LeBrun: Inside Neil’s Detail and More Off-Season Nuggets, How Close the Devils Got on Godreu and Takachuk

it is not that Devils Wasn’t busy this offseason. He signed a clutch unrestricted free agent forward flip ondrejI was brought in in the much needed help in the goal Vitek Veneseki and traded for the likes of john marino And eric houla,

Oh, but it could have been bigger than that.

It’s Well Documented The Devils Tried On Top UFA johnny goudreau, and I’m told Devils GM Tom Fitzgerald was on the phone with both the player and his wife during the opening minutes of free agency on July 13 to express interest to the organization. And, yes, the Devils did make an offer, though I don’t think it was the double-digit average-annual-priced offer that would have closed the deal. The Devils were still trying it on when they got the news, like the rest of us, that Goudreau had chosen blue jacket,

But I think the more interesting nugget I came across this week, when I tried to play catch-up after some off-season time, was that the Devils also worked hard to trade. Matthew Tkachuk,

Had many discussions with Devils the flames about this. But eventually, as I reported last week in my Flames off-season, Calgary was given a specific list of teams by Newport Sports to which Takachuk would agree to a sign-and-trade.

I believe those teams were Colorado, Tampa Bay, Florida, Carolina, Vegas And St. Louis, So the Devils ultimately couldn’t make it to that derby.

And that’s fine. This Devils Team Will Turn a Corner Led by Its Young Corps nico hishier, Jack Hughes And dawson mercer, And saving more this season.

But I’ll keep an eye on the Devils again for next season. He has received up to $25 million in potentially expiring UFA contracts that could come off the books. They would like to re-sign some of those players, but still, there is big-time cap flexibility coming in if the Devils want to.

inside the expanse of the Nile

Stars This past week general manager Jim Neill took away a potential distraction from his season by expanding.

Neal was entering the final year of his deal, and truth be told, his contract position was brought up with ownership during the interview process of new head coach Peter DeBoer.

Every coach wants to know who he is going to work with.

But it seems it was really nothing to worry about. Nil & Stars owner Tom Gagalardi intended to do something and came to an agreement that puts the veteran GM under contract during the 2023–24 season.

Nil is 64 years old and entering his 10th season with Stars. Two more years under contract, he felt like the right number at this point in his career.

“I want to make sure I leave the team in good shape,” Neil told me on Friday morning. “Let’s see where things go. We have a great group of young kids coming over, and I want to help set Tom on the road for 10 years.

“I’m comfortable with two years. It was a mutual consent thing. Some people might look at it and say, ‘Oh, just a year (on extension)’. But I’m at the stage of my career where I For two years I am fine and comfortable.

And as Neil said, that doesn’t mean he won’t be GM for more years after that, but at this point, two years is enough for the bank. He doesn’t need more protection than this.

“There are great people beneath me, and I want to make sure this franchise is established for the next 10 years,” Neil reiterated.

And, yes, during the interview process with DeBoer, Neil’s future was a topic of conversation. The last thing anyone wants to walk into a seasoned coach is a team with a lame-duck GM.

“It’s something that Tom and I talked about and we talked about it with Pete as well,” Neil confirmed. “I said, ‘Tom, it’s going to come.’ So when Tom interviewed with the coaches, he made it clear that I would be around.

In the meantime, there is one important file that remains a top priority for the stars. young star winger Jason Robertson A restricted free agent entering the weekend remains unsigned, but Neil was sure of where things were going.

“We are having good discussions,” Neil said of the contract talks with CAA Sports, which is Robertson’s representative. “There are different factors involved. Different terms with different terms and different money involved. So that is what we are working on.

“But we’ve got a very open dialogue. Pat Bryson is the representative, and he’s been great. We keep talking. Plan to do it before training camp (next week). I hope it happens .

