Arizona’s acquisition of center Marcus Kruger from Carolina on Thursday could have an impact on one of their pending unrestricted free agents. Craig Morgan of Arizona Sports suggests that Kruger could push fellow pivot Brad Richardson to the open market. While GM John Chayka wouldn’t confirm that, he did acknowledge that Kruger has “a similar type of profile” to Richardson and that they wanted to make sure they could get a player like that if one became available. Richardson recorded 15 points in 76 games this season while posting a 52.1% success rate at the faceoff dot but also had a career-low shooting percentage at just 2.9%.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Brian Gionta’s inclusion in Game Four for Boston against the Lightning could have some implications beyond this season. CapFriendly notes (Twitter link) that because he played in one game this round, he’s eligible for a $50K performance bonus if the Bruins win the series. They finished with just over $100K in cap space at the end of the season per CapFriendly and that amount is before any performance bonuses get added in. If Boston does indeed go over the Upper Limit due to bonuses, any overage would be deducted from their cap room for 2018-19.
- Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski underwent shoulder surgery yesterday and he may not be the only one going under the knife. GM Jarmo Kekalainen told Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription required) that at least two others could be facing surgeries in the weeks to come although he wouldn’t specify which players are in that situation. In the meantime, they’re resting in the hopes that doing so will be enough to avoid going the surgical route. If that doesn’t work, Werenski may not be the only player whose status heading into the start of next season could be in question.