In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Columbus Blue Jackets have tried to sign a player, only to see the contract get rejected by the NHL. There is more talk about where Dustin Byfuglien will land. And, Taylor Hall and Alex Pietrangelo spoke about their plans for free agency.
Blue Jackets Will Sign Grigorenko in July
Earlier Tuesday morning it was reported that the Columbus Blue Jackets tried to sign Mikhail Grigorenko and give him another opportunity in the NHL. He signed a one-year contract for the 2020-21 season. The contract was tossed out by the NHL.
Grigorenko has played the last three seasons in the KHL with CSKA Moscow and the $1.2 million deal that Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported he’d signed to return to the NHL was half of what Russia was willing to pay him to stay. In the end, he may still join the NHL, but it won’t be until July.
The NHL has rejected the Grigorenko contract because the filing window for deals starting next season has not opened yet. Teams can sign previously drafted players within their own systems or undrafted players that have never played in the NHL, but they are not allowed to sign a player like Grigorenko who would fall under the typical free agent status.
The Blue Jackets have issued a statement:
Earlier today, the Columbus Blue Jackets announced the signing of forward Mikhail Grigorenko to a one-year contract for the 2020-21 National Hockey League season. The contract subsequently has been rejected by the NHL Central Registry due to a misunderstanding with regards to the filing window. We have been in contact with the league and Dan Milstein, Grigorenko’s agent, and the contract will be filed on July 1.
As reported by Jeff Svoboda, Mikhail Grigorenko has stated that he expects his deal with the team to be filed with NHL come July 1, and he sees the Jackets as a good fit: “The opportunity is the big thing here, and Columbus is a team that can offer that. I’m really excited to join the team.”
More Possible Destinations for Byfuglien
Chris Johnston of Sportsnet believes that at least 20 teams would be in on the conversation if Dustin Byfuglien made himself available in free agency but Sportnet’s Mark Spector doesn’t believe he’ll return to action. Teams like Florida, Toronto and Minnesota have been tossed out there as teams that might be interested.
Clearly, there will be questions about his conditioning, but some of that could be overlooked depending on what he might ask for and how dedicated he makes himself to getting into shape — something that could be tricky if players aren’t skating. Money might not be the concern for Byfuglien considering what he walked away from.
Pietrangelo to Explore His Options
Pierre LeBrun reports St. Louis Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo intends to explore all his options in free agency knowing that the salary cap questions could directly affect what he’s going to get during the offseason.
“I’m going to explore all options, you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you’re not sitting back there with your agents and your family laying out everything on the table, thinking about every possibility, that’s really what you should be doing. When you have a growing family, it’s one of those things where if you can put yourself into a position where you’re somewhere long term, it’s a little bit easier than having to pick up and move potentially every couple of years.’’source – ‘LeBrun: Alex Pietrangelo on chance to defend, his next deal and uncertain times’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 04/20/2020
There is news that St. Louis wants to hang onto him, but concern about what his ask will be and how easily the Blues can fit that ask into their current salary structure.
Hall Says He Wants Long-Term Security Now
As for Taylor Hall, LeBrun noted that he asked him what he wants to do and if he’d consider a short-term deal now to get through what may be aches and pains with the changes in salary cap over the next one or two years. Hall said without hesitation, he said he’d rather go for long-term security now.
Hall believes he’s just lucky to do what he does for a living and in the scope of this disease and how it’s affecting the world, and potentially his contract, he’s trying to stay grounded through all of this.
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”