The Blackhawks are starting to find some common ground in negotiations with pending RFA defenseman Nikita Zadorov, reports Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription link). Powers notes that Zadorov’s original ask was a five-year deal with a $5.85MM AAV, one that buys out four years of UFA eligibility but is a high price for someone that is more of a fourth or fifth defenseman, especially in this marketplace. He suggests that something in the $4MM range would make more sense. The 26-year-old is owed a $3.2MM qualifying offer but also has arbitration rights which could deter Chicago from tendering it by the July 26th deadline if no deal is in place by then.
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- In the same column, Powers notes that the Blackhawks haven’t made any progress in contract discussions with winger Brandon Hagel. The 22-year-old was a regular for the first time this season and put up nine goals and 15 assists in 52 games. He isn’t eligible for arbitration or an offer sheet and with his limited NHL experience, it stands to reason that Chicago will be trying to keep his contract close to the $874K qualifying offer. With no leverage other than trying to stall for a better deal, this could be a contract that takes some time to get done.
- The Red Wings are interested in re-signing pending UFA center Luke Glendening, reports Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now. The 32-year-old has been in trade deadline speculation for several years now given his faceoff ability (he won a career-best 60.9% of his draws this season) but Detroit has opted to hold onto him each time. Considering that fourth liners were hit hard last fall in free agency and a flat cap this summer, Glendening may be hard-pressed to get more than the $1.8MM AAV he had on his most recent contract.
- Dallas is facing a bonus overage penalty of nearly $1MM for next season, notes Mike Heika on the Stars’ team website. Miro Heiskanen, Jason Robertson, and Jake Oettinger each reached their allotted Schedule A bonuses, creating a penalty after proration of just over $927K. Penalties from 2020-21 could be amortized over two seasons but that provision isn’t available now so that amount will be deducted from their spending limit for 2021-22.