The Arizona Coyotes and Taylor Hall have re-engaged in contract talks, according to Craig Custance of The Athletic, but with an interesting twist. Coyotes CEO Xavier Gutierrez is “running point” on the talks instead of GM John Chayka, and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that Chayka was not even present at a recent dinner meeting between the team and their star forward.
Hall’s agent Darren Ferris told Friedman that the plan is still to wait until the end of the season to begin any negotiations. The 28-year old former Hart Trophy winner had 52 points in 65 games when the season was ended early and will be one of the biggest names in free agency should he reach it in October.
- Avangard Omsk has withdrawn from a KHL preseason tournament after 20 positive COVID-19 tests from players and staff. According to an Associated Press report, GM Alexei Volkov explained that most are not experiencing “obvious symptoms.” Omsk is coached by former NHL bench boss Bob Hartley and has several former NHL names on the roster including Reid Boucher, Corban Knight, Jiri Sekac, and Alexei Emelin. The identity of the players who have tested positive was not revealed.
- Alexander Romanov, who will burn the first season of his entry-level contract without playing for the Montreal Canadiens, will also not be getting a chance to take part in the Phase 3 training camp. The Russian defenseman will report directly to Toronto and serve his quarantine there before joining the team. The Canadiens hope to get Romanov acclimated to teammates and the organization this summer before he competes for a roster spot next season.