Free Agent Hits: Kessel, Franson, Lundqvist, Stepan, Brunner, Hodgson, Gagne, Mayers, LaRose...

Free Agent Hits: Kessel, Franson, Lundqvist, Stepan, Brunner, Hodgson, Gagne, Mayers, LaRose and Wellwood

  • Caroline Cameron: Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on Phil Kessel: “If Phil wants to play in Toronto and we want to have him, we’ll find a way to get something done.” Nonis on Kessel possibly becoming a free agent: “If that’s the direction it goes, there’s nothing you can really do it to stop it”
  • Jonas Siegel: An offer sheet is possibility for Cody Franson at this point.
  • Jonas Siegel: Any offer sheet for Franson up to $3,364,391 would give the Maple Leafs a second round pick. Just over $3,364,391 would give them a first and third round pick.
  • Jonas Siegel of TSN: Cody Franson,

    “I really like playing in Toronto,” he said. “I think we have a great team and we have some unfinished business to take care of. I learned a lot from the coaches last year and felt like my game took a step forward. I understand the cap situation this team faces and have been ready to sign a one-year deal for some time. I hope this gets worked out soon so I can get back on the ice with my teammates”

    Franson is believed to be fine with a one-year, $3 million deal. The Leafs would rather sign him to a two-year deal.

  • Katie Strang: Rangers Henrik Lundqvist said there is nothing to report regarding contract extension talks. Both sides are talking and he doesn’t want it to be a distraction during the season.
  • Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Rangers RFA Derek Stepan’s agent, Matt Oates yesterday:

    “Derek isn’t interested in negotiating his contract through the press, but there’s been a lot of speculation out there about what he’s asking for, and this and that,” Oates said in a phone conversation. “We just want to make sure there are no misconceptions.

    “Derek has put himself in a category with all those guys coming out of Entry Level who received long-term contracts,’’ he said. “He’s earned that, but we have never said that we wouldn’t explore a short-term deal, either. We’re just looking for a deal that will reflect his performance.

    “I think it’s beneficial for the Rangers to lock him up long-term, but if that’s not possible at this time, we’re certainly willing to engage management on a short-term deal in order to get this done and get Derek on the ice.”

    It’s believed that the Rangers have offered a two-year deal at between $2.5 and $2.7 million. The Rangers don’t have a lot of cap space available, with anything over $3 million could make things difficult for them.

  • Helene St. James: Damien Brunner may be talking to the Stars, Devils and possibly the Canucks.
  • John Vogl: Sabres Cody Hodgson’s salary breakdown: 2013-14 $3 million, 2014-15 $3.5 million, 2015-16 $4 million, 2016-17 $4.5 million, 2017-18 $5 million, 2018-19 $5.5 million.
  • Louis Jean: Sources say that Simon Gagne’s agent spoke with Canadiens assistant GM Rick Dudley yesterday. The Canadiens aren’t sure if there is a fit, will get back to him. Pierre LeBrun: LeBrun doesn’t think the Canadiens are interested in Gagne.
  • Chris Kuc: Some teams have shown interest in Jamal Mayers but he’s not at anyone’s camp. Still hoping for an opportunity.
  • Frank Seravalli: UFA Chad LaRose contacted the Flyers after Daniel Cleary signed with the Red Wings. The Flyers will stand pat.
  • Hockey Central: Kyle Wellwood signs with EV Zug of the Swiss National League.