The NHL offseason is officially in full swing. While there's already been a frenzy of activity in the free-agent market, and plenty of trades, possible arbitration complications and notable free agents could still provide an ongoing upheaval in the league.
While some teams scramble to provide new contracts for their biggest stars, and others are chomping at the bit to possibly steal them away, there's no shortage of intensity at this time of year.
So, which names are being mentioned in the rumor mill? Let's take a look at some of the most recent gossip to surface on the Web.
Speaking of players who aren't exactly close in contract talks, some recent gossip surfaced about negotiations between Ryan Johansen and the Columbus Blue Jackets.
According to Aaron Portzline of The Columbus Dispatch, the two sides aren't faring well in contract talks:
The Blue Jackets and restricted free agent center Ryan Johansen may still be a long way from a new contract. But after weeks of silence there has been significant progress.
Johansen's agent, Kurt Overhardt, recently extended a second contract offer to the Blue Jackets, sources have told The Dispatch. It's a two-year contract, or a "bridge" deal—the type Johansen called a "slap in the face" late last month.
The term of the contract—the player demanded a long-term contract, the Blue Jackets insisted on a shorter deal—was the major stumbling block in these negotiations dating back to April.
Offering Johansen a second short-term contract certainly doesn't bode well considering what the center is looking for. At just 21 years of age, Johansen's 63 points last season should warrant a long-term deal.
Although, not all hope is lost, as Portzline also relayed this comment from Johansen's agent Kurt Overhardt:
Ryan wants to be a Blue Jacket and he wants to be in Columbus. That has never been an issue in any of this. He loves it there. He was very excited to see the club wrap up Brandon Dubinsky with such a long-term contract (earlier this month). That's the kind of player he wants as a teammate, the kind of player he wants beside him.
We'll have to wait and see what kind of reaction the Blue Jackets receive from Johansen after looking at his most recent offer.
Devin Setoguchi is an unrestricted free agent after his three-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets ended after last season.
The winger has garnered some interest on the open market despite his shooting percentage dropping off last season. Andrew Walker of Sportsnet 590 The Fan tweeted one team that is no longer in contention for his services:
Ok. So just to quell rumours...UFA Devin Setoguchi will not be signing with #Leafs. Down to pair of teams in East, neither is Toronto.— Andrew Walker (@FAN590Walker) July 20, 2014
Unfortunately, all that tells us about his situation is Setoguchi won't be wearing a Maple Leafs jersey next season, but he will be playing in the East.
The teams he's deciding between are unknown to this point; however, with only two teams now in the mix, it shouldn't be too much longer before we officially find out.