The hockey world was abuzz with the confirmation that Las Vegas will in fact be the benefactor of expansion, making it the first of the big four sports in the city. According to Associated Press writer Greg Beacham, the fact that the team is bid out by Black Knight Sports and Entertainment lends credence to the thought that the nickname will in fact be the Black Knights. Beacham also points out that despite the financial woes seen in Arizona, the NHL is confident that hockey can flourish in the southwest.
Other news around hockey:
- Marcus Johansson and the Washington Capitals appear ready to battle over money reports Chuck Gormley at CSN Mid Atlantic. Johansson had another stellar season for the Capitals, registering 46 points in the regular season and adding 7 more in the playoffs. But Gormley writes that it might not be enough for Capitals GM Brian MacLellan, who believes a hometown discount won’t happen. Gormley also points out that Johansson is a valuable commodity, playing both wings and center for head coach Barry Trotz. Johansson isn’t the only one up for a contract, as defenseman Dmitry Orlov, and forwards Tom Wilson, and Michael Latta headline the restricted free agents the Capitals must re-sign.
- ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun penned that unrestricted free agent forward Andrew Ladd is most likely moving on from the Chicago Blackhawks. The 30-year-old winger was dealt to the Blackhawks in February but knew the Hawks had salary cap restrictions. While Ladd provided a spike in production, scoring 8 goals and 12 points in his return to Chicago, the Blackhawks were bounced by the Blues in 7 games in the first round of the playoffs. Ladd notched a goal and an assist in the seven games. LeBrun writes that Ladd is looking to join a contender, and is also considering his family’s wishes on where he goes next.
- LeBrun also reported that New York Islanders forward Kyle Okposo is all but headed to free agency. The 28-year-old winger was a major contributor with 64 points (22-42) and will be a hot commodity once the window opens for free agents. LeBrun points out that Okposo’s age and scoring acumen are the main reasons teams will chase after him in July.