One name that hasn’t gotten quite a bit of attention the last year has been that of former Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis. The former GM has spent the last few months on a management team that put together the roster for Canada at the recent World Championships. Sportsnet’s John Shannon points out that today is the last day that he is under contract with Carolina and could be free to sign with an other NHL team. According to Shannon, His work with Hockey Canada has increased his desire to return to the NHL.
Fox Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland adds that Francis name has come up for a while as a strong candidate for the general manager position in Seattle. Francis help build the Hurricanes roster that eventually eliminated the former Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals last year and reached the conference finals.
- Ottawa Senators new head coach D.J. Smith will add another key assistant to his staff. After bringing in Jack Capuano to be his associate head coach, the Senators announced today that they have also added former St. Louis Blues head coach Davis Payne as an assistant coach for the 2019-20 season. The 48-year-old Payne spent the past two years in Ottawa’s division as the associate coach for the Buffalo Sabres and Phil Housley. Before that he spent five years as an assistant coach with the Los Angeles Kings and helped lead the team to the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship. As head coach in St. Louis, he spent parts of three seasons there between 2009 and 2011, finishing with a 67-55-15 record.
- TSN’s Darren Dreger writes that unrestricted free agent forward Marcus Johansson is talking to a number of teams today, but he is no longer talking to the Boston Bruins. The 28-year-old was acquired by Boston at the trade deadline for their playoff run, but reports indicate that his price tag is more than Boston wants to pay. Dreger adds that Boston is totally out of the picture now.
- News & Observer’s Luke DeCock reports that while the Carolina Hurricanes acquired goaltender James Reimer earlier today, his stay in Carolina could be short. The scribe writes that Carolina isn’t necessarily planning on keeping the goaltender as the team continues to look to make more deals ahead of the opening of free agency on Monday. If they can find a taker, the team may try to flip him to another team.
- The Athletic’s Arthur Staple adds that the Reimer trade suggests that the Florida Panthers are the leading candidates to sign Sergei Bobrovsky, which means the Islanders could find themselves without a top goalie. He points out there is plenty of time to re-connect with Robin Lehner. The two sides weren’t close in negotiations, but the Islanders may have no choice to change their stance in discussions.
- The Detroit Red Wings got some bad news Saturday when they learned that recent draft prospect Robert Mastrosimone, the team’s second-round pick this year, suffered broken right ankle during development camp last week, according to the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James. The injury will require four to six weeks of rehab. Mastrosimone scored 31 goals for the USHL Chicago Steel last season.