With the deadline for players to accept their qualifying offers having passed earlier today, Coyotes beat writer Craig Morgan reports that the Coyotes are still working on a deal for restricted free agent forward Christian Fischer, even though there is no word on whether they requested an extension from the league. The forward does not have arbitration rights.
Fischer struggled significantly last season, seeing his playing time reduced by more than two minutes, going from 13:10 ATOI to 11:01 this season) and scored just six goals and nine points in 56 games. The 23-year-old just wrapped up his entry-level deal where he made $1.08MM.
- The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz (subscription required) writes that the loss of center Joe Thornton will have a significant effect on the team. While his offense should be able to be replaced, the bigger effect is how the team will fare without his presence in the locker room, where the veterans had quite an effect over the years. Now with Thornton and Joe Pavelski gone, much of the leadership will fall on the shoulders of second-year captain Logan Couture, who will tough shoes to fill in the Sharks’ locker room. “You have to have a whole leadership group,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “It’s on a whole group of players, it’s not a one-person leadership mentality. … Yes, you’ve got some of the veterans that certainly know it’s their responsibility, but some of the younger guys, too — Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc. It’s their time. They need to step up to the next level. We have to be the sum of all our parts.”
- With Matt Benning gone and prospects Evan Bouchard and Philip Broberg still developing, the Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins writes that one player that the Oilers may consider adding is former Detroit Red Wings blueliner Madison Bowey. The Red Wings opted not to give the 25-year-old a qualifying offer, making him a free-agent. However, Oilers general manager Ken Holland is familiar with Bowey, who he traded for back when he was with the Red Wings and it could be a good fit. The 6-foot-2 blueliner averaged 17:54 last season in 53 games with Detroit, posting three goals and 17 points.