One of the intriguing pending storylines for the Canucks is what will happen with pending RFAs Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. As part of his press conference on Friday, GM Jim Benning told reporters, including Postmedia’s Patrick Johnston, that although the pair are eligible to be extended now, they’ve decided to delay those discussions until after next month’s trade deadline. Both youngsters are now represented by CAA’s Pat Brisson and the types of deals they sign will greatly affect Vancouver’s spending plans this offseason. If both were to sign long-term contracts, they’d be extremely limited in trying to make any other moves but if one or both have to settle for bridge deals, they’d have some short-term wiggle room. While they’re delaying those talks for now, Benning would undoubtedly like to have an idea of the cost to re-sign those two before getting too deep into their summer plans.
Elsewhere around the league:
- Lightning defenseman Jan Rutta is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, the team announced (Twitter link). The veteran had played in every game for Tampa Bay until last night, notching six assists in 21 contests. The team doesn’t have enough room in LTIR to make another recall although they do still have six healthy blueliners on the roster for the time being.
- While the Golden Knights have been without Robin Lehner for the last ten games, head coach Peter DeBoer told David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal that while the netminder isn’t currently on the road trip, he’s “very close to reintegrating in with the group”. That suggests that the 29-year-old is nearing a return which would be a welcome addition for a Vegas team that has had to use Marc-Andre Fleury a bit more than they’d have liked in recent weeks although the veteran has played quite well.
- Carolina defenseman Jake Gardiner has declared himself ready to return from the upper-body injury that has caused him to miss five straight games, notes Michael Smith of the Hurricanes’ team site (Twitter link). Officially, he is listed as a game-time decision for tomorrow’s game against Florida. Gardiner has seven assists in 16 contests this season but is averaging a career-low 15:55 per game.