Free Agent Hits: Ryder, Thomas, Backstrom, Raanta, Regehr, Belov, Lehtera, Gibson and Omark
- Updated: May 31, 2013
- Ryan Dadoun Pro Hockey Talk: The Jounal de Montreal was told by Canadiens Michael Ryder’s agent, that his client is not part of their future. Ryder will become a UFA.
- Bob McKenzie: The Islanders won’t be “tolling” Tim Thomas’s contract and he’ll be a UFA.
- Howard Berger: Berger was told that the Maple Leafs would inquire through the Islanders if Tim Thomas would have an interest in playing for them. They wouldn’t trade for him.
- Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Wild GM Chuck Fletcher’s first priority is re-signing Niklas Backstrom. The sides met last week. Backstrom led the league with wins at 24, but 23rd in goals-against average and 28th in save percentage.
“He’s going to be the first priority as to who we speak to,” Fletcher said. “He’s clearly our No. 1 goalie, the best goalie we have and a big part of what we’ve done here.”
The Wild are also looking at free agent goalie Antti Raanta, who was the Finnish Elite League MVP.
- Darren Dreger: Robyn Regehr signed a two year contract extension with the Kings for $6 million.
- Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers have signed KHL defenseman Anton Belov to a one-year entry level deal.
- Dmitry Chesnokov: The Blues are talking with their 2008 3rd round pick Jori Lehtera. Lehtera has been playing in the KHL.
- John Hoven of Mayors Manor: The Kings won’t be signing their 2011 2nd round pick, 49th overall, Christopher Gibson to an entry-level contract. He’ll re-enter the draft.
- Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: Through google translate, Oilers Linus Omark is saying that he’d like to return to the NHL. He knows there is interest from teams, but realizes the Oilers still hold his rights. Willis thinks that it’s unlikely that the Oilers are seriously interested in bringing Omark back, unless the new management has a change of heart.