Kovalev not retiring … Extra money could keep Gonchar and Cooke in Pitt … No talks for Martin-Devils until coach is found

  • Ottawa Citizen: Despite reports (and wishes from some Senators fans}, Alex Kovalev won’t be retiring and will be returning to the Sens lineup next season at $5 million. Kovalev had a disappointing first season with the Senators, scoring 18 goals and adding 31 assists in 77 games before injuring his ACL.
  • Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero will begin talks with Sergei Gonchar and Matt Cooke next week. Shero has talked about the “parameter [for contracts], but there’s nothing concrete at this point”. A potential $2 million increase in the salary cap could help bring the players back. Brooks Orpik is a couple weeks away from having surgery to repair an abdominal injury that will require 2-3 weeks recovery.
  • David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: There’s nothing really new to report on the Evgeni Nabokov-San Jose Sharks talks. “We don’t really have any information from Doug (Wilson) at this time,” Meehan said just before the holiday weekend. “Doug is the kind of individual, I know he’ll get back to us when they have a better idea what they have in mind.” GM Doug Wilson said last week that he still needed to talk with his coaching staff and other management personel before any he got into talks with the teams free agents.
  • Julie Heroux of CKAC Sports: Marc-Andre Bergeron is a UFA with the Montreal Canadiens, and he expects to get a contract offer from them. Bergeron has already told GM Pierre Gauthier that he’d like to stay in Montreal longterm.
  • Mark Everson of the NY Post: The New Jersey Devils are close to re-signing 32-year old defenseman Mike Mottau. Until a new coach is found, Paul Martin and GM Lou Lamoriello have agreed that they won’t talk about potentially re-signing him. Though they’ve had some talks, Ilya Kovalchuk will test out the free agent market to see how big of a contract offer he could get from all teams.