Not every player who signs a PTO with a team for the preseason turns that PTO into a full contract offer, but it seems we can count Derek Stepan as one of this year’s players who managed to do just that. Don Waddell told the media today, including Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, that he “thinks” Stepan will be signed to a full contract, and that the hold-up on a deal as of right now is just a matter of the team “figuring out the roster” and salary cap for the start of the regular season.
Stepan, 32, is a veteran of over 800 NHL games and spent last season with the Hurricanes. In 58 games for Carolina, he scored 19 points and is likely being signed to function as a depth center in case any member of their current center corps faces injury issues. While Stepan isn’t the reliable 55-point top-six center he once was, he’s a capable veteran who provides the Hurricanes with the sort of depth contending clubs need to survive the rigors of the NHL season.
Now, for some other notes from across the NHL:
- Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley is generally regarded as one of the more hands-on team governors in the sport, and under his watch the Golden Knights have experienced a period of success that is unprecedented for an expansion franchise. As of today, Foley has reportedly expanded his sports ownership portfolio. As reported by Matt Slater and Ahmed Shooble of The Athletic, Foley has entered into a verbal agreement to purchase a majority stake in AFC Bournemouth, a club participating in the Premier League, the top level of the English soccer pyramid. While the implications of this move on the Golden Knights are not immediately clear, it is fair to wonder if acquiring Bournemouth will lead Foley to be less extensively involved in the Golden Knights’ day-to-day operations.
- Anaheim Ducks superstar forward Trevor Zegras has been injured in recent days thanks to an upper-body injury. Today, Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins told NHL Network Radio on Sirius XM that Zegras is expected to join the team for a full practice tomorrow. Zegras, who scored 61 points in 75 games, is a crucial part of the Ducks’ offense and getting him back to full health will be important if the team wants to see success early in the 2022-23 campaign.