On the Will Butcher …
Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Source is saying that the Pittsburgh Penguins are not among the “front runners” to signed free agent defenseman Will Butcher.
The Penguins did show interest, but they did not meet face-to-face.
Kevin Allen: It could take a week or so, but Will Butcher will cut the 12 interested teams down to three or four, and he’ll be visiting those cities.
On the Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins …
Chris Nichols of FanRag Sports: Elliotte Friedman was on NHL Network yesterday and was talking about some players who are still without contracts. Friedman said it sounds like there has been some momentum between the Buffalo Sabres and Jack Eichel, adding that both sides want to get a deal done.
“So I think they’re grinding their way. I think it’s going to happen. The question is just when. Part of me wonders if the Sabres and Eichel would like to do it at training camp, so they wait until then. But the fact is it sounds like there’s momentum going on and once they finish the grinding part of the contract they’ll get something done.”
Talk moved on to the Boston Bruins and David Pastrnak contract situation. Friedman noted that six weeks ago the sides appeared to be moving in the right direction. The Bruins may have been hoping to get Pastrnak signed for less than Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.
“What I think here is when Connor McDavid signed his big contract in Edmonton, one agent told me, ‘Look, players are going to understand we’re not as good as Connor McDavid, but maybe we’re not $6 million worse than Connor McDavid.’
“And I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s one of the things that happens here. What the McDavid deal has done is it has raised the bar maybe up a little bit, and a number of players who would be below that are saying, ‘Okay, that raises us up a little bit too.’
“And I wouldn’t be surprised if that contract, like it moved up Draisaitl, it maybe is moving up Pastrnak in his own eyes – and that’s creating a little bit of a problem for the Bruins and the player in getting a deal done.”