The NHL is down to its last two arbitration cases as we reach the last month of the offseason. Anaheim's Troy Terry and Pittsburgh's Drew O'Connor are the last hearings that are scheduled.
Yesterday, we saw three signings. Boston got depth forward Trent Frederic at $2.3 million (which is no longer too much for a bottom six forward), as well as goalie Jeremy Swayman to a number comparable with Ilya Samsonov and Filip Gustavsson at $3.475 million. Edmonton also got their third line center, Ryan McLeod signed to a two-year deal worth $2.1 million.
Outside the arbitration cases, there are a handful of prominent younger NHLers without contracts still. Alongside Troy Terry is his fun linemate Trevor Zegras who needs a contract for this season. Anaheim has $27 million to sign those two, as well as promising young defender Jamie Drysdale. I would be shocked if the three didn't get offered eight-year deals to maximize low cap hits down the line.
Edmonton has Evan Bouchard sitting without a contract at the moment with $3.5 million in space.
Alexis Lafreniere is still without a contract, the 21-year-old former first overall pick had 16 goals last season and seems likely heading towards a bridge deal with the cap tight Rangers.
The Ottawa Senators have run out of money for forwards Shane Pinto and Egor Sokolov, with only $800k in space on a roster with 20 players (Norris and Forsberg are presumably going to be healthy for the season). Pinto had 22 goals last season in the absence of Norris up the middle.
Young defenders like Minnesota's Calen Addison and Winnipeg's Logan Stanley also need contracts this summer. Morgan Frost in Philly is also going to make some money, but the team should have enough money for him with $3 million in space.
Various Leafs and Branches
Yesterday was Emancipation Day in Canada, marking the day slavery was abolished in Canada.
This feature on Leafs prospect Fraser Minten is full of good details on his training and progression as a prospect. The long postseason and scheduled offseason camps means it's been difficult to get to the gym for the Leafs top prospect. He and his coach spoke about Minten has always been a smaller player in the league and only now he's starting to fill out his body and develop how to play a bigger game. If he's not the captain on Kamloops next season, he'll play a big role on the team. That's all good signs for the Leafs.
James Mirtle had some insight into the Matt Murray situation, saying the Leafs knew the injury situation before July and as a result never looked deeply into trading his salary. From an injury perspective, considering all the ailments Murray has had in his career, they know the NHL aren't going to be asking questions about it.
This sentence was interesting, and repeats the LTIR process. "I did, however, talk to the league about whether they signed off on Murray going onto LTIR. The NHL doesn’t need to explicitly approve LTIR in the offseason, but the Leafs do have to submit proper medical documentation to justify the move."
Milan Lucic saved us all from himself, admitting a tenure in Toronto for the career goon was never going to work for him in any scenario.
Announcement scheduled for two days and 11 hours from now?