The 2019 unrestricted free agent class was supposed to be a super group, but since names like Tyler Seguin, Drew Doughty and Oliver Ekman-Larsson have re-signed there isn’t quite as much fanfare surrounding it. Still, Erik Karlsson headlines what could be an expensive July 1st and Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required) does his best to break down the situations surrounding the top 25 options.
The Columbus Blue Jackets feature prominently with two of the top three names, including Artemi Panarin who Custance terms as a possibility for “this year’s version of John Tavares.” Panarin is off to a great start, and could be a franchise-altering talent that’s available at the deadline if there isn’t any progress between his camp and the Blue Jackets.
- When the Swedish team lost in the gold medal game at the 2018 World Junior Championship, silver medals were placed around each coach’s neck while Canada celebrated their victory. Those coaches almost immediately removed the medals despite a rule that they must wear them during the celebration, leading to an eventual suspension for the entire staff. That suspension was supposed to keep them from working the 2019 tournament, but today was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Tomas Monten, Nizze Landen and Henrik Stridh will be allowed to coach at this year’s tournament after all.
- The Montreal Canadiens haven’t used Tomas Plekanec much this season, and now will be without his services altogether for the next few weeks. Plekanec has been moved to injured reserve with a lower back injury, and will be out “several weeks.” The veteran center celebrated his 1000th game recently, and has one goal in three appearances with Montreal this season.