After being off the grid for 8 days, I’m back at home and catching up on everything that I missed in the world of hockey. Admittedly, I did get lucky considering that the biggest dominoes remain standing, but here’s my quick thoughts on the action that did happen this last week:
- The Canes signed Gardiner on a 4-year deal, ending speculation that he might be feeling out a way to stick with the Leafs. At first glance, this is bad news for Haydn Fleury and Gustav Forsling in Carolina, who slide down a spot on the left side of the defense there. That being said, I personally don’t believe Carolina will remain as one of the top spenders in the league – so let’s revisit this in the case a trade is made to move out salary.
- On the Toronto end of this announcement – this is good news for Rasmus Sandin, who could be the lefty to fill in for the injured Travis Dermott to start the year. He still has to earn it though, since the Leafs could opt to plug in a depth name like Gravel or Harpur instead.
- Kaapo Kakko has missed two games of the Rangers’ prospect tournament. Reportedly it is just an illness so we shouldn’t be concerned.
- Riley Sheahan somehow found a new home without even a PTO. Why on earth would someon- oh – Edmonton did it? Checks out. In theory, this is bad news for names like Cooper Marody or Tyler Benson that fans would likely prefer to see on the ice (depending on which position he lines up as), but given how Sheahan has played for the last couple seasons, I don’t see this as a true obstacle. They should be able to outplay him if they are truly ready for full time. Plus, it seems like Kyle Brodziak will be unable to play this year, so it’s more or less a one-in one-out nothing really changed situation.
- The Isles got Anthony Beauvillier signed for 2 years/2.1M. Great deal. No holdout means one less spot available in the lineup for a newcomer, but no one was expecting a holdout here. He spends most of his ice time with the big boys Barzal and Bailey, so if anything, this hurts someone like Michael Dal Colle who might have temporarily claimed that LW spot.
- Joseph Woll will miss the Leafs’ prospect camp with a broken finger. This isn’t a long-term concern, but does put a damper on the great goalie battle we were expecting between him and Ian Scott, who now gains an edge.
- Equally disappointing is Emil Bemstrom missing the Blue Jackets’ tournament games due to a facial injury. Also shouldn’t be a long-term conern.
- Looks like the Canucks are giving Nikolay Goldobin one last shot with a one-year deal. His most regular linemates in 2018-19 were Boeser and Pettersson, and that may not be the case anymore with Miller and Ferland in town. He’ll need to work hard to produce relevant numbers and avoid healthy scratches.
- Nick Merckley still hasn’t been moved in the OHL. Fellow editor Lucas Main touched on this in a previous ramblings – he reportedly won’t be returning to the Petes due to character issues. He’s an uber-talented prospect, but even the best guys suffer from missing time. Hopefully he gets a new home soon…or makes the Sharks out of camp.
- The Blackhawks re-signed Brendan Perlini to a one-year contract. Not unexpected, but Alex Nylander, Dylan Sikura, and Aleksi Saarela are all swearing under their breath.
- The Kings have decided to keep Jack Campbell around, giving him a two-year extension that kicks in in 2020-21. So despite Cal Peterson‘s strong play in 2018-19, it would appear that Campbell is the backup, and the youngster will have to wait for Quick’s reign in LA to end before getting a longer tenure with the big club.
Time for me to go finish unpacking. Thanks for reading, and always feel free to let me know on Twitter if I’ve missed something worth commenting on, or you just like to argue with people! NHL GMs – thank you for waiting for my return. You can start signing your RFAs now.