The recent restricted free agent deals signed by Calgary’s Elias Lindholm (6-year, $29.1MM deal) and Minnesota’s Jason Zucker (6-year, $27.5MM deal) may be interesting, but no one might be more intrigued by those deals than Buffalo Sabres restricted free agent Sam Reinhart.
The Buffalo News’ Mike Harrington cites that Reinhart has quite similar numbers to that of both Lindholm and Zucker. Reinhart is coming off a 25-goal, 50-point season, while Lindholm tallied 16 goals and 44 points. Zucker potted 33 goals for 66 points. So a long-term extension could look similar to those two deal.
However, Harrington also adds that the Sabres are likely maneuvering for a shorter bridge deal as the team still isn’t sure what they have in Reinhart. He was drafted in the same 2014 draft that produced Detroit’s Dylan Larkin, who is also looking for a long-term deal. Yet, Larkin is the face of Detroit’s franchise, while Reinhart is not with players like Jack Eichel and Rasmus Dahlin around.
- Jameson Olive of the Florida Panthers website reports that he recently interviewed Panthers’ general manager Dave Tallon, who said there are still a number of players available out there that the GM likes, so don’t be surprised if the Panthers aren’t done dealing. The Panthers have been relatively quiet this offseason, although they did trade for Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman earlier this year as well as sign goaltender Michael Hutchinson to a one-year deal through free agency. The team’s biggest addition is likely to come from their youth as prospects like Henrik Borgstrom and Owen Tippett are expected to take on full-time roles with the team this season. However, could a trade still be in the works?
- The Athletic’s Joe McDonald (subscription required) writes that the Boston Bruins expect that prospect Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson will challenge for the third-line center job in training camp this year. The 21-year-old, who was a second-round pick back in 2015, posted 15 goals and 32 points in his first season in the AHL and hopes to make the jump next season. “He’s got the ability,” Providence Bruins coach Jay Leach said. “He has a high level of skill and can make high-end plays, the kind of plays you need your third-line center to make at the NHL level. He went through a year last year where he turned into a professional hockey player. He was playing against men, and there were some adjustments, and he still had a pretty solid year.”
- Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette notes that many people are wondering why the Montreal Canadiens left $8MM in cap room sitting around last season when they could have spent it to upgrade their team. With no free agents to worry about, the team has almost the same amount of money available to spend this season, but once again seems content not to spend that money, suggesting the team would rather save that money for their profits. He wonders if Montreal fans are willing to accept a bargain-basement team.