NHL Rumors: Wild, Blue Jackets and the Lightning

NHL Rumors: Wild, Blue Jackets and the Lightning

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The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to have to sign Nikita Kucherov to big contract extension.
On the Minnesota Wild …

Michael Russo: Paul Fenton and Tom Fitzgerald appear to be the finalists for the vacant Minnesota Wild general managers position.

Sources said that Fenton was expected to be in Minnesota yesterday for likely his final interview with owner Craig Leopold.

Multiple sources saying that Fitzgerald is expected to be in Minnesota on Thursday for likely his final interview with owner Craig Leopold.

On the Columbus Blue Jackets …

Steve Gorten of Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets fans may be hoping the Blue Jackets could make a run at free agent John Tavares or another UFA center.

The Blue Jackets have Artemi Panarin and Sergei Bobrovsky entering the last year of their deals and could be looking for $10 million a season. Adding a high-end center may only happen through a big trade offer.

The Blue Jackets may end up coming back with Pierre-Luc Dubois, Alexander Wennberg, Brandon Dubinsky and Lukas Sedlak down the middle.

The Blue Jackets have 10 forwards under contract next year, with Oliver Bjorkstrand and Boone Jenner being restricted free agents.

Nick Foligno struggled at center with given a shot. At the trade deadline, the Blue Jackets acquired pending UFA Mark Letestu.

On the Tampa Bay Lightning …

Chris Nichols of FRS Hockey: Elliotte Friedman was on Sportsnet 650 and was asked about the Lightning’s window beyond this season.

Friedman says they are going to have to give Nikita Kucherov an extension soon, it’s not going to be cheap, and they’ll need to figure out how to make it work.

“But Kucherov made it pretty clear the last time that they used the full weight of the CBA on him, and next time he’s going to use the full weight of the CBA on them. So they’re going to have a big one that they’ll have to deal with.”

Friedman adds the Lightning draft and develop well, they have lots of prospects and should be a contender for a while.