There are quite a few restricted free agents that still haven’t been signed yet, but the Boston Bruins still have two of them in defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo and the Boston Globe’s Matt Porter suggests that fans may have to sit through not seeing them at training camp and potentially even having them sit out like William Nylander did last year with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Porter suggests that McAvoy could be looking for similar money to that of Jacob Trouba, who signed with the New York Rangers for seven years at $8MM AAV. However, a holdout might be necessary because Trouba had the benefit of an arbitration hearing deadline and had all the leverage on his side. That isn’t necessarily the case with McAvoy who doesn’t have arbitration rights and whose only leverage would be holding out. Carlo, an improving defenseman, could be looking for $4MM per season in a long-term deal.
Regardless, the Bruins already tight against the cap for the next few years, need to make sure they don’t overpay for the two defensemen, which might require the team to unload another player down the road.
- In his Saturday’s Slapshots column, New York Post’s Larry Brooks mentions that the New York Rangers and Chris Kreider’s agent Matt Keator, haven’t had a conversation yet about what it would take to sign the 28-year-old to a long-term contract. While Brooks believes that is strange that both sides haven’t spoken yet, he believes that both sides are content to go into the season with Kreider in the last year of his current contract. The Rangers would be hard-pressed to sign Kreider to a long-term deal after handing out long-term deals to Artemi Panarin and Trouba and a number of talented young forwards who will eventually have to be paid down the road as well.
- With a tumultuous offseason ahead for the Washington Capitals in the goaltending category with Braden Holtby expected to become an unrestricted free agent, The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir (subscription required) writes in a mailbag column that he wouldn’t be surprised if star goaltending prospect Ilya Samsonov could win the backup goaltending job in training camp. It would help the team determine whether the 22-year-old might be ready to take over as the team’s starting goaltender in 2020-21. Samsonov had an up-and-down first season in North America last season, putting up a .898 save percentage in 37 games with the Hershey Bears, but was much more impressive in the second half. However, there is no guarantee that he is ready for a back-up NHL role yet, so don’t count out Pheonix Copley.