Eight teams remain in the hunt for unrestricted free agent defenseman Kris Russell, reports TSN’s Frank Seravalli. Russell’s agent, Allain Roy, noted that a deal is likely to be reached by the conclusion of the World Cup (which runs as late as October 1st). However, by that point of the preseason, most teams will have played more than half of their exhibition schedule so there may be a push by teams to get an answer before too long.
Among the teams reportedly interested is Russell’s former employer, the Calgary Flames. He played in 51 games with Calgary last season before being dealt to Dallas in a trade deadline deal. Seravalli noted that for them to be able to bring him back, they would need to find a taker for fellow blueliner Dennis Wideman. He has one year left on his contract with a $5.25MM cap hit and a full no-move clause so finding a trade for him may be easier said than done. Seravalli also believes that some teams may be waiting to see what happens with Anaheim and if they move a defenseman once a deal with RFA Hampus Lindholm gets done.
More free agent notes:
- Also from Seravalli, a few teams are taking a close look at defenseman Dennis Seidenberg during the World Cup of Hockey (he’s playing for Team Europe). The 35 year old was bought out by Boston earlier this offseason. However, at this time, Seidenberg doesn’t appear to be interested in going to training camp on a PTO like many other veterans without a deal will be doing.
- There is little to update in the Jacob Trouba negotiations, writes Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun, who equates the current state of talks to a staring contest with each side waiting for the other to blink. It’s believed that Trouba is seeking a long-term, big money deal while by-passing the bridge contract but with three other blueliners making $5.5MM or more for at least the next two seasons, the Jets may not want to put Trouba into that pay range just yet. Earlier this offseason, we took a closer look at Trouba’s situation and some of the questions that will be a factor in their discussions.
- The Islanders announced that they have officially inked with UFA forward Stephen Gionta. The 32 year old has spent parts of the last six seasons with New Jersey and played in all 82 games last year for the first time in his career, collecting 11 points. You can keep track of which players have already inked tryout deals with our Invite Tracker.