The San Jose Sharks and general manager Doug Wilson have a lot on their plate this offseason as they have a number of key free agents they must deal with, including Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. One name that is often forgotten is free agent forward Joonas Donskoi, who has been a solid contributor as a middle-six forward the last few years.
The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reports that it looks like Donskoi is leaning towards going onto the open market to see what offers he might receive and could wait to see if a team comes calling when the interview period opens on June 23. Donskoi could receive quite a bit of attention as he has scored 14 goals in each of his last two seasons and had 37 points this year. While that’s hardly amazing numbers, the speedy wing is a good defender and could provide value for a lesser price tag, considering he only made $1.9MM last year.
- While it looks like the Anaheim Ducks are moving rather slowly in naming their head coach, it looks like there are only two candidates remaining in the race in Dallas Eakins and University of Minnesota-Duluth coach Scott Sandelin, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Eakins remains the favorite, but the team is doing quite a bit of research on him, including interviewing some of the veterans on his AHL squad.
- Jordan Samuels-Thomas of The Athletic (subscription required) writes that with Dion Phaneuf being bought out, the most likely destination for the veteran blueliner would be a young team that’s several years away from truly competing. The scribe writes that the decline in the 34-year-old’s play would likely have playoff teams looking elsewhere for veteran depth, but Phaneuf’s leadership and his ability to mentor young players would make him more valuable to a lottery team. On top of that Phaneuf could help team’s penalty killing and can provide a physical presence a young team might lack.
- At a gathering for 500 season ticket holders, Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland said he has already met with star center Connor McDavid twice in the last 10 days, including visiting him as he was working out, according to Terry Jones of the Edmonton Journal. He reports that McDavid is doing well and is expected to ready for the start of training camp. The 22-year-old suffered a small PCL tear in his knee on the final game of the regular season, but the injury didn’t require surgery.