The NHL Draft is quickly approaching and the NHL rumours are coming fast and furious as teams try to navigate things before free agency. The biggest team in the spotlight are the Toronto Maple Leafs. But there are also some rumours coming from the Philadelphia Flyers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Vancouver Canucks.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Always a popular destination, NHL rumours kick off with the Toronto Maple Leafs. A lot is surrounding the team when it comes to who is and who isn’t available. According to Elliotte Friedman, the Leafs are making a lot of calls. And it could all come down to what they do with Mitch Marner.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 20, 2019
Analysis: Unsurprisingly, everything in Toronto starts with Marner and what the Leafs are willing to do. Friedman speculated that the Leafs spoke with Marner and told him they would agree to an $11M price-tag if he took an eight-year-long deal. He was reportedly not interested in that deal. So the game of chicken continues for now.
On the flip side, the Leafs appear open for business. Along with Patrick Marleau and Nikita Zaitsev, they are willing to listen to other offers as well. Whether or not this is to clear cap space, time will tell on that. The expectation is the Leafs would be asking for a defenceman back in a Kapanen trade and a center in a Kadri trade.
Defence is the biggest need for the Leafs right now. And to get, you have to give. The Leafs have been linked with the Carolina Hurricanes. The two sides reportedly discussed swapping Kapanen and Connor Brown for a package including Brett Pesce.
Pesce will be entering the second year of a six-year, $24.125M deal. He earns approximately $4.025 per season. Kapanen is an RFA and Brown is entering the final year of his contract with an AAV of $2.1M. The Leafs would likely be asking the Hurricanes to retain some money in this deal, though.
Rumour: Heading to the team linked with the Leafs, the Carolina Hurricanes are next in our NHL rumours. Aside from their talks with the Leafs, the Hurricanes are trying to sign some of their own players. Justin Faulk is among the big names. With one year left, the team wants to find out what a potential extension may cost. If too much, however, Faulk could be dealt.
#Canes hoping to meet with Justin Faulk’s camp in Vancouver to get an initial sense of what an extension might look like. He has 1 yr left. Both sides confident a deal is attainable, but if first ask is far off from #Canes‘ range, it’s possible Faulk is on the move this weekend.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 20, 2019
Analysis: Faulk is entering the last year of his six-year, $4.83AAV deal. The two sides will meet in Vancouver to begin discussions about a possible extension. But Faulk is likely the most interesting trade piece on the back-end for the Hurricanes. With their insistence on keeping Pesce, they may have to part with Faulk if talks go south.
An offensive defenceman could get a solid return for the Hurricanes and is something they should think about. If talks remain with the Leafs, the team could try to garner their interest in Faulk instead of Pesce. However, the two would have to discuss salary retention in just about any potential deal.
The Hurricanes have also been in talks about pending free agent goaltender Petr Mrazek. The Edmonton Oilers were said to have interest but, for now, the Canes have said no. Mrazek was one of many big stories on this Hurricanes roster. So rightfully so, the team wants to try and persuade him to stay.
Mrazek is one of the bigger goaltending names on the market and won’t cost as much as someone like Sergei Bobrovsky. It is no surprise that his services are being sought after.
Rumour: Next in our NHL Rumours, we head to the Philadelphia Flyers who have been aggressive lately. And they might not be done yet. Pierre LeBrun reported that the Flyers have received calls on Shayne Gostisbehere. The Montreal Canadiens are among those who have inquired.
Flyers after acquiring two D have gotten calls from a few teams on LHD Shayne Gostisbehere. I think they would rather keep him but are listening. I believe Montreal is among those teams who have inquired.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 20, 2019
In any deal involving Gostisbehere, the Flyers will likely be looking for an above average return. No doubt it could start with a young forward coming back their way. Looking at the Canadiens roster, the Flyers could look at players such as Jonathan Drouin or Arturi Lehkonen.
If the Flyers are to deal Gostisbehere, though, they need to be sure it is the right fit. Despite one down season, he has shown the ability to boost the team’s offense when things are clicking for him. He can be a catalyst on the power-play, double-digit points on the man advantage in his first four full seasons.
Rumour: Finishing off our NHL Rumours, we take a journey out to the west coast and the Vancouver Canucks. According to Canucks writer Rick Dhaliwal, the team could set their sights on signing Luke Schenn this week. Schenn was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks this past January. He appeared in 18 games for the Canucks.
Don’t be surprised if the #Canucks set their sights on signing UFA D Luke Schenn this week.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) June 18, 2019
Analysis: After signing Alex Edler to a two-year extension, the Canucks look to keep another one of their defencemen. As last season began, it looked like Schenn’s NHL career was coming to an end. Reportedly told by the Ducks that he would never play in the league again, he spent a majority of the season in the AHL.
After a trade to the Canucks, Schenn proved that he still had more left in him. And the Canucks saw the same as they paired him with Quinn Hughes at times. The belief is Schenn is there.
A veteran of 11 seasons, there is a lot that Schenn needs to do to continue proving the game hasn’t passed him by. As shown during the Stanley Cup Final, there is still the need for big-bodied defencemen like Schenn. But it’s about using that body and being able to keep up with the play. A one-year deal could get the job done
On the flip side, it looks like a current Canuck could be on his way out. Loui Erikkson has seemingly moved his family out of Vancouver and back to Dallas. The speculation and expectation are that he will not be back.
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