As the off-season wears on, players are feeling the pressure to make a decision. Restricted free agents have until 4pm CT tonight to accept their qualifying offers, while veterans are also beginning to feel like they should take the best offer on the table. Keep up with all of the action here:
- CapFriendly reports that New Jersey Devils defenseman Michael Kapla has accepted his qualifying offer of a one-year, two-way deal worth $874,125 at the NHL level and $70K at the AHL level. Kapla originally signed a two-year deal with the Devils back in 2017 at the end of the NCAA season. The UMass-Lowell captain even suited up for five games with New Jersey down the stretch. However, Kapla did not make an NHL appearance last season, playing the entire campaign with the Binghamton Devils. Even in the AHL, he was overshadowed by the likes of Steven Santini and Jacob MacDonald. With MacDonald signing elsewhere and Santini likely to be full-time in New Jersey – once he signs his own contract – Kapla could be the top minor league option on the blue line for the Devils, but newcomers Eric Gryba and John Ramage may have other plans.
- One defenseman who won’t be in the mix for any NHL teams is Evgeny Medvedev. The Russian rearguard has re-signed with the KHL’s Avangard Omsk, per a team release. Medvedev is coming off the best season of his KHL career; the Avangard captain led the team in average time on ice and recorded a career-high 30 points in 54 games. There was some speculation that, at 35 years old, this performance might spike some interest from Medvedev in taking one last shot at the NHL. He previously played for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2015-16, but underwhelmed with just 12 points in 45 games. Whether the interest was lacking from Medvedev or the NHL market, it seems he opted to just return to Omsk and – assuming he can’t top last season as he enters the twilight of his career – is likely done with the NHL for good.