NHL Rumors: Kevin Labanc fallout, Yaroslav Askarov, and Charlie McAvoy

Boston Bruins, Charlie McAvoy, Florida Panthers, Kevin Labanc, NHL Free Agents, NHL Rumors, San Jose Sharks, Spencer Knight, Yaroslav Askarov
The San Jose Sharks get a bargain deal with Kevin Labanc.
© Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
Digging into the Kevin Labanc signing…

Adam Kimelman of NHL.com:  Alas, the quotable quotes expected to come out from San Jose at some point. Here is one from Kevin Labanc.

“I did a big favor … taking that deal. There’s a lot more salary cap for him to get another 1 or 2 players. … I think it’ll help our team be Stanley Cup contenders this year.”

Labanc is not wrong and this helps him get a foot in the door as far as being part of the long-term core. It is much more than betting on himself. The forward was putting the boots on to work.

A little bit more on Yaroslav Askarov / Spencer Knight

Corey Pronman of The Athletic:  An interesting subplot of the 2019 Ivan Hlinka Tournament was the play of Yaroslav Askarov. Askarov stopped 35 of 37 shots faced in the gold-medal game as Russia showed their mettle. In four starts, the Russian goaltender posted a .960 save percentage and made some highlight-reel saves.

Some debate exists on whether Askarov could be even better than Spencer Knight. Askarov has been a clutch goalie for a little while now  Expect the goalie to go rather high during the 2020 NHL Draft.

Take it to the bridge, Charlie McAvoy?  

James Murphy of Boston Hockey NOW:  With Boston’s salary cap dilemma well documented, could a way out be a one-year bridge deal for Charlie McAvoy? This would be a show-me contract of show-me contracts. It is a gamble that could prove very costly to Boston.

The spin from an anonymous agent was telling.

“I’m pretty sure that’s the first time Neely or anyone from the team has publicly cited his injury past and usually when that starts, the team is going for less money and/or term,” the agent told Boston Hockey Now. “Considering he specifically cites term there, that would tell me that given their cap issues, they’re now aiming for a short-term, I’m thinking bridge contract.”

Honestly, it is rare for management to be that candid about a player during the first week of August. The bigger sample size nugget from Cam Neely was the big giveaway. How the Charlie McAvoy deal plays out could affect other RFA’s as well.

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