Jason Arnott was acquired by Washington at the deadline for David Steckel and is scheduled to become a UFA in July. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators are reportedly wasting little time opening contract talks with recently-acquired goaltender Craig Anderson.
Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun reported Friday that GM Bryan Murray is expected to meet with Anderson's agent, Justin Duberman, following this week's NHL GMs meetings.
It's expected the Senators will offer up a three-year, $9.3 million contract, which would break down as $3.1 million per season against the cap.
Brennan reported Ottawa management had long coveted Anderson and intended to pursue him via this summer's free agent market before acquiring him in a trade last month with Colorado.
As Brennan's colleague Bruce Garrioch observed, the Senators didn't acquire him just to watch him walk away this summer.
Given how well Anderson has adapted to his new team and how pleased management is with his performance it's a good possibility the Senators will have him re-signed well before July 1.
ARNOTT EXTENTION DEPENDS ON SALARY DEMANDS
Veteran center Jason Arnott has proven a good addition to the Washington Capitals since joining them at the NHL trade deadline, providing experience and stability to their second line.
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal reported Sunday the “jury is out” on whether Arnott is merely a playoff rental player or if the Capitals will re-sign him this summer.
Matheson suggested there would be room for Arnott on the Capitals if he’s willing to accept a pay cut from the $4.5 million he's currently earning to around $2.5 million, as it's possible veteran forward Mike Knuble (and his $2.8-million cap hit) will not be back.
Arnott's future with the Capitals will depend on his performance over the final month of this season and in the playoffs. At 36, and with a lengthy injury history, he's unlikely to command top dollar as an unrestricted free agent this summer, but if he proves to be a good fit with the Caps he may be willing to accept less to remain with a Cup contender.
OILERS YOUNG DUO ON THE BLOCK?
TSN's Darren Dreger recently addressed a reader's question regarding the possibility of the Edmonton Oilers trading centers Andrew Cogliano and Sam Gagner.
Dreger acknowledged their names had appeared in trade rumors, but reported the club isn't in any hurry to move its young players.
Gagner, 21, was on pace to match his career-best point total of 49 until he was recently sidelined for the remainder of the season with a hand injury.
Cogliano, 23, has struggled to regain the promising 45-point form of his 2007-08 rookie campaign, but has earned praise this season from the coaching staff for playing a better all-round game. He's a restricted free agent this summer coming off a one-year, $1 million contract so he shouldn't be expensive to re-sign if they wish to retain him.
BABCHUK CONTRACT EXTENSION UP IN THE AIR
Calgary Flames defenseman Anton Babchuk struggled following his trade from Carolina earlier in the season, but as the Calgary Herald reported last week, he's made significant improvement in the second half, with 16 points, 58 blocked shots and a plus-14 in 27 games.
Babchuk is eligible for unrestricted free agency and while he’s non-committal toward re-signing with the Flames, he admitted to enjoying playing in a big hockey market like Calgary.
Flames management might prefer to re-sign him, but with 17 players currently under contract for more than $53 million against the cap next season it won’t be easy, especially if Babchuk seeks a significant raise over his $1.4 million salary.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.