NHL Rumors: Stars, Predators, Wild and Blackhawks

NHL Rumors: Stars, Predators, Wild and Blackhawks

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Maxim Shalunov not able to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks
On the Dallas Stars …

Mike Heika: If Valeri Nichushkin returns, guessing he’ll be better prepared. He moved to a new country at 18 years old and it was hard on him mentally.

Mike Heika: [Heika] expect the Stars to protect Nichushkin for the expansion draft and try to re-sign him.

On the Nashville Predators …

Adam Vingan of The Tennessean: (mailbag) For the expansion the Predators will protect Pekka Rinne and expose Marek Mazanec. Juuse Saros is expempt as he’s a second-year pro.

On the Minnesota Wild …

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has called some of his amateur scouts to apologize for trading their first round pick this year and their second pick next year.

“They work all year for two days,” Fletcher said. “The amateur guys are in cars driving to Sudbury, Ontario, and Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They get their two days a year. Believe me, those are special days.”

At the deadline, the Wild’s goal was to not trade any of their valuable prospects – Joel Eriksson Ek, Luke Kunin, Alex Tuch and Jordan Greenway.

Since 2013, the Wild have traded 14 draft picks and acquired five – two first round picks, five second round picks and three third round picks.

With their top prospects and some young core, they aren’t too worried about moving the picks.

On the Chicago Blackhawks …

Scott Powers of The Athletic: The Blackhawks may have been hoping to add Maxim Shalunov after his KHL season was over, but his agent, Shumi Babeav, said that Sibir Novosibirsk (KHL) won’t release him from his contract. Shalunov’s season is over but his contract doesn’t expire until April 30th.

“They will not give us permission to play in the NHL for the NHL for the next four months, so we can only decide after the contract,” Babaev said in a phone interview on Tuesday. “I talked to Sibir’s GM [Kirill Fastovsky] and asked if they’re ready to cancel the contract. He said. “No, is not possible.”

Shalunov was a 2011 fourth round draft pick of the Blackhawks.