With just under two weeks now to go until the start of free agency, extensions are beginning to come in left and right as teams try to lock down players and get a better idea of their salary cap situation. One of the most highly-touted forwards on the market, if not the most highly-touted, is still without a contract, though: Calgary Flames left wing, Johnny Gaudreau. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta reports that the Flames have offered him an eight-year extension worth a total of $68MM, or $8.5MM per season, and it’s still on the table.
If Gaudreau accepts the offer, it would certainly be a “win-now” discount as the Flames enter a tricky cap situation. After a 115-point season, the 28-year-old winger is in prime earning territory and could likely fetch eight figures on the open market with that kind of production. It seems unlikely he’d accept the offer, but only time will tell.
- San Jose Sharks interim general manager Joe Will confirmed today that forward prospects William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau have permission from the team to head to the 2022 World Junior Championship in August. Eklund is very likely the best player Sweden has to offer at the tournament, and he finished the abbreviated tournament in January with three assists in two games. Bordeleau will also join Team USA in all likelihood for his first WJC under an NHL contract.
- Michael Russo and Dan Robson of The Athletic highlight the challenges that Russian NHLers may face returning to North America this offseason. The piece comes as Philadelphia Flyers prospect Ivan Fedotov was detained earlier today when trying to leave the country. With the potential of visa laws and exceptions on the United States’ side changing prior to the season, it could pose additional complications for Russian players to enter and play inside the United States, adding to league general managers’ growing concern that Russian players might not be available for next season. While Russo and Robson note that it’s still an extremely unlikely scenario, it’s one worth keeping an eye on as the offseason chugs along.