Ramblings: Return To Play News, Top July 1, 2018 Signings… Two Years Later (July 12)

Ian Gooding


On Saturday more players opted out of the return-to-play plan, including Mike Green, Sven Baertschi, Roman Polak, Lias Andersson, Steven Kampfer, Karl Alzner, and Zach Trotman. As mentioned yesterday, Travis Hamonic has also opted out. It might be easy to assume that some players are opting out because they are unhappy with their current situations with their teams, but that's beside the point here.

The Canucks didn't have room for Baertschi and buried him in the AHL this season, so he was likely only a taxi-squad player had he played. Former second-round pick Kole Lind is expected to take Baertschi's spot in the Canucks' lineup. With one year remaining, Baertschi's contract is one of several that will force the Canucks to make some very difficult decisions this offseason. Hence the Brock Boeser trade rumors.

Meanwhile, Green's stint as an Oiler likely ends at two games. He will be a UFA at the end of the season. Could this be the last we see of the former back-to-back 70-point defenseman? Green finished the season with 11 points in 50 games.

Steven Stamkos has suffered a lower-body injury, which means he won't be full participant at the start of training camp. He is expected to be available for the round-robin games, though. It sounds as if the Lightning are simply being cautious here.

In other injury news, Brett Pesce isn't expected to be ready for the start of