Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer and despite the tough year that Detroit had, he isn’t ruling out a return. The veteran told reporters, including Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News, that he enjoyed the change of scenery from New York and that he’d be open to returning. Regardless of where he winds up, the 34-year-old will be facing a steep pay cut from the $5.7MM AAV on his now-expiring contract. Staal averaged 18:25 per night on the back end and acknowledged that he may be interested in playing with one of his brothers; Jordan remains under contract in Carolina while Eric will be an unrestricted free agent as well after playing out the playoffs with Montreal.
More from around the league:
- Devils prospect Shakir Mukhamadullin underwent successful shoulder surgery and should be ready to play next season, relays Corey Masisak of The Athletic (Twitter link). The 19-year-old was the 20th pick back in October and had a regular role with Salavat Yulaev of the KHL while notching 10 points in 39 games. He has one more year left on his deal overseas with Masisak adding that New Jersey expects to sign the defenseman at the conclusion of his 2021-22 campaign.
- Sabres associate GM Jason Karmanos had high praise for prospect J.J. Peterka, telling Bill Hoppe of the Olean Times Herald that had Pittsburgh (where he worked previously) been able to secure a first-rounder last fall, they’d have picked Peterka with that selection. Buffalo wound up nabbing him early in the second round and the 19-year-old had a strong season split between Munchen in Germany and Salzburg in Austria while being dominant at the World Juniors with ten points in five games.
- After being cancelled due to the pandemic, Corey Pronman of The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that the Hlinka Gretzky Cup could still happen this summer somewhere in Europe, albeit without Canada’s participation. The under-18 tournament is typically the first event on the calendar for draft-eligible prospects and typically features eight countries.