche to do that deal.
PHILLY.COM: The Philadelphia Flyers have officially announced their signing (which was reported earlier this month) of recently-acquired defenseman Mark Streit to a four-year, $21 million contract.
NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: The Detroit Red Wings last night re-signed defenseman Jakub Kindl to a four-year, $9.6 million contract ($2.4 million annual average cap hit) and forward Drew Miller to a three-year. $4.05 million contract ($1.35 million per season).
COLUMBUS DISPATCH: The Blue Jackets have re-signed head coach Todd Richards to a one-year contract extension, securing his role through 2014-15.
CSNNE.COM: The Boston Bruins are talking contract extension with GM Peter Chiarelli.
NORTHJERSEY.COM/FORBES.COM: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman expressed confidence yesterday over the finances and stability of the New Jersey Devils, who reportedly could be sold to a group headed by attorney Andrew Barroway.
ARIZONA REPUBLIC/FORBES.COM: A deal to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in Glendale are in peril as negotiations between the city council and the prospective buyers appear to have reached an impasse. The franchise could be moved this summer to Seattle if a deal cannot be reached.