NHL Rumours: Joe Thornton, Karl Alzner, Ilya Kovalchuk and more

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    The NHL is entering its busiest part of the off-season. The NHL Draft has come and gone and the free agent frenzy is right around the corner. It keeps the rumour mill churning. The expansion draft has added a new layer to the normal NHL off-season craziness, with the Vegas Golden Knights wheeling and dealing. The league is now in its ‘legal tampering phase’, where teams can begin meeting and negotiating with potential free agents, so there is a lot of buzz. The following are some of the rumours and transactions circulating throughout the league, including Joe Thornton, Karl Alzner, Ilya Kovalchuk and more.

    NHL Rumours: Joe Thornton, Karl Alzner, Ilya Kovalchuk and more

    Joe Thornton

    Pierre LeBrun reports that Joe Thornton is receiving a lot of interest. LeBrun says most teams are interested, including the Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Still, LeBrun believes the San Jose Sharks are still the favourites to sign Thornton. LeBrun also thinks that Patrick Marleau‘s decision will also play apart in Thonrton’s decision.

    More on Thornton

    Paul Gackle of the Mercury News reports the Los Angeles Kings have interest in signing Joe Thornton. Gackle thinks that the Kings are a long shot because Thornton wants to join a contending team.

    Karl Alzner

    Darren Dreger reports that the Montreal Canadiens and Winnipeg Jets have interest in Karl Alzner.

    Darren Dreger also reported on TSN 1260 that Alzner is looking for a six year contract.

    Ilya Kovalchuk

    Pierre LeBrun reported via twitter that Ilya Kovalchuk is leaving all of his options open, including returning to the KHL. Kovalchuk has spent the last four seasons with St. Petersburg SKA in the KHL.

    Teams interested in Kovalchuk need to work out a trade with the New Jersey Devils, who own Kovalchuk’s NHL rights. A trade can only take place as of July 1st.

    Stephane Da Costa

    Darren Dreger is reporting that free agent Stephane Da Costa has been contacted by NHL teams about a return. Da Costa has spent the last three years in the KHL. Da Costa is 100% interested in returning to the NHL.

    New Jersey Devils

    Andrew Gross of northjersey.com reports the Devils are targeting Kevin Shattenkirk, Cody Franson and Thomas Vanek in free agency.

    New York Rangers

    New York Post reporter Brett Cyrgalis speculates that the Rangers are no longer interested in signing defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk. Cyrgails points to the Rangers re-signing Brendan Smith as the reason the Rangers will pass on Shattenkirk.

    More Rangers

    Darren Dreger reported on TSN 1290 that the Rangers are interested in free agents Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. Dreger thinks the Rangers are not interested in signing the pair to three year contracts, however.

    In the same interview, Dreger also says the Rangers are interested in Nick Bonino.

    Nashville Predators

    Pierre LeBrun reports that the Nashville Predators have expressed interest in signing Joe Thornton. The Predators lost James Neal in the expansion draft and are looking to replace his production. LeBrun also reports the Predators have inquired about Colorado’s Matt Duchene.

    Calgary Flames

    Darren Dreger is reporting the Calgary Flames and Kris Versteeg are finalizing a one year contract extension.

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