Welcome to Tuesday’s edition of NHL rumours where we look at potential moves teams may make this off-season. Today we have NHL rumours from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, and the New Jersey Devils.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Elliott Friedman mentioned on Sportsnet 960 with Pinder and Steinberg that he is hearing there is a ton of interest in Maple Leafs centre Nazem Kadri.
Elliotte Friedman on SN960: I’ve heard there’s a *lot* of interest in Kadri. If that’s what Toronto wants to do, they’ll have no problem doing it.
— James (@Account4hockey) June 3, 2019
Analysis: This should come as no surprise. Forget about Kadri getting suspended in each of the last two Stanley Cup Playoff quarterfinal match ups for a second. Let’s just look at the player in general. Kadri is a skilled two-way centre capable of playing as a team’s number two. He plays a physical game, is solid defensively but is also a proven goal scorer. Before John Tavares came to Toronto, Kadri put up back to back 30-goal seasons. Match that with his extremely cap friendly contract of $4.5 million AAV for the next three seasons, of course, Kadri is a hot commodity.
If the Leafs do decide to move Kadri, you would have to believe it would be for a right-hand defenceman. Maybe someone like Jacob Trouba, who is rumoured to be on the block out of Winnipeg. A trade between both these teams would just make too much sense.
NHL Rumours: Winnipeg Jets
Rumour: David Pagnotta of thefourthperiod.com stated that if contract negotiations fail to get off in the right direction, Laine will explore other options.
Laine will explore all available options https://t.co/kO2HiOCbJc
— The Fourth Period (@TFP) June 2, 2019
Analysis: Pagnotta goes on to say that it is the Jets priority to get Laine signed. He also mentions Laine could demand around $10 million per season, depending on the term. While it is not likely he will get the $10 million as last season was a down year in terms of production for Laine, he should get something close to that.
Since entering the league three seasons ago, Laine has scored at least 30 goals each year. That type of production is good for around $8-$10 million per season in today’s NHL. Especially given the potential he has shown to be one of the league’s elite goal scorers. Just a season ago Laine was being compared to Alex Ovechkin, who is one of the best goal scorers in the history of the NHL.
The big issue is that the Jets also have to try to sign Kyle Connor and Jacob Trouba as well, amongst others. While it is not realistic for them to be able to get them all under contract, you have to believe that they will do whatever it takes to re-sign Laine.
NHL Rumours: Vancouver Canucks
Rumour: Chris Johnston was asked on Sportsnet 650 if there was any truth to the Vancouver Canucks planning on being aggressive in the hunt for a defenceman this off-season. The Canucks have been linked to names such as Erik Karlsson, Jake Gardiner and Tyler Myers.
Earlier on #ReachDeep with @DanRiccio650 and @RandipJanda our Monday NHL Insider @reporterchris gave his thoughts on the rumours that the #Canucks are looking to aggressively pursue a defenseman this offseason. pic.twitter.com/mRkUUc7Hz0
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) June 3, 2019
Analysis: Johnston believes that the Canucks will be active and will reach out to each of these players. When you look at the Canucks defence group right now, outside of Quinn Hughes there’s no top pairing defenceman under contract. Alexander Edler is set to become an unrestricted free agent and as of now is uncertain if he will be brought back into the fold.
It would make sense for the Canucks to take a run at one of the top free agent defencemen. Erik Karlsson will certainly be looking at all options and the Canucks are in a position to offer him a ton of money. With the amount of young talent the Canucks currently have with Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat and Quinn Hughes, would Karlsson see Vancouver as a fit for him and his family moving forward?
NHL Rumours: New Jersey Devils
Rumour: David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period mentioned in a recent article that he has been told as of now, Taylor Hall is not ready to sign an extension with the New Jersey Devils. Chris Johnston was also asked about this on Sportsnet 650. He confirms that though it may be premature, Hall wants to be competitive now. If the Devils are not, he may see what his options are next off-season.
Told that, as of now, Taylor Hall is not interested in signing an extension with the NJ Devils. He has 1-year left on his contract. More here: https://t.co/PLUlnm50My
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 3, 2019
Analysis: As Chris Johnston states, this may be premature. However, Devils general manager Ray Shero needs to stay on top of this. He will need to be in constant contact with Hall and his agent Darren Ferris. The Devils have been lucky in winning two of the last three draft lotteries where they have been able to select Nico Hischier and will select one of Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko this year. However, if Hall wants to compete now, there a good chance he is going to want to leave New Jersey. The Devils still have a lot of work to do. Surely Ray Shero does not want to have a situation as the Islanders had with John Tavares leaving Long Island. If the Devils are not competitive next season, chances are we see Taylor Hall traded before the trade deadline.