A look at some “unfinished business” involving several unsigned RFAs, and another veteran UFA accepts a training camp invitation.
TORONTO STAR: Kevin McGran listed several bits of “unfinished business” facing the NHL as the pre-season approaches, part of which was the status of unsigned RFAs Luke Schenn of the Maple Leafs and Drew Doughty of the Kings. McGran reports “no panic” from the Schenn camp or Leafs management at this stage, though he feels it’s a little unsettling the Leafs have yet to come to terms with their promising young defenseman. He also suggests perhaps Schenn is waiting to see how Doughty fares with the Kings, pointing out the two blueliners are represented by Newport Sports.
SPORTSNET.CA: Jeff Marek also reports on the “unfinished business” of key unsigned RFA players, noting Boston’s Brad Marchand and Winnipeg’s Zach Bogosian also currently remain unsigned. Marek pointed out Bogosian was the subject of trade rumors last season and this summer, but believes the Jets haven’t dealt him because they believe he could turn into one of the biggest blueline studs in the league.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doughty, Schenn, Marchand and Bogosian are all key players of varying value to their respective clubs, which is undoubtedly why their contract negotiations remain ongoing. The fact three of the four are represented by Newport Sports has also contributed to the lengthy negotiations. It’s quite likely all four could be re-signed by the middle of next week, when training camps open, or before the end of this month at the latest. A holdout by one or more is possible, though it’ll do more harm for themselves than good, and if they haven’t re-signed by December 1st, they’re ineligible to play the remainder of the season. I’ll be very surprised if any of those players aren’t under contract when the season opens on October 6th. Yes, a trade is also a possibility for one or more of those four, but I consider that remote, and don’t buy into any of the trade speculation which has been bandied about the blogosphere this summer.
BOSTON GLOBE: Fluto Shinzawa reported yesterday UFA forward Chris Clark has accepted an invitation by the Boston Bruins to attend training camp on a tryout basis.