With plenty of cap room and a major need in the net, many feel that the Detroit Red Wings and general manager Steve Yzerman might make a splash into the free-agent market this offseason. Longtime goaltender Jimmy Howard is 36 years old, coming off his worst season and is an unrestricted free agent, meaning that a return is extremely unlikely. Throw in the fact that there are several big names that could become available at the time, including Braden Holtby and Robin Lehner, and it’s very likely the Red Wings will be exploring that market.
However, the Detroit Free Press’ Helene St. James writes neither Holtby or Lehner are likely candidates to come to Detroit next season. Holtby might not be too interested in joining a rebuilding team and the scribe believes that both players’ price tags are likely to be too rich for what the Red Wings are going to be interested to pay. Holtby is currently making $6.1MM per season, while Lehner is currently on a one-year deal at $5MM. Neither is likely to be willing to take much of a pay cut.
James suggests the team is likely going to look for a player to join Jonathan Bernier in more of a tandem role on a short-term deal, including players like Cam Talbot, Anton Khudobin and Jaroslav Halak.
- The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a major loss back in early March when it was announced that captain Steven Stamkos would miss six to eight weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a core muscle injury. The recovery time would likely have forced him to miss at least the first-round of the playoffs. However, the suspension of play due to COVID-19 has allowed Stamkos the time he needed to get healthy and recently told Joe Smith of The Athletic (subscription required), that he’ll be ready to go when play resumes. “With the timing of all this, it was devastating at the beginning because I thought I would possibly be missing some playoff games,” Stamkos said. “And the stoppage happened, and we didn’t know how long it was gonna be. So the silver lining in that was I’ll be ready when we resume. So I’ve been able to still use this time to rehab. I’ve been going to the rink … about three times a week to skate and just start feeling normal again.”
- Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports that while Montreal Canadiens fans are waiting for top prospect Alex Romanov to sign on the dotted line in the next few days, that might have to wait. Despite that fact that his KHL contract will expire on April 30, Romanov doesn’t intend to sign a contract until he knows what is happening in regards to the NHL’s 2019-20 season. He does intend to sign once play is expected to resume, but the 20-year-old wants to make sure he doesn’t sit for a lengthy amount of time. The defenseman has already played two full seasons in the KHL and many hope that Romanov is ready to step into Montreal’s lineup as soon as next season.