While Montreal’s attempt to sign Carolina center Sebastian Aho through an offer sheet drew some headlines, they have largely been quiet beyond that. However, head coach Claude Julien suggested that the Canadiens may not yet have their roster for the upcoming season settled. Speaking with reporters including Sportsnet’s Eric Engels (Twitter link), Julien indicated that there are still some things being discussed and accordingly, he didn’t want to assess the state of the roster at this time. Montreal is likely to have $6MM or more in cap room once they get down to a 23-man roster in training camp which gives them lots of flexibility to work with in that regard although, with 48 contracts on the books already out of the max of 50, they may want to clear a contract out at the same time they try to bring someone in.
Elsewhere around the league:
- While it was announced nearly three weeks ago that Flames defenseman Juuso Valimaki tore his ACL in offseason training and needed surgery, Postmedia’s Kristen Anderson notes that the procedure has yet to happen. Instead, it appears as if it’s still a few weeks away from happening. Considering the swelling that can often accompany this type of injury, the delay is certainly understandable but at the same time, knowing the recovery period is usually at least six months, it’s increasing the likelihood that the 20-year-old will miss the entire season. Calgary has brought Andrew MacDonald in on a PTO for camp but it wouldn’t be surprising if they look to make another move to bring in a replacement.
- While new Minnesota GM Bill Guerin wasted little time getting a restricted free agent officially signed with center Joel Eriksson Ek, don’t expect a quick resolution on their other NHL RFA. Guerin told Michael Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link) that it’s merely status quo on talks regarding winger Kevin Fiala. Former Wild GM Paul Fenton paid a high price tag in forward Mikael Granlund to bring him in at the trade deadline with the hopes that he’d break out but it didn’t happen. Instead, he finished with 39 points in 83 games, a drop of nine points from the prior year. On the surface, he makes sense as a potential bridge deal candidate, especially as training camp gets closer.