Even as the NHL works towards finalizing a plan to begin the 2020-21 season, with a second wave of free agent signings expected in response, many NHL veterans continue to look elsewhere for work this season. The latest appears to be forward Ty Rattie. Rattie, 27, actually played in the KHL last year but to this point had held out hope for a return to North America after a strong showing in Russia. Instead, he is expected to remain in Europe for another year. Johan Svensson of Swedish source Kvallsposten reports that the SHL’s Malmo Redhawks are close to finalizing a deal with Rattie. The skilled forward is just the latest name to be linked to a European club, as the likes of Mirco Mueller and Valentin Zykov have been among those rumored to be moving overseas this past week as well.
- Other free agents continue to wait for NHL interest to develop ahead of the new season. Among some of the more intriguing depth names available are the brothers Gaunce. Of the 60 remaining unsigned unrestricted free agents, Cameron Gaunce and Brendan Gaunce top the list in terms of points per game this past season. Of course, a major caveat is that they finished at the bottom of that list in games played with just four games total between them. Yet, the brothers were not only efficient with minimal NHL opportunity, both were very productive in the AHL as well. Defenseman Cameron, 30, notched four points in three games with the Tampa Bay Lightning and added 32 points in 52 minor league games with the Syracuse Crunch while forward Brendan, 26, recorded a point in his lone appearance with the Boston Bruins and scored 37 points in 52 games with AHL Providence. Elite prospects who have established themselves as reliable pros over the years, the Gaunce brothers are among those whose patience should be paid off with a contract shortly.
- Ottawa Senators prospect Roby Jarventie was not expected to challenge for a roster spot this season, but it seems the talented young forward is unlikely to make the jump to North America next year either. Finnish club Ilves of the Liiga has announced that they have exercised the option on Jarventie’s contract for the 2021-22 season. Although the NHL and the Liiga have a transfer agreement, Ilves likely made this move with the expectation that Jarventie would be around to fulfill the final year of his current contract. The second pick of the second round in the 2020 NHL Draft, Jarventie is a top prospect but is one of many for the Senators. However, with 14 points through 19 games already this season, the big forward’s stock is on the rise and Ottawa won’t want to wait too long to bring him over.