If you think everything has been settled in net for the Vancouver Canucks, think again.
Eddie Lack might be the starting goalie right now, but general manager Jim Benning would not dismiss the possibility of signing on a veteran netminder.
“We’re going to look at every avenue we have to make our team competitive,” Benning told Sportsnet 590 The Fan Friday. “Vancouver is a big-market city, we’ve got a passionate fan base (and) our owners want to win.”
Among the list of pending free-agent goalies that could challenge Lack for time in net are Ryan Miller and Jonas Hiller.
Jacob Markstrom is currently Lack’s backup. The pair have 78 career NHL starts combined.
On Ryan Kesler, who reportedly requested a trade in February, Benning said he recently touched base with his centre and the two will discuss his future with the team.
The Winnipeg Jets will be without centre Alex Burmistrov for another year.
Burmistrov’s agent, Yuri Nikolaev, told QMI Agency his client will remain with the KHL’s AK Bars Kazan next season.
The 22-year-old Russian bolted for the KHL after the lockout-shortened season in 2013. One of his reasons for his departure was friction between himself and coach Claude Noel.
Noel was fired in January and replaced by Paul Maurice.
In other Jets news, centre Jim Slater had hip surgery but is expected to be fully recovered for training camp.
“Jim Slater underwent successful hip labrum surgery yesterday to repair an issue that was diagnosed following the season,” Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said. "It is anticipated Jim will make a full recovery in time for training camp in September.”
Slater, 31, was limited to 27 games (one goal, two points) with the Jets last season after undergoing sports hernia surgery.
Chris Stewart isn’t naive. He knows he could be traded once again, especially as a member of the rebuilding Buffalo Sabres.
“I don’t think it’s going to take that long to turn it around here. Obviously you’re subject to all those trade rumors and all the stuff like that, but that’s out of my control,” Stewart told the team’s website. “Like I’ve said before, as long as I’m a Buffalo Sabre, I’m just going to worry about helping this team win hockey games and that’s all that’s on my mind.”
Stewart was traded from the St. Louis Blues to Buffalo in the Ryan Miller deal.
The 26-year-old winger had season-ending surgery five games after joining the Sabres. With one year left on his contract at $4.1 million, the top-six forward could be an attractive trade piece if the Sabres decide to continue stocking up on draft picks and prospects.
SHARKS SIGN KARLSSON
The San Jose Sharks signed Swedish forward Melker Karlsson to a one-year contract Friday
Karlsson, 23, had nine goals and 16 assists in 48 games with Skelleftea of the Swedish Hockey League this season. He also had four goals and eight assists in 14 playoff games to help Skelleftea win the league title.
The 6-foot-1, 181-pound forward spent the past six seasons playing for Skelleftea, where he totaled 31 goals and 66 points in 216 regular-season games.
SNIDER FINISHES TREATMENT
Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider recently completed treatment for cancer, according to CSN Philly.
The type of cancer wasn’t disclosed, but according to a spokesperson it’s not life threatening.
Snider said he feels “great” and the sickness has not affected his ability to run the team.
Snider, 81, founded the Flyers in 1966.