One of the top remaining UFA’s Alexandre Frolov is expected to sign a contract with the New York Rangers. The deal is for a considerable less than what he was being offered to go play in Russia. Frolov has said on many occasions that he wants to play with Ilya Kovalchuk. So expect the Rangers to go after Kovalchuk if the deal with the Devils gets rejected by the arbitrator (more later on). This is a great deal for the Rangers. They only missed the playoffs by one shootout goal last year and are stacked offensively with Gaborik, Prospal, and Drury. Landing Kovalchuk would put the Rangers into one of the top playoff spots, even though it most likely would require moving Gaborik, possibly to Los Angeles, where he showed interest in last summer.
In Other News..
- The NHLPA has filed grievance on the Kovalchuk deal. An arbitrator will be agreed on by both the NHL and the PA and they will decide whether or not the deal will be allowed. Sources say that the NHL might back down and allow the contract. Others say the league won’t and they want to prove a point to not allow contracts like this to be signed in the future. Only time will tell about this case.
- Vancouver has resigned Mason Raymond for 2 years, $5.1M.
- Los Angeles is now leading the Kaberle trade talks. No one has backed down but the Kings seem to be the favorite. Nothing will get done until the Kovalchuk situation is sorted out.
- Ottawa is highly interested in Stempniak.
- The Flyers and Kings are in trade talks, most likely involving a goalie.
- The Flames are out for another top-six foward, not Savard but possiblely Brad Richards or Steven Weiss.
- Marc Savard likely heading to Buffalo or Islanders now.