Finally, there are on ice things to talk about. It may only be rookie tournaments, but franchise on franchise action is imminent. However, there are still off-ice things to talk about, and here is a quick look at some of the news from the NHL:
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) September 4, 2013
- Chicago continued to open the wallet, this time signing one of next summer’s impending free agents, Niklas Hjalmarsson, to a 5 year, $20.5M extension. Blackhawk Up likes the deal, and I tend to agree. He is an up and coming blueliner entering his prime, which is where that type of deal should be awarded.
- Oil On Whyte compares the news that after a summer of trying to deal him to no avail, Ales Hemsky will be welcomed back to the Oilers with open arms, even comapring his to the Roberto Luongo situation in Vancouver.
- Restricted Free Agents are in the spotlight as training camp is a week away. Alex Pietrangelo, Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson, Derek Stepan and Jared Cowen are among the big names still awaiting a deal.
- Blues GM Doug Armstrong told NHL.com that he doesn’t know when the contract will get done, but in the meantime if another team makes an offer sheet, the Blues will undoubtedly match.
- Also from NHL.com, Maple Leafs centre Kadri stated he didn’t want to hold out, but would if it came down to it. Of course, Kadri and Franson both need contracts and are important parts of the Leafs plans, and they can’t afford to pay both of them fair market value.
- With Joni Pitkanen injured and set to start the year in the DL, Cardiac Cane looks at the options for replacing him on the blue line.