The Minnesota Wild still have three very important restricted free agents to sign, and while Marcus Foligno didn’t file for arbitration and can slowly work on a deal the deadlines for Nino Niederreiter and Mikael Granlund are fast approaching. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports that the team is still trying to get both of them under contract for three to five years, but have only 10 days to do it. The pair go to arbitration on August 3rd and 4th respectively, with an arbitrator’s ruling coming down 48 hours after the hearing is completed.
You can still work out a deal after going through the hearing process, like Tomas Tatar and Viktor Arvidsson have already this year. That wouldn’t be ideal, but the Wild could get deals done as late as next weekend. Niederreiter has turned into an elite two-way player, while Granlund broke out and led Minnesota with 69 points last season, showing off his offensive chops after a move to the wing. The team has $15.8MM in cap space to work with for the trio of RFAs, and they’ll need most if not all of it depending on how many years of free agency they can buy out.
- The San Diego Gulls have signed NHL veteran Jeff Schultz to a one-year AHL contract, bringing him back for another year. Schultz, 31, was once a key part of the Washington Capitals’ defense corps, but has spent the majority of the last several years in the minor leagues. In 65 games for the Gulls last year, Schultz recorded 15 points but was a big part of their 43-20 record and has taken on a sort of mentor role for many of the Anaheim Ducks young defensemen.
- The San Jose Sharks have added an assistant coach to the mix for next season, hiring Dave Barr to be their “eye-in-the-sky.” Barr was with the Florida Panthers last season but, like Scott Allen who was just hired in Arizona, was let go at the end of the year when the Panthers cleaned house. The 58-year old coach has bounced around the NHL since 2008-09, prior to which he served as the head coach of the Guelph Storm (OHL) for four years, taking his squad to the playoff in each season. Steve Spott and Rob Zettler will be behind the bench with head coach Peter DeBoer next season.