A big part of the decision to sign Jack Eichel to an eight-year, $80MM extension now instead of waiting until next offseason was the fact that there aren’t going to be any comparable contracts signed during the course of the season, GM Jason Botterill told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required). This contract was going to be more of a precedent setter than a trend follower so instead of risking the asking price going higher if Eichel has a strong season as they’re hoping for, they now have their franchise player locked up now for the better part of the next decade.
More from around the league:
- Although Kings winger Marian Gaborik hasn’t skated over the past week as he recovers from lingering knee issues, the team isn’t saying that he has suffered a setback in his recovery, notes Curtis Zupke of the LA Times. Head coach John Stevens would only say that team doctors decided he should have some maintenance days but the fact that he has shut it down for the time being doesn’t bode well for a return to the lineup anytime soon.
- The Oilers have asked center Chris Kelly to remain with the team as an unsigned player, notes Paul Gazzola on the Oilers’ team website. While he won’t be able to play in any games, he’ll be able to practice with the team and can continue to battle for a roster spot that way. This is the same approach that Toronto had with Brandon Prust last season while Brooks Laich has a similar arrangement with the Kings this year.
- Blue Jackets winger Josh Anderson is in the middle of going through the immigration process (which was required once his new contract was signed) and as a result, he will not be in their lineup on Friday night against the Islanders, reports Andrew Erickson of the Columbus Dispatch. However, since his contract is now active, he is counting against their 23-man active roster even though he’s not with the team.