While there has been a lot of trade speculation around Rasmus Ristolainen over the past few months, the Sabres have been asking prospective coaching candidates about how they can help the blueliner improve, notes Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News. Consistency has been a challenge for the 24-year-old, especially in his own end but he can make a considerable impact when he’s on his game. Buffalo has shaken up its back end over the past year with the additions of Rasmus Dahlin and Brandon Montour which has led some to speculate that Ristolainen could be in play. However, the solution could very well wind up being to hold onto him and hope that a slightly lesser role as their other young players develop will be best for him over the long haul. Nonetheless, with a $5.4MM AAV for three more years, expect GM Jason Botterill to be fielding a lot of interest in him over the coming weeks.
More from the Atlantic:
- Although he had a disappointing third pro season, the Red Wings still plan to tender a qualifying offer to center Dominic Turgeon, reports Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. The 2014 third-round pick (63rd overall) had just 20 points (6-14-20) in 72 games with AHL Grand Rapids this season while being held off the scoresheet in for contests with Detroit. Despite that, it appears he’ll get another chance next season.
- Roughly a dozen teams were interested in defenseman Teemu Kivihalme, who signed with the Maple Leafs last week, notes Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star. The 23-year-old wasn’t promised a spot with the big club but with the expected departures of Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey, Martin Marincin, and Igor Ozhiganov plus the injury to Travis Dermott, there should be multiple roster spots up for grabs on Toronto’s back end next season.