Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson is expected to waive his no-move clause for the upcoming expansion draft, reports Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. The 33-year-old was limited to just four games this season due to an upper-body injury, last suiting up in January. Johnson has two years left on his deal with a $6MM AAV and considering that and how little he played this season, it’s extremely unlikely that he would be picked by Seattle. Johnson waiving his protection would allow Colorado to protect all three of Cale Makar, Devon Toews, and Samuel Girard.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- The Stars are expected to keep Jamie Benn at center next season, notes Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News. Dallas moved him there out of necessity late in the season and the veteran did well, notching 17 points in the final 19 games. Tyler Seguin should be ready to go for next season while Joe Pavelski and Roope Hintz remain in the fold so either one of them is going to shift to the wing or they will be starting next season with an enviable group of centermen which would also allow them to run three scoring lines which would be useful for a team that hasn’t been in the top half of the league in goals scored since 2015-16.
- While now-former Oilers forward Gaetan Haas signed a five-year deal in Switzerland earlier in the week, he could still be in the NHL next season. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal notes that Haas’ contract contains an out clause by August 15th if he’s able to secure an NHL deal that’s to his liking. It’s hard to imagine he will receive a prominent enough offer to walk away from a half-decade of playing at home but he’ll have a couple of weeks in free agency to try to find one.