As expected, all was quiet with the Florida Panthers on yesterday’s 4th of July holiday. One of the biggest potential prizes of this year’s free agent crop, Ilya Kovalchuk, has decided to stay in the KHL for another season. I’m not sure if the Cats were ever in the mix for the Russian sniper, but if there was interest, it will have to wait until next summer when he becomes a UFA and can return to the NHL without having to work a sign and trade with the New Jersey Devils first.
There was some NHL business done over the holiday. The Vegas Golden Knights flipped center former Chicago Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger to the Carolina Hurricanes for a fifth-round draft pick in 2018 and signed restricted free agent Oscar Lindberg, selected from the New York Rangers in the expansion draft, to a two-year contract. The Colorado Avalanche took a flyer on the former first overall pick Nail Yakupov. The Washington Capitals re-signed right wing Andre Burakovsky to a two-year deal. The Rangers inked David Desharnais to a one-year contract, and Brandon Bollig signed a two-way deal with the San Jose Sharks.