With Joel Edmundson now under contract following his arbitration award, the Blues can now turn their focus to their lone remaining restricted free agent in center Ivan Barbashev. Speaking with Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, GM Doug Armstrong classified discussions as being close enough that one phone call could get a deal done though that call may or may not take place before the start of training camp. The 23-year-old is coming off of a much-improved season that saw him collect 26 points (14-12-26) in 80 games, doubling his previous career high. Earlier this month, it was reported that he was seeking a four-year deal around the $1.75MM to $2MM range. St. Louis could still probably fit that deal in without too much difficulty although they’d be right at the Upper Limit if they did so.
More from around the hockey world:
- Still with the Blues, their farm team in San Antonio announced that they’ve hired Jim Johnson as an assistant coach for the Rampage. This will only be his second stint behind an AHL bench as he last worked in that league back in 2009-10. However, since then, he has parts of eight NHL seasons under his belt, serving as an assistant with four different organizations.
- The Islanders received some very good news on the arena front. They received word that their Belmont arena project has officially been approved and the team quickly revealed that their intention is to have it ready for the 2021-22 season. Newsday’s Jim Baumbach notes (Twitter link) that the arena portion of the $1.3B project will cost $955MM. For comparison purposes, the recently-approved arena in Calgary is expected to cost $550MM.
- Carolina’s AHL affiliate in Charlotte announced that they’ve signed winger Anthony Louis to a one-year, AHL deal. The 24-year-old had a decent season with Chicago’s farm team in 2018-19 with 34 points in 74 games but it wasn’t enough to stick around as the Blackhawks decided to non-tender him back in June.