Rangers center Andrew Copp is coming off a career year that saw him record 21 goals and 32 assists in 72 games while he was better than a point-per-game player after New York acquired him from Winnipeg back at the trade deadline. That has him setting a high price in extension talks as Arthur Staple of The Athletic reports (subscription link) that the 28-year-old is seeking a contract similar to the one that Zach Hyman received from Edmonton – seven years at a cap hit of $5.5MM. That will be difficult for the Rangers to afford without them clearing out some cap space so it’s quite possible that Copp will hit the open market on Wednesday.
Other free agent news from around the NHL:
- Still from Staple’s column, he cites a league source who noted that pending UFA goalie Braden Holtby may not play this season due to injury concerns. The 32-year-old had a nice bounce-back year with Dallas, posting a .913 SV% in 24 games which would have had him fairly high on the list of veteran backups that teams will be pursuing on the open market. Dallas, his soon-to-be former team, wasn’t expected to be among them after they re-signed Scott Wedgewood to serve as Jake Oettinger’s backup.
- When Tampa Bay freed up some cap space with the trade of Ryan McDonagh to Nashville, it was expected those savings would go towards re-signing pending UFA winger Ondrej Palat. However, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic relays (Twitter link) that the expectation is that the 31-year-old will instead test the open market next week. Palat is coming off a season that saw him put up 49 points in 77 games but he was much better in the playoffs for the Lightning, notching 11 goals and 10 assists in 23 contests to finish second on the team in postseason scoring which should help boost his market. He had a $5.3MM AAV on his set-to-expire deal and should be able to land a bit more than that in free agency.