NHL Off-Season Rumours: Max Pacioretty, Ilya Kovalchuk, Joe Thornton

MONTREAL, QC - JANUARY 07: Max Pacioretty #67 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the warm-up prior to the NHL game against the Vancouver Canucks at the Bell Centre on January 7, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Vancouver Canucks 5-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

We’re rocketing toward the NHL Draft and the start of free agency, which means our NHL off-season rumours kick into high-gear. Today we talk about the futures of Max Pacioretty, Ilya Kovalchuk and Joe Thornton. Plus, the Edmonton Oilers are dangling the 10th selection in the draft.

These rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.

Max Pacioretty

Rumour: Frank Seravalli on TSN’s insider Trading said to keep an eye on the Montreal Canadiens forward. The New Canaan, Conn. native is asking for the a six to eight-year deal and general manger Marc Bergevin doesn’t appear ready to give it to him.

Teams like the Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres are in play for him. Buffalo apparently has Max Pacioretty on top of their wish list, according to Jeff Marek.

Analysis: Pacioretty has one more year left on his current deal and the Habs don’t want to let him walk away for nothing. Kings GM Rob Blake needs to add some scoring punch and Pacioretty would fit the bill.

Buffalo general manager Jason Botterill is trying to shake up his team and would fill a need for a talented left winger. The cupboard is bare at that position and Pacioretty would be an excellent addition.

Ilya Kovalchuk

Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the four teams have turned in offers for the Russian forward. Dreger said that the Kings, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights are in the mix.

Analysis: Kovalchuk would be a boost to any of those four teams with his scoring prowess. He still has plenty of offensive punch in his games. As mentioned earlier, the Kings need some offense and Kovalchuk would fill the bill.

The other three teams made the Stanley Cup playoffs last season and Kovalchuk wishes to go to a contender. It will be interesting to see where he ends up.

Joe Thornton

Rumour: Paul Gackle of The San Jose Mercury News said that Sharks general manager Doug Wilson would like to re-sign Thornton in what could be his final contract. The article also said that Wilson wants to sign restricted free agents Tomas Hertl,Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo.

Analysis: Thornton is 38 years-old, but he was missed during San Jose’s playoff run. He’s still great making plays and winning faceoffs. The Sharks have room to offer Thornton a contract after clearing out Mikkel Boedker’s burdensome contract.

Edmonton Oilers

Rumour: Team general manager Peter Chiarelli said that he’s willing to trade the 10th overall selection at the upcoming draft. The news came during his media availability on Thursday.

Analysis: Chiarelli said that he’d trade the pick if he got a quality player in return. He is looking for a good defenseman to shore up that blueline unit that took a nosedive this season.

Chiarelli is one year away from finishing second in general manager of the year voting, but the pressure is building on him to get the Oilers back into contention.

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