The Tampa Bay Lightning have some tough decisions to make this summer as they try to decide how to improve and get them to the next level, and Joe Smith of The Athletic (subscription required) examines the future of every player on the roster in his latest piece. When it comes to Chris Kunitz, who is one of the team’s few players scheduled for unrestricted free agency, Smith relays some comments from agent Ben Hankinson:
There’s no quit in [Kunitz]. He loved everything about the city, the team, the fans, and the direction they’re going. He’s wired for another run.
Kunitz, 38, registered 29 points for the second regular season in a row, but couldn’t find any of that playoff magic he had in Pittsburgh and Anaheim. Held to just a single assist in 17 postseason contests, it might be time for the Lightning to move on from the veteran winger. Whether they do is unclear at this point, but Smith does believe that Andrej Sustr, the only other roster player scheduled for UFA status, is as good as gone this summer. The towering defenseman played only 44 games in the regular season and was held out of the playoffs for the team.
- Frank Seravalli of TSN reports that Dave Cameron, former Ottawa Senators head coach and recently a Calgary Flames assistant, has taken a job with the Vienna Capitals in Austria for next season. Cameron was a long time junior and minor league head coach, but will now journey to Europe for the next chapter in his professional career. We’ve seen it work for other NHL coaches in the past, including Marc Crawford who spent four years in Switzerland before returning to the NHL, and Bob Hartley who won a championship in Switzerland and recently had been leading the Latvian national team. Hartley is now headed to the KHL, another option for Cameron down the road if he isn’t given another opportunity in the NHL.
- Speaking of coaches leaving for other opportunities, Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that Minnesota Wild assistant coach John Anderson will not have his contract renewed. Anderson had come with the team alongside Bruce Boudreau two years ago, but will have to find another landing spot for the next part of his coaching career. A four-time 30-goal scorer during his playing days, Anderson was a long-time head coach of the Chicago Wolves and secured two Calder Cups for the team during his time in the AHL.