The final few days of July are here, but there are still some key questions to be answered around the NHL. The biggest one is in Toronto, where arguably the best Maple Leaf still isn’t under contract. When will Mitch Marner put pen to paper on a new deal? A prominent member of the Toronto media believes that will happen just before the open of the 2019-20 NHL season. More on that in a moment. Here are the top stories from around the NHL on Monday, July 29th.
Kris Versteeg is back in North America for the first time since the 2017-18 season when he suited up for the Calgary Flames. The veteran forward signed a one-year AHL deal with Chicago’s affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs, in April. Versteeg talked about that deal for the first time this weekend, and said he doesn’t plan on going down there and being “a joke”. (Chicago Sun Times)
The biggest story in Toronto last summer was the signing of John Tavares. This summer? The biggest story is a non-signing. The Toronto Maple Leafs have yet to agree to terms with Mitch Marner, arguably their best player and a current RFA. When will Marner sign? Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun believes that will happen just as the season begins. (Toronto Sun)
Ben Chiarot left the Winnipeg Jets earlier this month to sign with the Montreal Canadiens. Leaving Winnipeg to sign with the Canadiens took a little convincing, however. (Sportsnet)
Former Ranger Arnie Brown, who played 12 seasons in the NHL, passed away on Saturday. Brown played for the Rangers, Red Wings, Islanders and Atlanta Flames prior to a year in the World Hockey Association. He was 77-years-old. (NHL)