The weeks leading up to the trade deadline can often be quiet and with so many teams this season being tight to the salary cap, this past week was no exception. Nevertheless, there was some notable news around the hockey world over the past seven days which is recapped in our key stories.
Cancer For Top Draft Prospect: Winger Ivan Miroshnichenko has been viewed as one of the top prospects heading into the upcoming draft. Unfortunately, he has a big fight to overcome before he can think about hockey again as it was revealed that the 18-year-old has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and could miss the entire 2022-23 campaign as a result. The good news is that it’s believed to be the most common form and is curable but even with that, it’s likely to affect his draft stock in July.
Extensions: There should be an uptick in contract extensions over the next couple of weeks and that started over the weekend. First, Arizona handed center Travis Boyd a two-year, $3.5MM extension with the 28-year-old in the midst of a career year. Boyd’s previous high in salary in a single season was $800K and now he’ll average more than double that much over the next two seasons. Meanwhile, Ben Hutton went from having to start the season on a minor league tryout to securing a new two-year, $1.7MM deal from the Golden Knights. The 28-year-old has logged nearly 15 minutes a night on the back end for Vegas this season and as a result, earned a small raise on his league minimum salary this season.
Interim Tag Lifted: Chicago’s search for their next general manager is over and it turns out they had the right fit all along as the team removed the interim tag from Kyle Davidson, elevating him to the full-time role. The 33-year-old has been with the organization since 2010 when he started as an intern and has now worked his way up to the top role and had been in the interim role following the departure of Stan Bowman. Bowman has committed to a rebuilding process for the Blackhawks and has already started to rebuild the front office, parting ways with long-time executives Mark Kelley (VP of Amateur Scouting) and Ryan Stewart (assistant GM).
Del Zotto Drawing Interest: Generally speaking, players that clear waivers with multi-year contracts that wind up in the minors don’t typically garner much interest at the trade deadline. That doesn’t appear to be the case for Senators blueliner Michael Del Zotto following a report that teams are calling about the 31-year-old. Del Zotto is signed through next season with a $2MM AAV, a contract that Ottawa will either need to pay down or take a similarly-priced player back. The veteran has been quite productive with AHL Belleville, averaging over a point per game since joining them and would provide some teams with a bit of extra firepower from the back end.
Stalock To Sharks: With James Reimer out week-to-week and Adin Hill already on IR, the Sharks decided to swing a move to bring back a familiar netminder, acquiring Alex Stalock from Edmonton in exchange for future considerations. San Jose actually drafted the 34-year-old back in 2005 but that’s not what makes this notable. Stalock was originally expected to be out for the season due to myocarditis but worked his way back to full health and got into five games with AHL Bakersfield before the swap and now he’s back in the NHL. Even if he doesn’t play much, that’s still a nice accomplishment considering his situation just a few months ago.