NHL Rumors: New Jersey Devils, and the Growing Concern With the All-Star Weekend and the Olympics
Devils pick may be staying in the KHL a little longer

KHL Talk: New Jersey Devils draft pick, defenseman Shakir Mukhamadullin has been negotiating a contract extension with Salavat Yulaev Ufa.

Corey Masisak: “Devils management had said before this season that they expected Shakir to sign after this KHL season. An NJD source walked that back a little about a week ago, noting he might need/want another year before he’s ready to come over.”d

Devils could use some size eventually and will have decisions on three RFAs

Corey Masisak of The Athletic: (mailbag) The New Jersey Devils could use a forward who has “skill, size, physicality, snarl, etc.” A player who is like Dawson Mercer but bigger. They don’t need to acquire that player immediately and they shouldn’t overpay for it through a trade or in free agency. It’s a long-term thing they should look at.

The Devils are going to have to do their best to not overpay Pavel Zacha, Jesper Bratt, and Miles Wood on any term length. They are going to be interesting contract talks. Of the three players, could see Wood being the odd man out. A team could make the Devils a trade offer for Wood that is too good to pass up. The three are restricted free agents. Because of budget, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if, by the 2025 season, none of Zacha, Bratt, and Wood could be with the Devils.

Growing concern with the All-Star Game, and why is there even an All-Star weekend?

TSN: There is growing concern regarding the NHL All-Star Weekend and the Olympics, with the NHLPA calling for stricter protocols as many of the All-Stars will also be going to the Olympics according to Pierre LeBrun. Players are chartering from Las Vegas to Beijing. A potential outbreak that happened in Vegas could end up in Beijing. Why is there even an All-Star weekend in an Olympic year?

“But, it also begs the question from a lot of people around the league that I’ve talked to, why is there an All-Star Weekend in an Olympic year for the NHL? It hasn’t happened since 2002 in Salt Lake City when there was an All-Star Game in L.A. and after that the league did not have an all-star weekend the same year of an Olympics they participated in.

The answer’s pretty simple, one is that it wanted to placate ESPN, its new U.S. TV partner, which wanted an All-Star Weekend, but also just the business in general. The league is trying to get through the pandemic and is trying to get back to business as usual, so it’s important for them to have an All-Star, but a lot of concern now, obviously, with Vegas before Beijing. “