While they still don’t officially have a team yet, that isn’t stopping Seattle from starting the process of assembling their front office. In an interview with 950 KJR (audio link), Dave Tippett (a senior advisor for the prospective franchise) indicated that he plans to begin the search for their inaugural general manager in the spring with the goal of having that person in place by the draft. Assuming the franchise is eventually granted, we’re still potentially a couple of years away from this team entering the league but that would allow the team ample time to put together its scouting staff which will be crucial as they begin to scout potential picks for not only the regular draft but the expansion one as well.
Elsewhere around the league:
- While Sabres forward Sam Reinhart is in town and participating in informal skates with the team in advance of training camp, it’s not a sign that a new deal is close to happening. GM Jason Botterill told Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News that they remain hopeful that they will reach an agreement with the restricted free agent but didn’t provide an update on how negotiations are going. It’s believed that the 22-year-old is seeking a long-term deal but with the preseason fast approaching, there’s certainly a chance that they could shift their focus to a short-term pact instead.
- Trade talks regarding Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson have picked up in recent weeks, reports Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch. As for their other prominent pending restricted free agents, Garrioch suggests that Ottawa’s belief is that center Matt Duchene and winger Mark Stone could still be a part of their long-term future. If that’s the case, they won’t be engaging in trade discussions involving those two for a while.
- Jussi Jokinen’s tryout with the Red Wings actually came at his request and not Detroit’s, notes Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. The veteran winger played for Dan Bylsma (who joined the team as an assistant coach this offseason) back in Pittsburgh and obviously was comfortable with his coaching style. GM Ken Holland acknowledged that their priority remains to take a look at their younger players but stated that they will give the 35-year-old a few preseason games as well.