Morning Hits: Vegas and Free Agents … Injury Notes on Sens, Blue Jackets and Penguins
Brandon Dubinsky has surgery ... Kris Letang starts skating
On the Vegas Golden Knights and free agents …

Pierre LeBrun: The Golden Knights are able to speak with free agents from Sunday June 18th at 10:00 AM ET till Wednesday June 21st at 10:00 AM ET. It is the same 72 hours they have for the expansion draft window.

Pierre LeBrun: The Golden Knights are able to sign any NHL unrestricted free agents  during that time, as well as any unprotected restricted free agents. Any signing would count as their expansion draft pick from the team they signed them from.

Pierre LeBrun: GM George McPhee expects to sign some free agents during this period.

On the Ottawa Senators …

Bruce Garrioch: Senators GM Pierre Dorion said that Derick Brassard will have surgery for a torn labrum and will be out for four to five months. They are hopeful that he’ll be ready for the next year.

On the Columbus Blue Jackets …

Columbus Blue Jackets: Forward Brandon Dubinsky had surgery on Monday to repair his injured wrist and is expected to be out for three months.

“Brandon had been experiencing discomfort in his wrist since the season ended and after an examination last week it was determined that surgery was the best course of action at this time,” said Kekalainen. “We expect that he’ll be ready to go when training camp begins in September.”

On the Pittsburgh Penguins …

Michelle Crechiolo of Pens Inside Scoop: Penguins defenseman Kris Letang had surgery on a herniated disc back in April. His recovery is expected to be four to six months. He’s been helping defense coach Sergei Gonchar while he starts his rehab.

“I’ve been starting to work out, doing a lot of things off the ice so everything is good,” he said, adding that he has another doctor’s appointment in a couple of weeks and believes he’ll get cleared for everything then.