Kane quietly picks up Waddell again

Speaking of GM contracts, it certainly went under the radar because, like some teams, it went unannounced, but veteran Carolina Hurricanes president and GM Don Waddell signed a new contract this summer. done, I’ve been told.

His old deal, like his GM colleague Don Sweeney in Boston, expired on June 30. Sweeney’s new deal was announced by Bruins In June, however, the Keys became more low-key, which some teams are now choosing.

Not that I think it was ever in doubt. Waddell has a strong relationship with Keynes owner Tom Dundon, and I suspect none of them were particularly stressed about GM’s termination of the deal. The new contract went through without much fanfare.

Why the Canadiens-Allen Extension Makes Sense

It was interesting to read our Friends of Hubs coverage this week about Jake Allen’s conversation in detail.

I’m sure some might be wondering why the Hubs would bother extending the 32-year-old goalkeeper when they’re clearly still in roster rebuilding mode (okay, I’ve got a reason not to use the word “rebuild”). found the way), but I think what it tells you canadians Brain Trust, led by Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes, seeks to protect team culture during this roster remake.

That is to say, Hubbs feels it’s important to have some quality stalwarts around young pieces – not to mention trying to score some steady goals so that tough moments don’t dampen the confidence of those young players.

and given the nearly impossible task of replacing Carey Price Keeping the veteran Allen around for a year, if not longer, when his current contract expires later this season, probably makes sense.

Allen’s agent, Alain Roy, began preliminary contract discussions with the Hubs in mid-August, and both sides are expected to get back to this soon.

“We’re certainly open to that,” Roy said of Allen’s expansion on Thursday. “Jake likes some of the moves he’s made and where the team is going in terms of culture. I think Kent is emphasizing that message, that he really wants a good culture and good leadership in that locker room. And I think Jake is part of that leadership.

“Yeah, we’re very willing to discuss things with them. It’s not a matter of doing all the details yet, so it’s hard to say when it’s going to be completed.”

feed check-in

Future Hockey Hall of Fame Blueliners Zdeno Chara still hasn’t called on his future games.

“Inconclusive at this point,” his agent Matt Keiter said Thursday night via text message. “Till date no one has been in a hurry.

“I’ll see him over the weekend.”

The 45-year-old played 72 matches for the Islanders last season.

strallman slack

There are still some notable names left in the UFA market as the camps prepare to open, and one of them is veteran defender Anton Stralman.

The 35-year-old averaged 21:20 per game last season in Arizona, which easily tops the UFA left in the market.

Obviously his best hockey is behind him, but I wonder if he still stands by his pedigree. Certainly he can help the team on the third pair.

“Anton has a lot of games left and without question it will be a great addition to the team’s blue line,” his agent, Mark Levine, said on Thursday.

What usually happens at this time of year NHL Clubs want to first take a look at their young defense personnel and see if some of them are ready to take the next step. Few teams will realize that their young defense personnel need more AHL seasoning. I suspect Strallman will find a boyfriend before the puck drops in October.

NHL Important Dates

The NHL still hasn’t officially announced its all-important dates for this season. It should arrive in short order, I think, in the next week or so.

But here are some dates worth remembering:

• March 3: NHL trade deadline. Well it is Friday.

• June 28-29: NHL Draft in Nashville, announced by the NHL last month. It is Wednesday and Thursday. Recall that the NHL went to Montreal last July in a Thursday-Friday draft, breaking away from their usual Friday first-round and Saturday end-draft set-ups.

• July 1: Opening of Free Agency. So finally the usual July 1st on Free Agent Mania Day, the first time since pre-pandemic. Free Agent Mania was on October 9 in 2020, July 28 in 2021, and July 13 last year.

It’s going to be a quick turnaround between this season’s draft and the introduction of free agency, which could lead to more fireworks than usual in draft week, with some teams making decisions on pending free agents in short order. Pleasure.

(Top photo of Johnny Goudreau and Matthew Tkachuk: Sergei Belsky / USA Today)

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