The 2015 NHL draft is over, and now it's time to get back to work. The teams, not you (although that's probably a good idea, too).
After the Dallas Stars dispatch with the biggest and most immediate chore — finalizing a contract with free-agent goalie Antti Niemi — there's still more they can do before the big day on Wednesday.
"In a perfect world, you'd hang the ‘Go Fishing' sign out on July 1 and let everybody else fight it out," Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said.
But this isn't a perfect world yet for the Stars, so they could still be looking for some keepers Wednesday when NHL free agency opens. The Stars have about $15 million in cap space and only two restricted free agents of their own (Jamie Oleksiak and Curtis McKenzie) to sign. That means they could be in great shape to snag someone if the price is right.
This year's UFA class is thinner than that of 2014, but there are still some potential options for the Stars' most pressing needs. Among them are defenders Johnny Oduya, another expected casualty of the Chicago Blackhawks' ongoing salary-cap crisis, and Cody Franson, who's parted ways with the Nashville Predators after a stint as a playoff rental during the spring.
Heika recaps his five free-agent forwards and defensemen who could find a place on the Dallas roster in 2015-16 — and explores a scenario in which upcoming UFA goalie Jhonas Enroth stays with the organization. [Sports Day DFW]
Now that we're all worn out from discussing the draft, it's never too early to talk celly songs for the new dudes. Fortunately, there's already a track for Denis Guryanov.
And the Guryanov/Gurianov response continues to stream in. Michael Finewax says the 6-foot-3 winger will be the steal of the 2015 NHL draft — if he shows up. [RotoWorld]
Elsewhere, Larry Fisher of Kelowna's Daily Courier says the Stars organization was one of three "losers" in the 2015 draft. [The Hockey Writers]
That's okay, too, because other people are pretty excited.
Already counting the days until Traverse City and chance to see DAL prospect Denis Gurianov in action.— Mike Morreale (@mikemorrealeNHL) June 28, 2015
Travis Konency hadn't even been drafted for 24 hours when he won his first NHL award. The new Philadelphia Flyers prospect is the inaugural recipient of the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence, which will be presented annually to "the draft-eligible prospect who best exemplifies the commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism." [NHL.com]
How much has the weekend's frantic goalie whirlwind changed the NHL landscape? A lot, says Dan Rosen. [NHL.com]
The Vancouver Canucks asked veteran defender and alternate captain Kevin Bieksa to waive his no-trade clause so they could move him to San Jose. He agreed. The Sharks did not. The team continues to "explore options."
Iain MacIntyre: Canucks post draft must deal with defenceman Kevin Bieksa http://t.co/r8nFXi90LH— The Vancouver Sun (@VancouverSun) June 29, 2015
Whatever else you may think about Bieksa, you may think he deserved better. So does Elliotte Friedman, who says so in his latest 30 Thoughts. He also has a few words about former Finnish National Team roommates Kari Lehtonen and Antti Niemi. [SportsNet]
ESPN.com's Luke Lapinski ranks the Central Division's prospects to watch in 2015-16, and Texas Stars defenseman Julius Honka is on the list. [Today's Slapshot]
By the time you read this, Nicklas Lidstrom may already be a first-ballot inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame. His 2015 classmates could also include his former Red Wings teammate Sergei Fedorov. [Detroit Free Press]
Finally: This weekend made history in ways that didn't make the primetime broadcast. Eighteen-year-old defenseman Andong Song, who goes by the nickname Misha, became the first Chinese-born player to be selected in the NHL draft.