The Tennessean is reporting that Steve Sullivan's bad episodes with his back are becoming shorter. He has skated three times in the past week and says that it is more of an exhaustion thing than a pain thing, as he tries to get into shape. He is resolute in saying that he will be back, but he cannot commit to a timeline – be it September, November, or even next year. It sounds like he will never play 70 games in a season again, but there is some hope that 60 games and 55 points could happen. That's a long shot though.
Goaltender Mike Morrison has signed to play in the KHL next year.
Boston prospect Chris Collins has signed to play in Finland.
Columbus has signed Nikita Filatov to a three-year entry-level contract. Filatov is ranked third on my Fantasy Prospects list and should be owned in virtually every fantasy league this September.
The NHL and the KHL have agreed to respect each other's contracts. This makes all uncertainty in the fantasy world go away…unless your guy is a UFA, that is.
The Canucks have signed Pavol Demitra as an unrestricted free agent. No surprise there. He'll play 65-70 games and tally about 60-65 points. He'll get a look on the Sedin line, but Vignault will eventually try and spread out the offense again, much like he did with Naslund.
Martin Straka has finally officially signed that deal to play in the Czech League – as well as manage the team. So he's gone from the NHL.
Interesting info from SPECTOR : the president of Russia's new Kontinental Hockey League is demanding the Blue Jackets pay $500K in compensation to the former team of Nikita Filatov, whom the Jackets drafted sixth overall in this year's draft. Speaking to Russia's Sovetskiy Sport, Alexander Medvedev said a new Russian law stipulates the Blue Jackets must provide compensation to Filatov's former Russian club, CSKA Moscow, even though Filatov's contract with the team has expired. "[The law states] that a contract is terminated only when negotiating indemnity amount," Medvedev said. "This did not happen." Filatov meanwhile claimed the lawyers studied the documents and there were no contentious issues but his former club CSKA Moscow has asserted its rights to the winger.
SPECTOR goes onto to comment: "You just have to shake your head at these guys. And they honestly believe they'll be able to prevent their best young players from playing in the NHL if they wish? With nonsense like this, they're only making themselves look foolish. Not only that but they're setting themselves up for legal demands from NHL teams when restricted free agents bolt overseas to play for the KHL. Medvedev and his counterpats really need to think this through. They were unable to prevent Zherdev, Ovechkin and Malkin from playing in the NHL, and they're not going to prevent Filatov from one day doing the same. Good luck getting that $500K from the Jackets." – I have nothing to add to that, SPECTOR nailed it.
The Caps signed Brooks Laich to a three-year deal. They probably noticed his strong production down the stretch and wanted to lock him up before he has his breakout season.
Nashville signed tough guy Josh Gratton to a one-year, two-way contract. The Preds are currently without a tough guy, so there's a chance he could stick… David Poile says he will compete with Tristan Grant – who bears watching.
The Oilers signed JF Jacques to a two-year deal. Jacques has been disappointing at the NHL level.
The Hurricanes signed Chad LaRose to a one-year deal.