On Monday morning Los Angeles Kings fans received the good news that Vladislav Gavrikov was close to signing an extension from the Athletic.
In an article, Michael Russo and Eric Duhatschek reported that, "The expectation is they’re closing in on a contract extension with soon-to-be-unrestricted free agent Vladislav Gavrikov."
They also went on to say that both Sean Walker and Sean Durzi are expected to be moved to make room for Gavrikov and a few of the younger defensemen.
But Dennis Bernstein responded to a tweet later that night stating that the Gavrikov re-signing report isn't accurate.
Don't believe that is accurate – last we checked, no talks have taken place and Kings need to clear cap space. Gav will be a hot commodity come July 1. https://t.co/gy0vDjBQhQ
— Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) May 16, 2023
Bernstein's closer to the team than Russo or Duhatschek and his report that an extension isn't close is in line with what we've heard up to this point. So, leaning towards the, "not close" report as the more accurate one.
This doesn't shut the door on a possible extension by any means. But I think that decision will come closer to, and possibly after, July 1.
It also makes me question the claim that Brandt Clarke is set to be a full-time NHLer next season in the same article.
Rob Blake was non-committal when asked about Clarke playing in the NHL next season. Stating he'll be a full-time pro next season, but whether that's AHL or NHL is unknown.
Fiala to the World Championships
On Monday it was also announced that Kevin Fiala is joining Switzerland at the World Championships.
He joins NHL forwards Denis Malgin and Nino Niederreiter and a Switzerland team that's already 2-0 before the addition of their best player.
Fiala is going to be one of the best players at the tournament, probably just behind Mikko Rantanen and William Nylander.
It's clear the knee injury bothering Fiala down the stretch is healed.
VegasHockeyNow: The Western Conference Finals matchup is set and so is the schedule.
ColoradoHockeyNow: The trade rumors surrounding Toronto's core four have already begun, William Nylander to the Colorado Avalanche? That's a scary thought.
PittsburgHockeyNow: From one Leaf's rumor to the next, it might be time to pump the breaks on Kyle Dubas leaving town.