After the conclusion of today’s 2021 NHL Draft, there’s a variety of news and notes from post-draft press conferences emerging quickly. NHL.com’s Mike Zeisberger reports from general manager Kyle Dubas’ presser today that the Toronto Maple Leafs are still interested in retaining both Alex Galchenyuk and Frederik Andersen. Now 27, it’s been a long road for Galchenyuk, who was drafted third overall in 2012. After playing for five teams over the past three seasons, Galchenyuk caught what seemed like a new wind after his mid-season acquisition from the Ottawa Senators, scoring 12 points in 26 games with the Leafs. Consistently playing among the Leafs’ top-six forward core, Galchenyuk displayed solid complementary ability when surrounded by better talent. The Leafs will likely hope that he can bring affordable depth scoring again to the team in a middle-six role this time around, hopefully adding another top-end talent in the offseason. And while the team has interest in retaining Andersen in goal, it may not be mutual. Andersen, in any scenario in which he returns, takes a significant cut in both pay and games played, serving behind Jack Campbell. But if Andersen is willing to accept a backup role, the offseason could allow him to return to full health and be a crucial contributor to next year’s Toronto roster.
- Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the Carolina Hurricanes are still trying to re-sign defenseman Dougie Hamilton, but that they’ll need an answer on a deal by the start of free agency on July 28th. TSN’s Darren Dreger follows up, saying that Hamilton is looking at an average annual value between $8MM and $9MM on his next deal. It’s interesting to note here that Hamilton isn’t looking for more money, especially considering the eight-year, $9.5MM AAV extension handed out yesterday to Seth Jones. Hamilton is on a five-year run of receiving Norris Trophy votes, including a career-high fourth-place finish this season. That’s in stark contrast to Jones, who’s coming off a weak season on both sides of the puck. Hamilton’s consistently posted better play-driving and defensive numbers throughout his career, as well. Regardless, Hamilton, who’s part of an elite class of defenders to hit unrestricted free agency in recent years, shouldn’t have any trouble getting his desired compensation, whether it be from Carolina or somewhere else.
- The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir reports that Washington Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan hopes to have a contract extension with captain Alex Ovechkin finalized by the opening of free agency on Wednesday. It’s once in a blue moon that we see a new contract for one of the best players in NHL history, but this offseason will surely see one for the 35-year-old Ovechkin. What’s not for certain is that Ovechkin sees a raise on his previous deal, one that was paying him $9.5MM per season. Despite still being one of the best goal-scorers in the league, Ovechkin’s now finished under a point-per-game pace in two straight seasons and missed significant time with injury this season for the first time since 2009-10. A decent comparable could be the contract handed out to teammate Nicklas Backstrom, who makes $9.2MM per season. While it likely won’t be as long of a term as Backstrom’s five years, a similar cap hit could be in line for ’Ovi’ this offseason.