ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the Kings and forward Milan Lucic have broken off negotiations which means the 28-year-old winger is headed to free agency. LeBrun states that the Kings’ lack of salary cap room, and Lucic’s financial expectations were too far apart. Though he wanted to remain in Los Angeles, Lucic now will become a coveted free agent. PHR listed him as the #3 ranked UFA on our Top 50 Free Agent list. Ian McLaren listed his top three spots where Lucic would likely land with Vancouver topping the list.
In other NHL news:
- The Chicago Tribune’s Chris Kuc indicates that former Chicago Blackhawk defenseman Brian Campbell is interested in coming back to the Windy City. The longtime Florida Panther is an unrestricted free agent, and has not re-signed with the Panthers. PHR listed him as the 14th best free agent out of the Top 50 UFAs. Campbell would take a significant pay cut, however, as the Blackhawks still have a number of players to bring back into the fold with Andrew Shaw leading the pack.
- The Blackhawks re-signed forward Dennis Rasmussen tweets CSN Chicago’s Tracey Myers. The deal is for one-year and approximately $600,000 according to CapFriendly. The 25-year-old forward had 9 points (4-5) for the Blackhawks in 44 regular season games.
- Pierre LeBrun writes that the Red Wings and Hurricanes have had conversations about Pavel Datsyuk’s contract. Detroit has been looking for a suitor to take the heavy $7.5MM cap hit off its books after Datsyuk bolted for the KHL. LeBrun indicates that the Wings have been reluctant to move the contract because of the high asking price. LeBrun also states that holding onto the contract doesn’t necessarily eliminate the Wings from going after unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos should he hit the market. Conversely, he points out that dealing the contract away with high draft picks or prospects without knowing if Stamkos hits the market is very risky. Finally, he adds the Red Wings to a list of teams interested in the services of Lucic.
- The Grand Rapids Griffins have signed forward Jack Barre to an AHL contract, according to the team site. The 6’2″ 215 pound winger enjoyed a breakout senior season for the Dartmouth Big Green of the ECAC, tallying 26 points in 29 games – more than he had scored in his first three years combined. Not thought of as an offensive force, perhaps the Connecticut native has found something to build upon in the coming years.