After a strong season, Islanders goalie Robin Lehner is set to be one of the more intriguing unrestricted free agents. He joined New York in what may very well have been a last chance situation and responded with the best numbers of his career and played a big role in them reaching the second round of the postseason. Despite that, he noted to reporters, including Newsday’s Andrew Gross, that there have yet to be any discussions regarding a contract extension.
That’s not the case when it comes to winger Anders Lee. The captain took a step back offensively this past season but still had 28 goals and 23 assists in 82 games and he indicated that there have been plenty of conversations between his agent Neil Sheehy and GM Lou Lamoriello. It was reported back in late February that one potential holdup in discussions may be the length of the deal that Lee is seeking; he’ll turn 29 early in July.
Elsewhere in the East:
- The Red Wings are one of the finalists to sign Finnish defenseman Oliwer Kaski, agent Todd Diamond acknowledged to MLive’s Ansar Khan. Kaski had a breakout season with Pelicans of the SM-liiga with 51 points in 59 games to lead the league in points by a defenseman. Columbus is another team that is believed to have interest in the 23-year-old. Meanwhile, Khan adds that defenseman Libor Sulak is contemplating signing back overseas. He played in six games with Detroit this past season but spent the majority of it at the minor league level, collecting five goals and nine assists in 61 games with AHL Grand Rapids.
- Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov has indeed decided to return to the KHL for next season, reports Jonas Siegel of The Athletic (Twitter link). The move had been speculated in recent weeks, especially after he lost his regular spot in the lineup and the fact that his KHL rights were dealt to Ak Bars Kazan at the beginning of the month. Toronto can issue a qualifying offer to Ozhiganov this summer that would allow them to retain his NHL rights for one more year though he’ll be eligible for unrestricted free agency either way in the summer of 2020.