Last month, Conor Garland’s agent indicated there had been no progress in contract discussions between the Coyotes and the pending restricted free agent. It appears nothing has changed on that front as David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period relays (Twitter link) that there still have been no contract talks between the two sides and that Arizona appears to be trying to move him. The 25-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him collect 12 goals and 27 assists in 49 games but is arbitration-eligible for the first time. On the surface, it would appear as if the Coyotes are concerned about what contract he could be awarded in a hearing which makes him a name to watch for heading into Saturday’s transactions freeze.
Elsewhere in the Central Division:
- The Blackhawks have given the agent for forward Maxim Shalunov permission to speak to other NHL teams about finding a trade for his rights, reports Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription link). Whether or not the 28-year-old will come back to North America (he played in the minors in 2013-14) has seemingly been an annual tradition for the last several years but with Chicago’s forward depth, there really isn’t a spot for him even if they wanted to sign him. Shalunov had 18 goals and 17 assists in 52 games with CSKA Moscow in the KHL this season and could be an intriguing acquisition for someone; Powers suggests that the asking price from Chicago wouldn’t be too high in order to give him a chance to try the NHL if they don’t have a spot for him.
- One player whose stock may have been boosted by the playoffs is Stars blueliner Jamie Oleksiak. Between that and recent contracts handed out to similar players, Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News posits that the 28-year-old pending unrestricted free agent should be able to land a contract of $3.5MM or more on the open market. That may be more than Dallas can afford knowing that Miro Heiskanen is up for a big-ticket contract in his first trip through restricted free agency this summer. Oleksiak told DeFranks that things have been quiet so in terms of discussions on a new deal.