We’re less than 24 hours from the start of NHL free agency, so here’s the latest bunch of off-season rumours. Sunday will open the floodgates and we’ll see signings galore. We look at possible landing spots for James van Riemsdyk, Thomas Vanek and Jay Beagle.
These rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
James van Riemsdyk
Rumour: TSN’s Frank Seravalli speculated that the Toronto Maple Leafs forward could be a winner in the John Tavares sweepstakes. The American winger will be the likely fallback option for teams that miss out on JT91.
Seravalli reported that more than a dozen teams have contact van Riemsdyk since the start of open interviews on Sunday. Arizona Coyotes correspondent Craig Morgan from NHL.com confirmed that Arizona was one of those teams. Morgan also reported that David Perron and Michael Grabner were also contacted by the club.
Can report that the Coyotes have had discussions with the representatives for free-agent forwards David Perron, James van Riemsdyk and Michael Grabner.
— Craig Morgan (@craigsmorgan) June 29, 2018
Analysis: Plenty of teams would love a player like JvR if they can’t land Tavares. He’s the second-ranked player on TSN’s Top 75 Free Agent list and will likely have a nice payday. Clubs will fall all over of themselves to land the 36-goal scorer.
Rumour: Darren Dreger of TSN said that the Austrian is considering a return to the Detroit Red Wings in free agency. The 34-year-old played 48 games for the team in 2016-17 before being shipped off to the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline. The Red Wings are reported to have added Jonathan Bernier as the backup to Jimmy Howard.
It’s believed Thomas Vanek is considering a return to Detroit. Mike Green is staying put and the Wings likely to add Bernier Sunday as well.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 30, 2018
Analysis: Detroit would add Vanek as a veteran presence for a retooled forward group. Vanek will give them scoring despite the Wings not being likely to contend for a playoff spot. Goals were a problem in Hockeytown and Vanek put in 24 between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Vancouver Canucks.
Rumour: Speaking of Vancouver, TSN’s Bob McKenzie rumoured that they are in the market for the Washington Capitals grinder. McKenzie added that it’s likely to be a multi-year deal. Sportsnet’s Rick Dhailwal added that the contract is three years and $2.5 million per year.
Sources tell me that Beagle contract could look like 3 years and 2.5 million dollars per year.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) June 29, 2018
Analysis: Beagle is a defensive workhorse that will do wonders on the penalty kill and block shots. Canucks general manager Jim Benning wants to add grit to the lineup and Beagle would fill that bill.
Beagle would also serve as a good mentor to the young Canucks lineup. He was a fan favorite in Washington and would likely be the same in Vancouver.
Main Photo: TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 1: James van Riemsdyk #25 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates in the warm-up prior to playing against the Detroit Red Wings during the 2017 Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic at BMO Field On January 1, 2017, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)