The Vancouver Canucks and Brock Boeser are closer on a new contract according to Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet, though he notes there is still “work to be done and neither side [is] budging.” Boeser is part of the outstanding group of young restricted free agents looking for big deals this offseason, though it is important to note that he is not eligible for an offer sheet. Like Charlie McAvoy in Boston, Boeser is treated like an RFA but doesn’t have all of the same rights because of the way he burned through his entry-level contract, playing through the first year in just nine games after his 2016-17 college season ended.
That, combined with the fact that Boeser is not arbitration eligible, means this negotiation could potentially go on long into the summer if both sides aren’t willing to find some middle ground. The 22-year old forward is one of the most interesting cases this summer thanks to the injury trouble he has suffered through the early part of his young career. Though he has suited up just 140 times, Boeser has already scored 59 goals and 116 points.
- Adam Cracknell will be taking his talents to China, as Kunlun Red Star of the KHL announced a one-year contract with the NHL veteran. The 33-year old forward has played 210 NHL games across a long professional career, an impressive accomplishment for a ninth-round pick. He suited up last season for the Toronto Marlies, San Diego Gulls and Anaheim Ducks, scoring a total of 38 points in 44 games in the minors and zero in his two NHL appearances. He was however a force in the playoffs with the Gulls, and could very well find success overseas playing in the KHL. He’ll join several other familiar names like Jake Chelios, Gilbert Brule, Spencer Foo and Wojtek Wolski on Kunlun.
- The Winnipeg Jets have added a little bit of depth up front this free agent period, adding veteran center Mark Letestu to a one-year deal. They likely aren’t done there, as Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun is expecting the team to add another fourth-line forward at some point. That forward will likely have penalty killing experience and cost the team less than $1MM in salary according to Wiebe, which certainly doesn’t limit the field. There are plenty of free agent forwards still out there looking for work, including Winkler, Manitoba native Eric Fehr, coming off a solid season with the Minnesota Wild.