The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed G Elvis Merzlikins to a 2-year contract:
The Blue Jackets now have both their goalies under contract through the 2021-22 season, as they signed Joonas Korpisalo to a 2-year contract earlier in the week. Merzlikins’ 2-year contract, like Korpisalo’s, covers one RFA year and one UFA year.
Merzlikins, 26, has posted a 13-9-8 record with the Blue Jackets this season with a 0.923 SV% and a 2.35 GAA.
According to Pierre Lebrun, the New Jersey Devils have spoken to Gerard Gallant about their head coaching position.
Lebrun notes that interim coach Alain Nasreddine is still a contender for the position, but the Devils have spoken to others, including Gallant.
Gallant was fired by the Vegas Golden Knights earlier this season.
The Blue Jackets have signed forward Mikhail Grigorenko to a 1-year contract.
According to Pierre Lebrun, the contract is worth $1.2 million, and he was offered more than double to stay in the KHL.
Grigorenko, 25, was the 12th overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in 2012. He set a career high with 27 points with Colorado in 2015-16. He has played the last three seasons with CSKA Moscow in the KHL.
Grigorenko will be 27 by the time his 1-year deal expires, so he will be a UFA upon its completion.
The Columbus Blue Jackets have re-signed G Joonas Korpisalo to a 2-year contract.
The 2-year deal covers one RFA season and one UFA season for Korpisalo.
With Sergei Bobrovsky moving on to Florida, Korpisalo has set a new career-high with 37 games played, sharing the crease with rookie Elvis Merzlikins. Korpisalo put up a 19-12-5 record with a 0.911 save percentage.
The Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien have agreed to mutually terminate his contract, reports TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
The saga between the Jets and Byfuglien has gone on all season, starting when Byfuglien didn’t report to the Jets at the start of the season and the team suspending him. The NHLPA filed a grievance on Byfuglien’s behalf in November, citing a high ankle injury as reason Byfuglien was physically unable to report to camp. Byfuglien had surgery on his ankle in late October.
Byfuglien was scheduled to make $6 million and carry a $7.6 million cap hit next season. Instead, he will be an unrestricted free agent.
There was some buzz about Byfuglien possibly being traded prior to the 2020 deadline, but eventually a mutual termination was determined to be the best route for the Jets.
UPDATE: John Shannon reports that Byfuglien has no desire to resume his NHL career, citing multiple sources.
The Washington Capitals have acquired Ilya Kovalchuk for a 3rd round pick:
Kovalchuk’s contract with the Los Angeles Kings was terminated earlier this year and he signed with the Canadiens as a free agent.
The Bruins have acquired Ondrej Kase from the Ducks:
The prospect going to Anaheim is D Axel Andersson, the Bruins’ 2018 2nd round pick.
Boston is retaining 25% of David Backes’ contract, which carries a total cap-hit of $6,000,000 and a salary of $4,000,000 next season.
Kase, 24, has battled injuries through his NHL career, but has 43 goals and 53 assists in 198 NHL games.
The trade appears to take Boston out of the running for Chris Kreider, as they fill the need for a scoring forward while moving their prime trade chip in their first round pick. The Avalanche, Blues, Capitals and Islanders figure to be significant players on Kreider still.
Pierre Lebrun reports the Capitals have acquired LD Brendan Dillon from the Sharks.
The Sharks are retaining 50% of Dillon’s contract, which is expiring this summer.
The second round pick in is 2020. The third round pick is 2021, unless the Capitals win the Cup, then it becomes a 2020 pick.