Middle Notes: Robertson, Blackhawks, Kayumov
There’s been more emphasis on paying big money to young stars in the early last few years and it looks like at least one team owner isn’t a fan of it. Speaking on the Cam and Strick podcast (audio link) earlier this week, Stars owner Tom Gaglardi lamented the current contract landscape across the league:
A kid in the third year of his entry-level (deal) scores 40 goals and now he wants to make $7 million. If you want a term with this player, he’s going to take you higher than that. … The stars take all the money and the guys in the middle get rushed.
I think there are a lot of players in the league who make a million dollars who are better players, and then the guys who can put the puck in the net get too big a slice of the pie. … I don’t like it, but that’s the deal, and that’s how it works.
Without naming him specifically, it’s quite clear that the 40-goal player he’s referring to is Jason Robertson who led the Stars with 41 goals in 74 games last season. If the asking price for a short-term deal is in the range of $7 million, as Gaglardi suggests, Dallas will almost certainly have to strike a bridge deal to get the 23-year-old under contract without having to part ways. another player. They have just over 6.3 million in projected space at the moment, by CapFriendlybut it could be closer to $7.5 million if Anton Khudobin is healthy and is sent to minors.
Elsewhere in the Central Division:
- There is some uncertainty on the injury front for the Blackhawks with training camps just weeks away. GM Kyle Davidson says Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times that they are still awaiting a firm update on the status of the forward Jujhar Khaira who underwent back surgery in February. At the time, he was supposed to be away from hockey activities for 10-12 weeks, so the fact that his availability was still in question would suggest there was a setback. The 28-year-old scored three goals in 27 games in his first season with the Blackhawks. Davidson also indicated that there are a few other players they are awaiting information on regarding their availability for the start of camp, but did not identify who those players will be.
- Still with Chicago, the Blackhawks were hoping to sign a prospect Artur Kayoumov this summer, reports Scott Powers of The Athletic (subscription link). However, the 24-year-old winger opted to stay with KHL’s Yaroslavl for family reasons as he signed a one-year deal to stay there instead. Kayumov had 19 points in 42 games last season and his agent has indicated he could sign with the Blackhawks after the KHL campaign.