While negotiations continue between Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars, there has been no progress when it comes to locking up the Stars’ star forward to a long-term deal. In fact, in a mailbag edition in The Athletic (subscription required), Sean Shapiro writes that it is unlikely the team and Seguin will be able to reach an agreement on an extension before the season starts, which could put a tremendous amount of pressure on Dallas management, especially if the team struggles in Jim Montgomery’s first season as head coach.
With three coaches in the past three years and a slow start out of the gate, many might feel that Dallas could be forced to consider trading Seguin rather than eventually losing him for nothing like the New York Islanders did with John Tavares this past offseason. However, Shapiro writes that the only way general manager Jim Nill trades Seguin is if he’s on the way out as it would signify that he has failed in his bid to assemble a great team. So, it’s likely Nill and the team will do everything it can, which could include an eventual trade for another top-six player, to help convince Seguin to stay in Dallas long-term.
- Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun writes that the Winnipeg Jets will have a battle for their No. 2 center position in training camp this year. While the position was manned at the end of the year by trade acquisition Paul Stastny at the end of the season, the veteran has moved on to Vegas, opening up a competition between Bryan Little, Jack Roslovic and Adam Lowry. Roslovic might have the upper hand as the 21-year-old is an emerging talent after posting impressive numbers in the AHL last year after he posted more than a point a game with the Manitoba Moose, where he scored 15 goals and 35 points in just 32 games, while adding another five goals with the Jets in a limited role in 31 games. The 30-year-old little had a disappointing season that saw him score 16 goals and 43 points, some of the worst numbers of his career. Lowry managed to appear in just 45 games last season after dealing with multiple shoulder injuries, but may also have found his niche as a checking line center.
- Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription required) examines why the Chicago Blackhawks intend to allow the OHL London Knights to develop Adam Boqvist, their top pick in the 2018 NHL draft. The eighth-overall pick is expected to breathe both talent and youth in a depleted blue line within the next year or two. While he’s not expected to be ready yet to make those contributions, the franchise had multiple options in where they could send him, including sending him back to Sweden, sending him to the Rockford IceHogs in the AHL or back to Sweden for another season. Powers said that returning him to Sweden wasn’t the best option as he only received 7:27 of ATOI with his SHL team, Brynas, last season and while that likely would increase, he would never average 20 minutes a game there. That left two options. They felt that the five-foot-nine, 157-pound blueliner wasn’t ready for the AHL, so that left sending him to juniors. London is a team they have familiarity with as Patrick Kane played there for one season as well as the fact that the Knights have a top coach in Dale Hunter and Blackhawks’ scout Jim McKellar spent 13 years with the London organization as well, which makes them feel that Boqvist should get plenty of playing time and a chance to further develop his skills.