Typically, the only teams that can sign a player to a max-term eight-year contract is the one they’re currently on. However, Seattle will be able to change that. As Pierre LeBrun notes in his latest piece for The Athletic (subscription link), the NHLPA negotiated a “no loss of status or rights’’ provision in the latest CBA which means that a pending free agent selected by the Kraken could still receive an eight-year deal as long as the contract is signed before free agency opens up on July 28th.
Seattle will have a 72-hour exclusive negotiating window with any free agents that are left unprotected by their current teams in advance of next month’s expansion draft. If they reach an agreement with one of those players, that player automatically becomes the selection from the team that originally had them.
Elsewhere in the West:
- Golden Knights center Tomas Nosek is getting closer to returning to the lineup, GM Kelly McCrimmon told reporters, including Ben Gotz of The Athletic (Twitter link). The veteran has missed the last 11 games since leaving their second contest against Minnesota back in the first round with an unspecified injury. Nosek has been an important depth player for Vegas since joining them in expansion and surprisingly had a career year offensively this season with 18 points in just 38 games.
- Wild defensive prospect Brennan Menell surprisingly signed in the KHL for this past season but the move worked out as he was one of the top scoring defensemen in that league with 38 points. As Michael Russo of The Athletic suggests (subscription link), that could put him in a spot to push for a one-way contract at the league minimum of $750K to come back to North America. Russo notes that Menell’s representatives reached out last month to start talks for a contract for next season but GM Bill Guerin wanted to wait until their playoffs finished first. If he does return, he’d need to play in 75 NHL games next season to avoid reaching Group VI unrestricted free agency.
- The Coyotes have interviewed Providence head coach Jay Leach for their vacant head coaching position, reports Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider (Twitter link). The 41-year-old has spent the past six seasons in the AHL including the past four as head coach of Boston’s affiliate. Leach also played in 70 career NHL games over a 13-year professional career.