Although his entry-level contract expires after this season, Brady Tkachuk and the Ottawa Senators are not rushing into contract talks. Tkachuk spoke with the media on Wednesday, including The Ottawa Sun’s Ken Warren, and stated that he was happy with the club and not worried about negotiating an extension. “We’re not really talking about (a new contract),” Tkachuk said, “I don’t think that’s the focus for both sides. Our goal right now is to do everything we can to make the playoffs.” Neither side really has much to worry about anyhow. Tkachuk has continually stated that he enjoys playing for the team and living in Ottawa and seems committed to a long-term future with the Senators. And with more than $34MM in projected cap space for next season and few existing long-term contracts to worry about, the club should have no problem giving their young centerpiece whatever he wants in order to ensure a lengthy extension of their relationship.
- No league discipline is coming for Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov in regards to a net front collision that injured Buffalo Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton on Tuesday. The play in question did look like it was at least partially caused by Hutton’s teammate, Brandon Montour, and there is not nearly enough evidence for NHL Player Safety to state that Provorov was definitively at fault. That hasn’t stopped Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger from publicly stating his disappointment with the situation, though. Krueger tells The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor that Provorov’s actions were purposeful: “if you look at the way the elbow comes extended, you know what you’re doing.” Krueger believes his team has already been the victims of several bad hits to the head so far this season and is clearly to get some extra attention for the next time such a situation arises. Hutton continued on in the game following the collision, but did not return after the second intermission and is currently questionable for the Sabres’ next game.
- The Boston Bruins’ scoring woes are one of the early season’s biggest stories, but help is on the way. NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin writes that David Pastrnak is ahead of schedule in his recovery from off-season hip surgery. Initially expected to return around mid-February, Pastrnak has already re-joined practice as a non-contact participant. Head coach Bruce Cassidy now expects that he could return to action as early as late next week. The reigning Rocket Richard Trophy winner will be a welcome addition to a team that has yet to produce an even strength goal through three games.