BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray tells The Associated Press he doesn’t believe defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen‘s decision to join the team for practice without a contract will have any effect on thawing negotiations. With a big laugh, Murray on Friday said the only way Ristolainen could speed up contract talks is if “he got all lovey-dovey” and elected to take the Sabres’ latest offer. Ristolainen is a restricted free agent whose rights were retained by the Sabres in June.
The St. Louis Blues will have to start the season without one of their most dangerous forwards, Jaden Schwartz. Schwartz “will miss at least four weeks after injuring his left elbow during a training camp practice on Sept. 29,” the club announced today. It’s another frustration for the 25-year-old winger. Schwartz was limited to just 33 games last season, after fracturing his ankle in October. As for this latest injury, Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock originally predicted that Schwartz would only need a “couple of days off.” St. Louis opens its regular season Oct. 12 in Chicago. If Schwartz is out until the end of October, he’ll miss nine games. Related: Schwartz signs five-year extension
More updates from Anaheim, the land of contractual impasses… Rickard Rakell, the still-unsigned RFA forward, sounds as though he’s closer to an extension with the Ducks than teammate Hampus Lindholm, who’s working out in Sweden. From the O.C. Register: Rakell has yet to resume his training after being unable to play for his homeland in the World Cup of Hockey. But it is believed that while the Ducks would prefer to stay lower than Rakell’s six-year, $24 million asking price, they’ve made more headway with the center’s agent, Peter Wallen. In an e-mail to the Register, Wallen confirmed as much while saying Rakell has slowly started to work out again and will need “a couple of weeks” to get back