The Penguins have been linked recently to free agent winger Tomas Tatar but the belief is their preference, for now, would be a PTO invite rather than a guaranteed contract. In a recent appearance on the NHL Network (video link), David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period also suggested that the Maple Leafs could be interested in a tryout agreement with the veteran. Tatar is one of the top remaining free agents left on the market and is coming off a 20-goal, 48-point season and is believed to be seeking at least a two-year deal that clearly hasn’t materialized just yet. Toronto is already in a spot where they need to clear some money even with Jake Muzzin and Matt Murray LTIR-bound so while Tatar fits for them on paper, it’s hard to see a full-season fit as things stand which might not make them Tatar’s best option if he does indeed have to go the PTO route.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- Red Wings center Joe Veleno is Detroit’s remaining restricted free agent. He recently spoke with RDS’ Jean-Christophe Bertrand and noted that discussions remain ongoing and that the hope is to have an agreement in place soon. The 23-year-old had 20 points in 81 games last season, his first full-time campaign at the top level. A bridge contract is the likely outcome for the two sides but those deals can range between one and three years with a decent-sized range money-wise within those options. No matter how long Veleno’s next deal is, he will be arbitration-eligible when it expires.
- Still with Detroit, MLive’s Ansar Khan points out just how much the roster has changed under GM Steve Yzerman. Of the players that appear likely to be on the opening-night roster for the Red Wings, just four were part of the organization prior to Yzerman’s arrival in April 2019 – Veleno, Dylan Larkin, Michael Rasmussen, and Jonatan Berggren. Despite the turnover, Detroit hasn’t been able to snap its playoff drought which now stands at seven seasons but with several additions in recent weeks, they are better-positioned to try to take a run at a Wild Card spot in 2023-24.