The Vegas Golden Knights still haven’t come to an agreement with Nikita Gusev, but there is coming a time when they’ll need to make a final decision on the restricted free agent. Gusev’s Russian agent Yuriy Nikolayev spoke to Championat and explained (via Google translate) that there is a “certain deadline” when they will turn to negotiate with SKA St. Petersburg, who currently own his rights in the KHL.
Gusev signed his entry-level contract with the Golden Knights just a few months ago and burned through it without actually ever playing a game for the team. The team issued him a qualifying offer as an RFA, but haven’t yet been able to come to an agreement on a new contract. The only bit of leverage Gusev really has in this position is a possible return to the KHL, as he was not eligible for arbitration and cannot sign an offer sheet.
- According to Joe Smith of The Athletic, the Tampa Bay Lightning have reached a settlement with Jake Dotchin on the grievance he filed after seeing his contract terminated last fall. Dotchin allegedly showed up to training camp out of shape, causing the Lightning to place him on unconditional waivers and cut ties with him. He eventually signed with the Anaheim Ducks and played 20 games in the NHL last season, but had filed a grievance through the NHLPA for his lost salary. Smith reports that the two sides settled without having to go to an arbitration, which potentially could have set a precedent for other cases in the future. The details have not been disclosed.
- Scott Wheeler of The Athletic (subscription required) has released his top-50 drafted prospect list, and recent first overall selection Jack Hughes comes in on top. The list includes 11 others from the 2019 draft, but is also led by names like Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar who made their NHL debuts at the end of last season. Notably the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers each have two players in the top-10, giving them plenty of hope for the future—and the present, if Makar and Kaapo Kakko have anything to say about it.