With the Stanley Cup Final being played, there are 29 other teams who are trying to determine what to do to make themselves better. There’s plenty of NHL rumours to go around and we will touch on some here.
In this article, we will cover NHL rumours with the Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, and the Philadelphia Flyers. What will each team be up to in shaping their rosters? Their goal will be to be included in playing for the coveted Stanley Cup next year.
Rumour: The Chicago Blackhawks seem motivated to shop centre Artem Anisimov due to his contract and the fact that they could have more centres than needed.
Analysis: It’s a no-brainer that the Blackhawks are looking to make some changes this summer. Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago thinks that centre Artem Anisimov is someone that could be moved this off-season. Anisimov owns a no-trade clause on his $4.55 million cap hit contract. The team only owes him a bit over $5 million in total salary over the last two years of his deal, but owe him a $2 million bonus on July 1st.
The 31-year-old has dropped his production lately when he fell below the 40-point mark in each of his last two seasons. That doesn’t necessarily mean his trade value to a team looking for a centre has diminished.
The Blackhawks are also thinking about looking into possibly signing a soon-to-be free agent by the name of Kevin Hayes. If Hayes signs with Chicago it would cause a logjam at the centre position. The team currently has Artem Anisimov, David Kampf, Dylan Strome, and Jonathan Toews residing there. Adding Hayes would mean a centre needs to be moved or played on the wing.
If the Blackhawks are fortunate enough to draft Alex Turcotte and he can transition to the NHL (pretty sure that’s going to happen either next year or in 2020-21) it will add yet another centre to the crowded roster. It would, of course, be a dream come true for Turcotte to play in his hometown and he met with the team this week.
With youngsters, Dylan Strome, Alex DeBrincat and Turcotte the ‘Hawks would be a formidable offensive force going forward.
Rumour: Should the Anaheim Ducks consider buying out the contract of forward Corey Perry?
Analysis: Lisa Dillman, Eric Stephens and Josh Cooper: (subscription required) of The Athletic think that is an option which the management of the team should consider.
Perry is 34-years-old and has two years remaining on his contract which comes in at a whopping $8.625 million per year. They could use the Joe Thornton model and move him to a lesser role on a lower line. But, at that compensation is it really worth it?
A buyout option would be a bit cheaper with the team on the hooks for four more years with the 2021-21 salary carrying a $6.625 million cap hit. If the buyout was initiated this month, it would cost the team $2 million a year for the next four seasons with a net savings of $4 million over the term through the 2022-23 season.
Will that work to the Ducks benefit?
The team could allow him to play next season, but he has deteriorated quite a bit. Due to injuries, his scoring total last season was a mediocre six goals and four assists over 31 games. It’s still unknown if he will be able to come back and be half the player he once was.
The other question is that the Ducks have some good young players who will be looking for a spot on the roster. Giving Perry another shot may negate giving a promising player a chance to make an impact on the team. Youngsters like Ondrej Kase and Daniel Sprong could receive more ice-time to develop. Sprong could really develop into a young sniper if given the chance. Other young forwards such as Troy Terry, Sam Steel, Isac Lundestrom, and Maxime Comtois will also be looking to make an impact in the near future.
Rumour: The Philadelphia Flyers will be very aggressive this offseason to upgrade their roster.
Analysis: According to Adam Kimelman of NHL.com the Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher is intending to be very busy in the offseason months. He will be looking for pieces to improve his team.
Fletcher told Kimelman, “I think we’re going to be very aggressive in the trade and free agent markets in the sense of looking into every possible situation that can help us,” said general manager Chuck Fletcher, who was hired Dec. 3 to replace Ron Hextall. “The unfortunate part is the vast majority of things you look into don’t work out. … So we’re going to be very aggressive in trying to fill the holes we feel we have. I don’t know if I can say we’ll be able to fill all of them.”
There are four prominent players becoming restricted free agents on July 1st. Work needs to be done to sign them or trade them as the case may be. Defencemen Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim are on that list as well as forwards Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton.
Fletcher stated that they have reached out to most of them and he’s not expecting any of them to get done quickly. Yet, the clock ticks on with just 29 days remaining before the deadline hits them.
Carter Hart‘s future with the team was also discussed.
Fletcher plays this one close to the vest saying that Hart will be 21-years-old in August and “there will be obstacles he’s going to have to overcome in the next couple seasons.” So, according to Fletcher, he could be their No.1 goalie but he will need to earn it.
NHL Rumours Conclusion
The Flyers have some work to do to get to where they want to be but it won’t be magic that it happens. Fletcher is going in as an aggressive participant since most of the time things won’t work out as anticipated.
Look for the Flyers to be active in trades, and free agent signings (including their free agents) to improve over their disappointing season. An 82-point season was not what was on their wish list. Fletcher is going to do something about that. What, we don’t quite know for a couple three weeks but we will be here to report it all to you.