While there are plenty of impact restricted free agents still needing to sign, it’s never too early to look ahead to the 2020 crop. Among those slated to become RFAs is Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot. GM Pierre Dorion acknowledged to Sportsnet’s Wayne Scanlan that there have been discussions about a new deal for the blueliner although he didn’t want to get into any specifics. Chabot had a stellar sophomore season, collecting 55 points in 70 games while seeing his average ice time go up by nearly seven minutes a night. He’ll undoubtedly be keeping an eye on the current RFA market for blueliners (headlined by Zach Werenski, Charlie McAvoy, and Ivan Provorov) as the asking price could very well come in higher than what they get.
Elsewhere in the East:
- While the Sabres are currently sitting over the salary cap, don’t expect them to be making a move anytime soon. In an appearance on WGR 550 (audio link), GM Jason Botterill indicated that the team doesn’t need to make a trade to get back into cap compliance. Instead, it appears that their plan is to demote a veteran player or two to the minors, freeing up $1.075MM per player in the process while Botterill also brought up LTIR as a possible avenue. The team currently is in the middle of their second buyout window but it appears that they won’t be taking advantage of it.
- It doesn’t appear as if the Penguins plan to try to sign recently-acquired winger Alex Galchenyuk to an extension right away. Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that at this point, the team is content to let him play out the season and then make a decision about whether or not to re-sign him next summer or let him walk in unrestricted free agency. The 25-year-old is in the final year of his deal that carries a $4.9MM AAV but has dipped below the 20-goal mark in three straight seasons now so it’s understandable that they will want to take a wait-and-see approach with their new forward.