Will Dustin Byfuglien’s leave of absence lead to a permanent departure from the NHL? TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the defenseman is “contemplating his options,” while Winnipeg-based TSN radio host Rick Ralph said a source told him Byfuglien “lost his love for the game.” The Jets aren’t talking about it. “When you have a player ask for time and privacy, you open [it] up to all the speculation. I understand that. Our options are to be completely forthcoming, and then we open up the question and answer period; or to do what’s always done and say that it’s a private matter,” said Maurice, who said there have been “a number of open lines of communication” with Byfuglien and the team.
Colorado signed D Samuel Girard to a seven-year contract extension, the team announced Wednesday. The new deal runs through the 2026-27 season. The contract's value was not announced. Girard had four goals and 23 assists while appearing in all 82 games for the Avalanche last season, his first full campaign in Colorado after being traded by the Nashville Predators in 2017-18 as a rookie.
Follow the money on this Artem Anisimov trade by the Chicago Blackhawks. They shed his $4.55 million cap hit through 2021 by shipping Anisimov, 31, to the Ottawa Senators, a deal made possible by his trade protection lapsing after July 1. The Senators only pay him $2 million this season, after the Blackhawks paid his $2 million signing bonus for 2019-20, and $3 million next season. Zach Smith, the 31-year-old winger the Blackhawks acquired in the deal, has a $3.25 million AAV and is owed $6.5 million for the next two seasons. The Senators get a larger cap hit and save $1.5 million in real dollars. A very Ottawa move.