It has been a tough season for Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov. He missed time earlier this season due to COVID-19 (and is back on the CPRA list today) while being benched for last night’s contest as well for team disciplinary purposes. On top of that, he has underwhelmed offensively with 29 points in 41 games. Accordingly, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic noted in the latest TSN Insider Trading segment (video link) that Washington may be willing to listen to offers on the 28-year-old this summer. While a season like this doesn’t help his value, it’s once again a quiet UFA market in terms of impact centers so there would certainly be plenty of interest in Kuznetsov’s services, even though he carries a $7.8MM AAV through 2024-25 and a 15-team no-trade clause at a time where cap space will be limited for many teams.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- For the upcoming expansion draft, the Kraken have to select at least $48.9MM in contracts. One thing that they’ll need to keep in mind with who they select will be signing bonuses as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports in his latest 31 Thoughts column that if they select someone who had a July 1st bonus paid, Seattle will have to repay that signing bonus to the original team. Knowing that who they pick could cost cap space and a cash repayment to the team they took the player from could certainly affect some of their selections.
- Winger Reid Boucher is receiving some interest from NHL teams, Friedman reports in the same column. The 27-year-old has been a strong point producer in the minors but after playing just one NHL game over the previous two seasons, Boucher went overseas and joined Avangard Omsk of the KHL. Not surprisingly, he was quite productive there this season, leading the team in scoring with 24 goals and 24 assists in 51 games. There should be lots of interest from teams looking for a productive veteran to play in the minors but he may be hard-pressed to find a team willing to give him a long look at an NHL opportunity.
- The Sharks are expected to hold contract talks with winger Ryan Donato once the season comes to an end, notes Curtis Pashelka of the Mercury News. The 25-year-old is in his first season with San Jose since coming over from Minnesota in an offseason trade and has managed just six goals and 14 assists in 50 games this season. Owed a $2.15MM qualifying offer this summer, the fact he has arbitration eligibility puts him in that zone where it could be deemed too risky to tender him an offer. With that in mind, early talks to see if something can be agreed to beforehand certainly makes a lot of sense.