This past week represented what is likely to be the calm before the storm as activity around the league should pick up with training camps on the horizon. Despite there, there was still some notable news around the hockey world over the past seven days.
Oilers Ink Jerabek: With Andrej Sekera out long-term due to a torn Achilles tendon, Edmonton wasted little time adding to their defensive depth on the left side as they signed Jakub Jerabek to a one-year, $1MM contract. The 27-year-old just finished his first season in North America and split the year between the AHL, Montreal, and Washington. He played a very limited role with the Caps in their Stanley Cup run as he suited up just twice in the postseason. Jerabek won’t be able to take on a 20-minute role in Edmonton but his ability to move the puck should be an asset to their back end.
Enstrom Heads Home: Defenseman Toby Enstrom was one of the more intriguing defensemen remaining on the open market. Instead of joining another NHL team, the veteran chose to head home, signing a one-year deal with MODO of the Swedish Allsvenskan, a second-division team. In doing so, the 33-year-old returns to the program he played with for parts of eight seasons before crossing the pond to head to the NHL. If this is the end of the road in the NHL for Enstrom, he’d finish with 308 points in 719 games between the Thrashers and Jets. However, given the demand for mobility on the back end, it’s certainly possible that he’ll attract some more interest next summer if he has a good showing in Sweden.
Karlsson Talks Pick Up: After things had gone quiet for a while regarding Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, trade talks have picked up in recent days with a particular emphasis on the Western Conference. Vancouver was briefly believed to be involved but GM Jim Benning quickly shot that down. Karlsson himself also denied reports that he wouldn’t be willing to sign an extension in a Canadian city. The Senators gave permission to prospective suitors to talk to Karlsson’s representatives about the parameters of an extension last month
Couturier Out Four Weeks: Flyers center Sean Couturier sustained a knee injury during a summer tournament that will keep him off the ice for roughly a month. As a result, he will likely be held out of their lineup in the early part of the preseason but he should be fully recovered in time for the start of the regular season in October. The 25-year-old is coming off of a career year that saw him collect 76 points in 82 games while averaging 21:36 per game, the third-most among all NHL forwards.
Chara Could Play Past 2018-19: While some have wondered if Zdeno Chara could be entering the final year of his career, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated that his veteran blueliner “wants to have his legacy run a lot longer than just one more year,” suggesting that the 41-year-old isn’t planning on hanging up his skates after the upcoming season. Chara isn’t the top pairing player he once was but he still logged nearly 23 minutes a night in 2017-18 which helped him earn a one-year, $5MM deal for 2018-19 that could reach as high as $6.75MM with performance bonuses.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.