Columbus and Vegas Deal Imminent

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Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Jarmo Kekäläinen

As you know the season is now over on ice but off the ice, it is just starting and promises to be captivating. Teams will have a set time period to conclude deals prior the expansion draft and many of them will have to complete them prior to July 18th.

Yesterday, teams had a deadline of 1700hrs to ask their players with no-movement clauses (NMC) to lift it so they wouldn’t be forced to be protected in preparation to the upcoming expansion draft comes June 21st. Players like Dion Phaneuf in Ottawa falls within that category. It was announced Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Marc-André Fleury waived his NMC back in February opening him to be unprotected when the expansion draft occurs. It was also rumored Florida Panthers defenseman Keith Yandle could be asked to lift his NMC. This was denied according to reports by Miami Herald’s George Richards.

Dave Clarkson from the Columbus Blue Jackets
Dave Clarkson – Inactive Since March 16

The Golden Knights and the Columbus Blue Jackets should be completing a deal this week that will see the Columbus Blue Jackets part ways with David Clarkson. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, the Blue Jackets have a deal in place that would be announced any day. Although the deal isn’t official, Columbus would send Clarkson to the Golden Knights in order for them to reach the cap floor. Clarkson would count for 1.05M per year. Clarkson’s insurance would cover the 80% remaining of his $5.25 million contract.

Clarkson is suffering from a back injury suffered last season. it is believed his career is over. In this case, Columbus would simply be creating cap space to allow them to protect a player on the roster they wish to keep, while giving Georges McPhee the needed cap floor requirements. His status is listed as exempt from the expansion due to his injury. Clarkson’s last game goes back to March 11, 2016.

Injured Players List Exempt from the Expansion Draft

Below is a list of the players exempt from being selected at the expansion draft due to long term injury.

ARIZONA COYOTES – Craig Cunningham
NEW YORK ISLANDERS – Mikhail Grabovski
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS – Stephane Robidas

Rangers looking to make a big splash

One of the teams active on the trade market are the New York Rangers. According to Larry brooks from the New York Post, the Rangers have interest in Nathan McKinnon but it seems the price asked by the Colorado Avalanche is way too high.

As for the protection of their players for the expansion draft, the Rangers could be faced leaving forward Derek Stepan exposed to the expansion draft. They have decided to keep their three main blueliners in Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonaugh. Giradi and McDonaugh have a NMC which makes Staal as the only player who could be traded in order to allow New York to protect one more forward player.

Teams have until Friday to resign any restricted free agents in order to have them protected.

Tampa Bay having discussions with the Golden Knights

According to Tampa Bay Times Joe Smith, the Lightning could be in a jam with their younger talented forwards. Smith stated that Lightning general manager, Steve Yzerman had discussions with Golden Knights general manager, George McPhee to arrange a deal that would see Vegas selecting a player that is not part of the Tampa Bay Lightning core.

The Lightning have 17.5M in cap space but are faced resigning talented young players Jonathan Drouin, Ondrej Palat and Andrej Šustr. Drouin could be sacrificed in order to protect Alex Killorn who was resigned last year to a seven-year deal worth 31.75M.

One other possible trade option circulating is the possibility of seeing Jonathan Drouin land in Montreal in exchange of Alex Galchenyuk. Although the two teams are rivals in the Atlantic Division, Marc Bergevin has shown interest in Drouin when he was sitting out last year.

T.J. Oshie likely to test the market

Unless the salary cap goes up in the 77M range, the Washington Capitals are not expected to resign forwards T.J. Oshie. Washington would like to keep Oshie but have many contracts to handle and Oshie will become expendable. With Washington, Oshie played in 68 games recording 33 goals and 23 assists for 56 points.

“If (the salary cap) comes in at $77 (million), we’ll probably have a legitimate shot at signing him,” MacLellan said last month.

Florida Panthers hire Bob Boughner as head coach

The Florida Panthers have finally made their choice for their head coach on Monday by hiring Bob Boughner. He was introduced to the medias on Monday afternoon alongside Panthers general manager, Dale Tallon. Boughner is the 15th head coach in the Panther’s 24-years-history. When asked about Boughner, Tallon said that Boughner sees the game in a modern way and he is the right leader to lead this young Panther team. Tallon also noted how remarkable Boughner handled his interview for head coach.

“Of all the interviews and of all the people, Bob Boughner impressed us like no one else,” Tallon said. “All the years I’ve been in the business interviewing coaches, firing coaches, meeting coaches, Bob was the most prepared and his performance, his preparation, his passion knocked us out of the park.”

Bob Boughner spent the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks as an assistant coach along with head coach Peter DeBoer. When asked about Boughner’s departure, Sharks, general manager, Doug Wilson said: “This is a terrific opportunity for Bob to become a head coach in the National Hockey League and one that he deserves.”

Boughner believes he can turn the franchise around after a disappointing season that saw the Panthers miss the playoffs by 14 points after winning the Atlantic Division in 2015-2016.

Boughner played 630 NHL games with Colorado, Carolina, Calgary, Pittsburgh, Nashville and Buffalo. he also was a member of the Panthers organization but only played in the AHL with their farm team.

“I think we have a lot of great pieces here to build something special here in South Florida,” Boughner said. “Their setup here for the future is unbelievable.”

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