News and notes from around the NHL:
- Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is confident that the team will come to terms with RFA Nikita Kucherov eventually, reports Tamp Bay Times writer Joe Smith. The 23 year-old winger potted 30G and 36A last year while making only $700K on an entry-level contract. Kucherov was a large part of Tampa’s success last year, including leading the team in scoring in both the regular season and the playoffs. Yzerman offered no timetable for contract negotiations, but the Lightning GM has an excellent history of managing contractual issues—including re-signing Steven Stamkos and addressing the Jonathan Drouin holdout.
- The St. Louis Blues signed second round draft pick Jordan Kyrou (35th overall) to an entry level deal worth approximately $803K a year. The Blues also agreed to additional games played bonuses of $182,000 a year for the first two years. Kyrou will make $742K base salary for the first two years before getting a raise to $925K. The young forward excelled in Juniors last year, scoring 17G and 34A in 65 games for the Sarnia Sting. Kyrou is 6’0 and only 170lbs, so expect him to remain in Juniors for another year while he grows and develops.
- Las Vegas GM George McPhee is rumored to be considering Kelly McCrimmon for the Assistant GM position, reports Guy Flaming of The Pipeline Show. McCrimmon is the current coach, GM, and owner of the WHL’s Brandon Wheat Kings. The Wheat Kings won the WHL Championship last season before falling in the Memorial Cup. Intriguingly, McCrimmon’s Championship Wheat Kings featured the projected 2017 No. 1 draft pick Nolan Patrick. Kelly is also the younger brother of Brad McCrimmon, an 18 year NHL veteran who perished as head coach of the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in its tragic air crash.