While Mikko Rantanen and Patrik Laine have joined a European team to continue their training while waiting on a new contract, Matthew Tkachuk has taken a different route. The Calgary Flames restricted free agent has started skating with the London Knights according to Ryan Pyette of the London Free Press, taking the ice with some former teammates in Ryan Rupert and Matt Rupert.
Tkachuk spent just one season with the Knights before being drafted by the Flames in 2016, but formed one of the most dominant lines the OHL has seen in many years alongside Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak. The trio each totaled more than 100 points that season en route to a Memorial Cup championship. Both Marner and Dvorak have signed long-term extensions with their respective NHL teams, but for the Flames to do the same with Tkachuk might be tricky. The team currently projects to have just over $6.3MM in cap space and would likely have to make an additional move of some kind before signing the star winger to any deal buying out unrestricted free agent years.
- Speaking of impressive junior players, Vegas Golden Knights first-round pick Peyton Krebs has been named captain of the Winnipeg Ice for their first season after the recent relocation. Krebs served in that role last season when the team was still located in British Columbia as the Kootenay Ice, and scored 68 points in 64 games. The 18-year old forward was expected to go even higher than his eventual draft position of 17, but suffered an Achilles injury just a few weeks before the draft and ended up falling out of the first half of the round. The Golden Knights certainly weren’t disappointed to get a player of his caliber that late, and they’ll be keeping a close eye on him in Winnipeg this season.
- Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland told reporters he is “pretty optimistic” that Connor McDavid will be fully recovered from his knee injury in time to suit up for opening night, and that there is a chance that he gets into at least one preseason game. While it hasn’t been officially decided, having McDavid in the lineup to start the year is huge for an Oilers team that needs every point they can get this season as they look to try and get back into the playoffs. The Pacific Division is packed with teams that believe they can represent the division in the postseason this year, and the Oilers will have to get off to a strong start if they want to keep pace.