With the signing earlier today of former Chicago Blackhawks forward Nick Schmaltz to a seven-year, $40.95MM contract extension, The Athletic’s Scott Powers (subscription required) wonders what kind of extensions might forwards Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome earn, as both will be eligible to sign new deals on July 1.
DeBrincat, who is in the second year of his three-year, entry-level contract, has already tallied 68 goals in two years, including a 40-goal campaign this season. With those numbers, Powers writes that the Blackhawks are most likely going to get DeBrincat to eventually sign a six-year deal, likely heading into the $8MM AAV-range, pointing out that a seven or eight-year deal is unlikely since a six-year deal will leave him looking for a third contract at age 27, the perfect age for a long-term extension. If he can continue posting 30-to-40 goal seasons, DeBrincat could be in line for double digit cap hits in the future.
As for Strome, the team may be better off waiting for another year to lock up the young forward. Strome has played well in Chicago with 14 goals and 45 points in 53 games, but both sides would be better off to wait another year for more proof that he deserves a big contract extension. Plus, it would be wise if Chicago doesn’t have two big contracts handed out in the same year, which could get expensive, possibly between $13-15MM combined.
- The Athletic’s Adam Vingan reports that the Nashville Predators have activated defenseman Dan Hamhuis from injured reserve. The veteran blue liner has been out with a leg injury since February 23rd, but it finally ready to return. The team’s third-pair defender has played 53 games this season for the Predators and will now partner up with rookie Dante Fabbro, who is expected to make his debut Saturday against Columbus. The Predators also announced they have assigned Troy Grosenick to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL.
- SportsDay’s Matthew DeFranks reports that the Dallas Stars will be without goaltender Ben Bishop on Saturday and likely longer, as he is considered to be day-to-day. The 32-year-old Bishop has been a key reason why Dallas has been playing so well as they fight to hold onto their wildcard spot. Bishop has a 2.03 GAA and a .933 save percentage so far this year and may even be a Vezina Trophy finalist at this rate. NHL.com’s Mike Heika writes that he suffered a lower-body injury while going down into the butterfly in the Stars’ last game. DeFranks also adds that Mats Zuccarello and Justin Dowling are about three days away from returning to the lineup.
- The Athletic’s Michael Russo (subscription required) writes that the Minnesota Wild are expected to be one of the most active teams in trying to sign St. Cloud State defenseman Jimmy Schuldt in the next few days. Schuldt finished his four-year college career Friday night, posting 38 career goals. Russo reports that the Wild hope to sign the four-year blue liner by burning the first year of his deal this season and allowing him to play in the NHL for the team’s final few games.