While Thomas Vanek remains unsigned, the veteran winger indicated to John Vogl of The Athletic (subscription required) that he did turn down one contract offer over the summer. Instead, his preference is to wait and try to land with a contending team to take one last shot at a Stanley Cup title and then retire at the end of the season. The 35-year-old is coming off a reasonable season offensively that saw him record 16 goals and 20 assists in 64 games with Detroit in 2018-19, numbers that suggest he can still contribute. While he continues to skate in the hopes of getting another contract though, it appears he’s going to be very selective when it comes to where he’s willing to sign.
More from around the hockey world:
- Panthers winger Jayce Hawryluk will miss at least a month due to an upper-body injury (likely to the shoulder), notes George Richards of The Athletic (Twitter link). The injury was sustained on a hit from Colorado’s Nikita Zadorov on Wednesday night. Hawryluk has played in eight games with Florida so far this season, picking up a goal and two assists from the fourth line. With Vincent Trocheck also believed to be unavailable, Florida is now down to 11 healthy forwards on their roster.
- We won’t see much activity in college free agency until March but Bob Stauffer of 630 CHED in Edmonton reports (Twitter link) that undrafted Penn State winger Brandon Biro is attracting some NHL interest already. The 21-year-old senior had an impressive junior year with 40 points in 37 games and is off to an even better start in 2019-20 with five goals and seven helpers in just seven games.
- While the Maple Leafs were hoping to have center John Tavares back tonight, that won’t be the case. However, Tavares told reporters, including TSN’s Mark Masters, (Twitter link) that he hasn’t suffered a setback. Instead, with Toronto being off until Tuesday, the team doctors have decided that an extra three days of rest would be most beneficial for him.