Ryan Carpenter is an unrestricted free agent that hasn’t generated a lot of attention so far but the center is on the radar of a few teams at least. Mark Lazerus of The Athletic reports (subscription required) that the 28-year-old center is on the radar of the Blackhawks, Bruins, and Avalanche and is likely deciding which of those three teams to sign with. Carpenter joined Vegas back in 2017-18 on waivers and wound up playing a regular role for them down the stretch. He followed that up with a career year offensively this past season, recording 18 points in 68 games while winning 52.6% of his faceoffs. Teams are always looking to upgrade down the middle and Carpenter could certainly slot in as a fourth line piece on each of those teams.
More news from the open market which is less than 48 hours away from officially opening up:
- While Washington created a little bit more salary cap flexibility with yesterday’s trade of Andre Burakovsky to Colorado, don’t expect them to re-sign winger Brett Connolly. Capitals GM Brian MacLellan told Tom Gulitti of NHL.com (Twitter link) that he expects Connolly’s price to be too high for them to be able to afford to re-sign him. Connolly enters the open market coming off of a career year that saw him score 46 points, 44 of which came at even strength. MacLellan indicated that they plan to try to fill Burakovsky’s roster spot through a UFA signing.
- Hurricanes GM Don Waddell provided an update to reporters, including Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, regarding their goaltending situation. The team remains in frequent discussions with Petr Mrazek but Waddell indicated that Curtis McElhinney will be “going somewhere else”. If Carolina can’t re-sign Mrazek, they’ll go shopping for a new starter in free agency with one of Alex Nejdelkovic or the recently-acquired Anton Forsberg pushing for the backup role.
- More than ten teams have checked in on Bruins UFA Marcus Johansson, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger (Twitter link). Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal adds (via Twitter) that the Canucks are among those teams. While he had a quieter year offensively during the regular season with just 30 points in 58 games between New Jersey and Boston, he had a strong showing in the playoffs in a supporting role which appears to have caught the attention of a lot of teams. He made $4.583MM on his last contract and should be well-positioned to surpass that on the open market.