Jason Zucker rumors
Will the Minnesota Wild re-sign Jason Zucker?

Jason Zucker hoping to remain with Minnesota

TWINCITIES.COM: Dane Mizutani recently reported Jason Zucker hopes to remain with the Minnesota Wild but isn’t sure what his future holds. A restricted free agent, the 26-year-old winger filed for salary arbitration on July 5.

Zucker’s been the subject of frequent trade speculation since Paul Fenton took over as general manager in May. The winger earned $2 million last season and seeks a big raise – perhaps in the $5-million range – after tallying 33 goals and 31 assists last season, but his lack of playoff production could make management reluctant to make a long-term commitment. 

Latest Artemi Panarin rumors

THE ATHLETIC: Aaron Portzline reports Jarmo Kekalainen doesn’t intend to beg or persuade Artemi Panarin to change his mind, but will instead “make clear to Panarin how the next 12 months would be handled in Columbus, that he could be traded at any time if the Blue Jackets get what they consider to be a fair offer.”  Portzline adds Kekalainen and Panarin’s agent, Dan Milstein, expect the winger will open the 2018-19 season with the Blue Jackets.

Best available UFA defenceman still to sign

Dan Hamuis: Last season was something of a bounce-back performance for former Dallas Stars defenceman Hamhuis. The 34-year-old netted 24 points for the first time since 2012-13.  He also led the Stars in shorthanded time on ice per game (2:40) and was third among Dallas blueliners in time on ice per games (20:11). With his experience, leadership and defensive savvy, he could still be a solid addition to any blueline. 

Toby Enstrom: After 11 seasons with the same franchise (Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets), Toby Enstrom hits the UFA market for the first time. A two-time 50-point rearguard earlier in his career, the 33-year-old Enstrom has been hampered by injuries in recent years. Last season, he appeared in just 43 games with the Jets but averaged over 17 minutes per game when healthy. Though his offensive skills aren’t what they used to be, he can still play a sound defensive game.

Luca Sbisa: Injuries kept Sbisa sidelined for all but 30 regular-season games with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18. However, the 28-year-old still averaged 19:31 of time on ice per game in those contests. Returning to the lineup midway through the playoffs, Sbisa played well for the Golden Knights during their run to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final. He could prove attractive for clubs seeking a physical shutdown defenseman.


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