The Bruins have announced that David Backes won’t join AHL’s Providence Bruins “to preserve all potential options for both David and the Bruins moving forward.”
What the Bruins are likely referring to is their intent to buy-out the remaining season of Backes’ contract after this season. Had Backes been injured playing for Providence, it might jeopardize his eligibility for a buy-out.
Backes has one more season on his contract after 2019-20 at a cap hit of $6 million. According to CapFriendly, his buy-out would carry a $4 million cap hit in 2020-21 and a $1 million cap hit in 2021-22.
The Penguins announce they have signed defenseman Marcus Petterson to a five-year extension.
Petterson would have been UFA eligible for the final two years of the deal.
The 23-year old defenseman has been a success story for the Penguins since coming over last season from Anaheim in a trade for Daniel Sprong.
The Rangers have announced they have loaned C Lias Andersson to HV71 of the Swedish Hockey League.
Andersson hasn’t played since he left the Rangers’ AHL affiliate and asked for a trade in late December. He has reportedly been dealing with a foot injury.
The relationship between the Rangers and Lias Andersson appears to be strained. It’s likely the Rangers view loaning Andersson to the SHL as a play to rebuild his trade value. Andersson had 16 goals and 17 assists in 64 SHL games in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
According to Elliotte Friedman in his 31 Thoughts Blog, the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to pursue Jason Zucker, but with Minnesota sitting 7 points back of the final wildcard spot with 3 games in hand, the Wild aren’t ready to start shipping out roster players.
Zucker, 28, has 13 goals and 14 assists in 39 games for the Wild this season. He is signed through 2022-23 at a cap hit of $5.5 million.
Minnesota had previously agreed to trade Zucker to the Penguins last summer as part of a Phil Kessel trade, but Kessel exercised his no-trade protection to stop the trade. The Wild also nearly traded Zucker to the Flames at last season’s trade deadline, but the deal fell through due to a “timing issue”.
The Edmonton Oilers and RW Zack Kassian are closing in on a contract extension. Mark Spector has the projected terms:
Kassian was the be a UFA at season’s end. Kassian has 13 goals and 15 assists in 44 games with the Oilers this season, playing primarily on Connor McDavid’s right wing.
Elliotte Friedman reports the Nashville Predators will announce John Hynes as their new coach.
The Predators fired Peter Laviolette yesterday. Laviolette had coached the Predators since 2014-15.
Hynes coached the New Jersey Devils for the past four seasons, guiding them to the playoffs once in 2017-18.
The Sabres have acquired RW Michael Frolik from the Calgary Flames.
The pick sent to the Flames was acquired from the Canadiens in the Marco Scandella trade.
Frolik has 5 goals and 5 assists in 38 games this season. He has a cap-hit of $4.3 million and will be a UFA this summer.
The Montreal Canadiens have acquired defenseman Marco Scandella from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for San Jose’s 2020 4th round pick. Montreal is assuming all of Scandella’s $4 million cap hit for 2019-20.
Earlier, Montreal had traded away defenseman Mike Reilly to the Senators for AHL forward Andy Sturtz and a 2021 5th round pick, opening up a spot on the blueline for Scandella.
Pierre Lebrun reports the Sabres may use the cap space cleared by moving Scandella to add a forward: