Rickard Rakell Deal Nearing, Sens Sit Stars & More News

The remaining RFAs on the market are going to be grabbing headlines the next week or so as teams figure out a way to bring them under the umbrella. The Anaheim Ducks have two unsigned RFAs remaining, including center Rickard Rakell.

Rakell is both working on a new contract and trying to recover from a recent surgery to remove scar tissue related to an appendectomy in the spring. The surgery forced him to pull out of the World Cup for Team Sweden.

Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register reports that Rakell has not yet returned to the ice, but headway is being made in negotiations. Rakell’s agent says that the Swedish center is slowly starting to work out again and that he needs “a couple of weeks” to get back into game shape. He also says the two parties are negotiating “more frequently now.”

Stephens reports that Rakell is looking for six years at $24 million, but that the Ducks would like the deal to come in a bit lower. The Ducks currently have $7.5 million in cap space, according to General Fanager. That means there likely isn’t room to fit both Rakell and fellow RFA Hampus Lindholm under the cap unless the team makes a move to free up space.

With less than two weeks until the 2016-17 NHL season opens, the Ducks could be making a significant move in the near future.

Sens Sit Ryan and Ceci

Guy Boucher isn’t having any of your shenanigans. The new bench boss in Ottawa sat Bobby Ryan and Cody Ceci for a full period of Saturday’s exhibition after both players were late to a meeting earlier in the day.

It was only one period, but the move by Boucher sends a clear message about how he’s going to run things in Ottawa. “It’s very simple. You’re on time or you’re not on time,” Boucher said. “You own it and you move on.”

The Sens lost Saturday’s game to the Canadiens 3-2 in overtime.

Cory Schneider Sits

The New Jersey Devils were slated to give goaltender Cory Schneider his first start of the preseason Saturday. It was an important start after Schneider didn’t see any game action during the World Cup. However, not long before game time, the team announced that Schneider would sit out due to “soreness.” The team described holding him out as precautionary.

In the game, Taylor Hall posted his first point, albeit a preseason point, in a Devils sweater.

Additionally, the Devils made a load of roster moves, sending Evan Cormier, Colby Sissons, Colton White, Nathan Bastian, Brandon Gignac and Michael McLeod back to juniors. Ken Appleby, Mackenzie Blackwood, Joshua Jacobs, Vojtech Mozik, Brandon Baddock, Blake Coleman, Brian Gibbons, Ryan Kujawinski, Jan Mandat, Max Novak, Blake Pietila, John Quenneville, Kevin Rooney, Ben Sexton and Ben Thomson were all sent to the AHL.

Brandon Gormley, Andrew MacWilliam, Reece Scarlett, Karl Stollery and Carter Camper were all placed on waivers and are likely to be assigned to the AHL if they clear as expected on Sunday.

Top prospect Pavel Zacha and 19-year-old Blake Speers are still at training camp.

New Masks

Philadelphia Michal Neuvirth debuted a new mask Saturday night. The fresh lid is a tribute to the recently departed Flyers owner Ed Snider. The art includes Snider’s silhouette inside the Flyers’ “P” and an inscription above that with an image of Snider that says “A Flyer Forever.”

Roberto Luongo also debuted a new helmet Saturday when he gave the Miami Herald’s George Richards a glimpse. His helmet pays tribute to both new and old by featuring the new Panthers logo on one side and an older style logo on the other side.

Niklas Hjalmarsson Will Sit

In Saturday’s game against the Blues, Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson delivered a shoulder to the head of young forward Ty Rattie. It sent Rattie from the game, though the Blues later said that Rattie is ok.

Hjalmarsson received a match penalty on the play, meaning he left the game and will have to sit for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Red Wings. The play is being reviewed by the Department of Player Safety, so Hjalmarsson could miss more time than just Sunday’s match.

Odds and Ends

– The Chicago Blackhawks reassigned Dillon Fournier, Carl Dahlstrom and Nolan Valleau to the Rockford IceHogs of the AHL. They’ve also reassigned Alexander DeBrincat and Graham Knott to their junior clubs.

– The Edmonton Oilers have reassigned Jujhar Khaira, Joey LaLeggia, Eetu Laurikainen and Mitch Moroz to the AHL. They also waived Taylor Beck and David Musil. If they clear waivers on Sunday, they are expected to be assigned to the AHL.

– The Sabres have also made some significant cuts. However, Alex Nylander and Hudson Fasching remain with the team at training camp.