With the World Cup of Hockey fast approaching, another unsigned restricted free agent is headed to Toronto. According to Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press (who we interviewed just yesterday on PHR) Rickard Rakell will join the Swedish club replacing the injured Alexander Steen. Steen had surgery in June on his shoulder, and is still trying to be ready for the opening of the regular season.
Rakell will be rewarded for last season’s breakout that saw him score 20 goals and 43 points in his second full season. Rakell remains one of the Ducks priorities this summer, along with fellow unsigned RFA Hampus Lindholm. The team, with only $6.6MM in cap space at the moment, may not have enough to sign both to long-term deals and may have to settle for the player-friendly bridge deal.
- Among the news at Pro Hockey Talk’s St. Louis Blues day is that Ty Rattie will be given a real chance to stick with the big club this season. Adam Gretz writes that with the team losing veteran forwards like David Backes, Steve Ott and Troy Brouwer to free agency, there is plenty of opportunities for young players like Rattie. This is in line with a similar article on NHL.com today, that quoted GM Doug Armstrong: “I think the game is getting faster, and youth is being served. I think we were going to transfer to this (youth movement) regardless.” Rattie has suited up for just 26 NHL games, but has proven his scoring ability at the AHL level with three straight 40+ point seasons.
- After signing Sean Monahan earlier today to a seven-year deal, the Calgary Flames will now turn their attention to Johnny Gaudreau. Craig Custance of ESPN thinks that his deal will come in very close to Monahan’s, as the team views the situation as similar to Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in Chicago. The Blackhawk stars signed identical $84MM deals in July of 2014, despite Kane having more career points (493 vs. 440). Monahan also has a full season more of NHL duty under his belt than Gaudreau, despite being more than a year younger than him. If the Flames can get both on long-term deals under $7MM, they’ll be set up nicely for the future with two underpaid superstars.