NHL Rumors: Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue...

NHL Rumors: Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and the Columbus Blue Jackets

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Restricted free agent forward Brayden Point and defenseman Zach Werenski are still looking for a new deal.
© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
A bridge deal for Point makes sense … A good chance Kreider is moved by the deadline

Dan Rosen of NHL.com: (mailbag) Could see the Tampa Bay Lightning trying to do a bridge deal with RFA forward Brayden Point.  A three- to five-year deal to keep the cap hit a little lower before he cashes in on his next deal. If he signed a four-year deal at $8.5 million per, it could set him up for a long-term deal after that around $11 to $12 million.

Believe there is a good chance that New York Rangers trade forward Chris Kreider at some point this season. It’s hard to see them being able to sign him to a big long-term extension when they have close to $7.5 million in dead money next year – Kevin Shattenkirk and Dan Girardi. It may not be easy for them to trade him if they are in the playoff hunt at the trade deadline though.

A waiting for Werenski’s agent, as well as for other RFAs

Aaron Portzline of The Athletic: Columbus Blue Jackets still need to sign RFA defenseman Zach Werenski. The RFA market is at a standstill with several RFAs still needing new deals.

“It’s a bit of a waiting game by the agents’ side,” Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said. “They’re waiting for somebody else to go first (and set the market). That’s the way it goes, I guess.”

Bill Zito is handling the talks for the Blue Jackets, and he’s spoken with Werenski’s agent Pat Brisson several times this offseason.

They’ve talked about a three-year bridge deal, as well as a five-plus year deal. Werenski would be a UFA in four years.

“We’ve been pretty firm with the way we’ve handled things in these situations,” Kekalainen said. “And we’re going to be the same way — consistent — with Werenski, as well.

“We really appreciate him as a player. We want him to be a big part of our team and become a leader. He’s a great teammate and a good person. I’m confident that everything will get done and that he wants to be part of the team right from the start (of training camp).”