Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League has offered a contract to free agent Patrik Berglund, per Uffe Bodin of hockeysverige.se. Berglund, last seen in the NHL as a member of the 2018-2019 Buffalo Sabres, had his contract terminated after failing to report. Mental health issues led Berglund to forfeit the $10MM contract and return to Europe where he eventually signed a deal with Djurgardens in the SHL. It appears as if Berglund, 32, will stay in the Swedish Hockey League for the foreseeable future, putting an end to any speculation that he might return stateside. Berglund initially joined the Sabres to help match salary as part of the Ryan O’Reilly trade.
- The New York Rangers are in the enviable position of having not one, not two, but three viable options at goaltender once play resumes, per Dan Rosen of NHL.com. Henrik Lundqvist (.905 save percentage in 26 starts) could be grandfathered into the starting role, but Igor Shesterkin (.932 save percentage in 12 starts)and Alexandar Georgiev (.910 save percentage in 32 starts) each made their case with solid play during the year. As with many of the roster decisions coming out of the long layoff, this may come down to conditioning and readiness. However he decides, coach David Quinn is sure to be second-guessed if their five-game Stanley Cup Qualifier against the Carolina Hurricanes goes poorly. On his thinking, Quinn said this: “You can make a case for all three guys. There’s a lot of reasons to take ’Shesty,’ there’s a lot of reasons to start Hank (Lundqvist), and there’s reasons to start ’Georgie.’ This is such an uncertain time that that will play out over the course of the two and a half weeks that we’re going to have before we drop the puck.”
- Looking ahead, the Rangers decision could speak to their likely direction this offseason when they’ll need to decide again how to manage the futures of Lundqvist, 38, Shesterkin, 24, and Georgiev, 24. Lundqvist is owed $8.5MM for the 2020-2021 season while Shesterkin has another year at $925K. “Georgie” could be the odd man out, as he will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. That said, the Rangers’ remain in control of all three, and they’ll likely explore trade avenues to extract value from the deep positional group.