Sharks winger Kevin Labanc has fully recovered from the shoulder woes that plagued him last season and he will be ready for training camp later this month, notes Corey Masisak of The Athletic (Twitter link). He originally suffered the injury back in December and while it looked like he might be able to return late in the year, that didn’t wind up happening. The 26-year-old had just three goals and three assists in 21 games before the injury, leading to some speculation that he could have been a buyout candidate for San Jose this summer although they obviously didn’t go that route. With two years left on his contract that carries a $4.725MM AAV, the Sharks will be counting on a bounce-back year from their second-highest-paid winger.
More from around the Western Conference:
- With both Ville Heinola and Dylan Samberg potentially being ready for full-time NHL duty, Scott Billeck of the Winnipeg Sun suggests that one of Dylan DeMelo or Brenden Dillon could be a possible trade candidate for Winnipeg over the coming weeks. The Jets are one of the few teams that still has ample cap space at their disposal – more than $5.5MM, per CapFriendly – providing them with an opportunity to still add to their forward group. DeMelo and Dillon are on affordable contracts ($3MM and $3.9MM, respectively) so swapping one for a forward of note could create a spot for one of those youngsters and give them a boost up front, a win-win situation for them.
- While the Flames and Jonathan Huberdeau quickly reached an agreement on an extension after their summer trade with Florida, the same hasn’t happened yet with the other Calgary newcomer in MacKenzie Weegar. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports in the latest 32 Thoughts podcast (audio link) that the two sides are indeed quietly talking about a new deal. The 28-year-old is coming off a career year that saw him put up 44 points in 80 games while logging over 23 minutes per night, numbers that will give him a chance at doubling his current $3.25MM AAV on his next contract.