Even though he wound up settling for a league minimum contract, new Blue Jackets winger Anthony Duclair received a fair amount of interest around the league. His agent, Phillipe Lecavalier, told Aaron Portzline of The Athletic (subscription required) that more than a third of the league showed some interest in the 22-year-old with about half of those tendering contract offers (including at least one offering more money). Duclair wound up picking Columbus in part based on a conversation with former NHL player Vincent Lecavalier, who played for head coach John Tortorella in Tampa Bay in the early 2000s. If he fares well in his new home, the Blue Jackets will be able to tender him a pretty cheap qualifying offer next summer.
More from around the league:
- Avalanche defenseman Patrik Nemeth may not be ready for the start of training camp following multiple offseason shoulder surgeries, GM Joe Sakic told Mike Chambers of the Denver Post. The 26-year-old is Colorado’s last NHL restricted free agent and is coming off of a career year that saw him post 15 points (3-12-15) in 68 games while logging just shy of 20 minutes of ice time per game. Nemeth was among the group that filed for salary arbitration earlier this week and is one year away from UFA eligibility.
- Although his signing largely went under the radar, new Sharks center Antti Suomela was one of the more sought-after players so far this offseason. Paul Gackle of the Bay Area News Group notes that San Jose beat out roughly a dozen teams to secure the services of the 24-year-old which may result in them ensuring that he receives an NHL spot to start next season. Suomela is coming off a strong season in Finland where he led the SM-liiga in scoring with 60 points in 59 games.