Free agency is quickly approaching and the moves are already starting to happen. With that comes plenty of NHL rumours for us to talk about. We’ll talk about Artemi Panarin, the Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, and New York Islanders.
Rumour: First on NHL rumours, we focus on the free agent status of Artemi Panarin. He has begun to visit with teams and may be asking for over $12 million annually. The New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders may have some interest. But the price could end up too high for a team like the New York Rangers, whom he also visited.
Dreger on Panarin: “There’s some that believe he’s with the New Jersey Devils or Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders today…There’s some speculation Panarin wants a bit more than $12M annually, that might push the New York Rangers out of the game.”
— NHL Prospects Watcher (@Prospects_Watch) June 27, 2019
Analysis: It seems like things are neverending with Panarin. While the Florida Panthers are the favourite, Panarin has been visiting with some other teams. But his high price could take some teams out of the running. Panarin has met with the Rangers, though $12 million could push them out of the running.
With the Rangers likely out, it could be between the Islanders and Panthers. While the Devils have an interest, it likely doesn’t go past that. The Isles are an interesting team to look out for. Having not extended the contracts of Robin Lehner or Anders Lee yet has people wondering what they are up to. One does have to mention the lack of income tax in Florida. That and Joel Quenneville being at the helm are big selling points for the Panthers.
Panarin is going to get paid no matter where he lands. An elite sniper, he will add a significant scoring touch to whichever lineup he joins.
Rumour: Heading over to Philadelphia for our next NHL rumours, we look at Ivan Provorov. According to Frank Seravalli, it does not appear that Provorov and the Flyers are on the same page when it comes it a new contract. He thinks Provorov will be patient, like most RFA’s, and wait for the market to develop
Doesn’t sound like #Flyers are anywhere close to signing Ivan Provorov, who has flown under the radar a bit in this RFA class. He’s 22, plays 25 min/night and has a 17-goal season on his ELC. $. Like a lot of RFAs, sense is he’ll be patient and wait for market to develop.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 26, 2019
Analysis: It was originally expected that Provorov’s next deal would come easily. In fact, Provorov said that himself at the end of the season. However, we now sit at the end of June with no deal. The Flyers have made some moves on the back-end, including signing Travis Sanheim to a two-year bridge deal earlier this week.
The Flyers did extend a qualifying offer to Provorov, but that won’t be the deal he accepts. When asked previously, Flyers writer Bill Meltzer mentioned that a Provorov deal could exceed $8 million annually. The question is if Provorov’s down season will be a factor in discussions.
The two sides likely come to an agreement at some point. It is hard to imagine the Flyers going into next season without Provorov as their top defenceman. It will be a matter of what number the two sides can agree on. Provorov’s agent is known to be one of the most aggressive in the NHL. No doubt he will try to get the Flyers to pay a potentially hefty price.
Rumour: Briefly heading west for NHL rumours, we focus on the Colorado Avalanche. On two separate editions of the 31 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek spent some time talking about the Avalanche and their salary cap space. While they have the room, they also have players they need to lock up. Mikko Rantanen needs an extension now, while players like Tyson Barrie and Gabriel Landeskog also need contracts shortly thereafter.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 28, 2019
Analysis: According to Cap Friendly, the Avalanche have $38.9 million in cap space. While they theoretically could go after a big name, they have some in-house business to take care of. Rumour has it that Rantanen is looking for a big number on his extension. Mats Zuccarello and Joe Pavelski were on their radar, but the term on each could deter Colorado. Any long term deals are something the Avalanche may want to stay clear of. Both players could be looking for four years deals.
Wayne Simmonds was tossed out as an option. For Simmonds, the Avalanche can offer him a higher salary but limit the term he may be looking for. Word has it he has four or five year offers on the table. Would Simmonds be willing to take a shorter deal if it comes with more money? His heavy style of play is something the Avalanche may be looking for.
Micheal Ferland is another name to look at. He is coming off his second consecutive 40-point season. Ferland is coming off a two-year deal that paid him just $1.75 million annually. The deep playoff run with the Carolina Hurricanes will help his price. But it shouldn’t drive it up too far.
New York Islanders
Rumour: Last in NHL rumours, we head to the Islanders and Robin Lehner. According to Athletic writer Arthur Staple, the two sides are far apart in contract talks. If things fall apart between the two, the Islanders could look towards Sergei Bobrovsky as an option.
Still far apart in contract talks with the Islanders, Robin Lehner’s future appears to be elsewhere https://t.co/cgxoNCJOKU
— Arthur Staple (@StapeAthletic) June 27, 2019
Analysis: Lenher is coming off a solid season where he helped take the Isles to the second round of the playoffs. Previously, Lehner said he had no interest in talking to other teams and loved playing in the organization. But it sounds like he wants more than what Lamoriello is willing to offer. It appears the general manager of the Islanders is holding firm on a deal under $5 million.
Lehner has met with the Detroit Red Wings, according to Craig Custance. So as it stands, the Islanders may be moving on. And they do have a backup plan. Though the expectation is the Florida Panthers, Bobrovsky is an option the Islanders are willing to visit.
Now Bobrovsky will be a much more expensive option than Lehner. Something in the $8 million range is not out of the question. It’s possible the Islanders want to intice Panarin to come if they can land Bobrovsky as well. But are they truly willing to spend that kind of money to bring either in? As of right now, that looks to be the case.
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