On Will Butcher …
Mike Chamber of the Denver Post: Source saying that at least the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres and Vegas Golden Knights will be speaking with free agent Will Butcher today.
There is still a chance that Butcher could circle back to the Avalanche. The Avalanche showed a lot of interest in Butcher this past season, scouting most of his home games as DU.
Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News: Reports have the Sabres interested in Butcher. Even though they added Marco Scandella, Nathan Beaulieu and Victor Antipin, they could still use more defenseman at the NHL and AHL levels.
All teams can only pay Butcher a base salary of $925,000 but can have bonuses that bring the total up to $3.7 million if reached.
Jason Mackey: Source confirms that the Penguins will inquire about free agent defenseman Will Butcher.
Rick Dhaliwal: Butcher’s agent Brian Bartlett said that they wouldn’t rule out the Vancouver Canucks if they called.
Jimmy Murphy: Would say the Devils, Penguins and Oilers are the frontrunners for Butcher with the Canadiens as a wildcard.
Jimmy Murphy: Would also say that the Sabres are a wildcard.
Steve Carp of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: Will Butcher won’t be signing with the Avalanche and will begin talking to teams starting today.
“We anticipate talking to several teams in the next couple of days,” Bartlett said Tuesday. “I would think a lot of teams would be interested in a young, puck-moving defenseman. Ultimately, it’s about finding the best situation for Will to continue his hockey career.”
The left-handed defenseman scored seven goals and added 23 assists.
Golden Knights GM George McPhee said earlier that they would go after any college free agent that could help them out.
Butcher’s agent, Brian Bartlett, has another client, Alex Tuch, that is a member of the organization. Tuch will speak with Butcher about the Golden Knights and his time in Vegas at their development camp.
The Golden Knights already have a lot of NHL defensemen on their roster but could use some younger ones according to Bartlett.
“They’ve got a lot of defensemen, but they probably need some defensemen who aren’t 28 years old.”
The process could take a week.
“Will’s going to be on a number of conference calls Wednesday, and if there’s an opportunity that’s compelling, we’ll pursue it,” Bartlett said. “I think with talking to the teams and visiting a couple of the cities, it will take about a week to get it done.”