Conn Smythe Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin has arrived in Las Vegas for Thursday’s NHL Awards Show.
Malkin is up for the Hart Trophy which is awarded to the league’s Most Valuable Player.
Despite leading the league in scoring , Malkin may not even finish second in voting for the Hart Trophy.
Internal polling has showed Alex Ovechkin will be the clear cut winner with Pavel Datsyuk possibly being the runner-up.
After the act Malkin and Ovechkin put on during the All-Star game, the two did not speak during the second round series between the Penguins and Capitals.
I spoke to a source with the Oilers this morning who told me it is looking unlikely that the Oilers will make an attempt to re-sign Ales Kotalik before July 1.
According to my source, “his name isn’t coming up a lot as a player the Oilers will want, but much depends on further developments. They like him, but don’t love him.”
Kotalik, 30, had 20 goals and 23 assists during the 08-09 campaign. Kotalik is a player of interest for Pittsburgh but clearly not at the top of their wishlist.
He will net a 2 year contract worth $2.3 – $2.5 million per season on the open market.
The Carolina Hurricanes are going to have a difficult time re-signing defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Seidenberg’s value is on the rise and there is word that he has his sights set on testing free agency.
Speaking of difficulty signing potential free agents, I was told this afternoon from a Penguins source that Pittsburgh is going to have a much tougher time signing
Ruslan Fedotenko than they first believed.
I’m told Pittsburgh believes they have made a significant concession going three years, but at age 30, this could be Fedotenko’s last opportunity to cash in after having little value last summer.
Fedotenko’s camp is going to try to do all they can to get Pittsburgh to go above $2.4 million per season.
Fedotenko has expressed a strong interest in returning which has Pittsburgh confident that a deal will get done before July 1 but it’s going to come down to the amount of money per season, not the term, which was the problem last season in losing players.
On the bright side, I’m told what I reported a few months ago that Gonchar would sign for $3.5 – $4 million is still a possibility, if the extension becomes a three year extension.
The two sides will begin talks this week.
Waiting for some more info but I will update the Penguins free agency chart later this evening with the latest.