NHL Rumours: Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and More

Headliner of the NHL Rumor pool of late, Brock Boeser celebrates a goal.
VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 9: Brock Boeser #6 of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates after scoring a goal in NHL action against the Calgary Flames on February, 9, 2019 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

We’re heading into day six of the free agency period and there’s still a river of NHL Rumours to dive into. Pull up a chair and settle in. Sunday’s NHL Rumours are here and we’re ready to focus on the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Colombus Blue Jackets, and New York Rangers.

All NHL Rumours are taken from the original source and subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: Ben Kuzma from The Providence reports that Brock Boeser is looking for a four-year contract worth $7 million annually from the Canucks.

Analysis: Boeser has been a priority for Vancouver this offseason. The two camps have been pounding out the details of his contract extension for some time now. However, it’s looking like San Jose Sharks Timo Meier‘s new deal will play a hand in Boeser’s final proposal.

Meier is set to fetch $6 million per year. His salary then jumps to $10 million for the last year of the deal. Using this deal as a backing, it’s rumoured that Boeser is now looking for a four-year deal worth $7 million annually. Meier’s contract puts Boeser’s affiliates in the position to argue top dollar for the winger.

After proving himself to be a vital part of the Canucks roster, the organization should be primed and ready to lock Boeser down. Despite only dressing for 69 games this season he still posted 56 points. While the Canucks are hoping to retain as much cap flexibility as possible, losing Boeser is not in the teams best interest.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun reports that Auston Matthews would rather not be on Kasperi Kapanen‘s line next season.

Analysis: It’s refreshing to talk about the Leafs and not mention Mitch Marner, right? So let’s talk about another hot name in Toronto: Auston Matthews. Apparently, Matthews would rather not spend so much quality time with Kapanen in the upcoming season.

No Leafs player logged more ice time on Matthews’ wing than Kapanen did last season. The duo appeared together for roughly 524 even-strength minutes. They were typically accompanied by either Patrick Marleau or Andreas Johnsson.

Kapanen set a career high of 44 points last season and was awarded a three-year, $9.6 million contract this summer. The Leafs are in a notoriously tight cap situation. The last thing the team needs is an internal conflict between players. But it looks like that’s precisely what they’ve got. Things have been brewing between Kapanen and Matthews for some time.

Toronto needs to iron this out because realistically the front office has bigger things to worry about than two guys not wanting to skate together. Matthews and Kapanen have been butting heads for a while now and, in his article, Simmonds believes the two will be split up. He says that Matthews could end up centering William Nylander and rookie Ilya Mikheyev. Kapanen, on the other hand, would end up with Johnsson and Alexander Kerfoot as linemates in Simmonds’ theory.

Colombus Blue Jackets

Rumour: TSN’s Shawn Simpson tweeted that Ryan Dzingel may be on track for a five-year, $5 million deal at this point in his career.

Analysis: Dzingel is a name heard around the NHL Rumour circuit a lot lately. He’s a dependable center with a history of a cap friendly salary hit. Landing him for a longer-term deal would be an excellent acquisition for any team.

Dzingel has been linked to a handful of clubs this offseason, including the Colorado AvalancheBuffalo Sabres, and the Edmonton Oilers. How much stock these rumblings hold is yet to be seen. Dzingel landed with the Blue Jackets after a trade deadline deal between Columbus and the Ottawa Senators. His time with the Blue Jackets was short-lived, though, playing just 29 total games with the club.

Dzingel has proven that he can be a tremendous compliment to a team’s star-power. He played almost all of last season alongside Matt Duchene and managed to put up a total of 56 points in 78 games between Columbus and Ottawa. Considering his point totals last year, and his ability to add a tremendous spark to a lineup, signing Dzingel at a $5 million cap hit seems like a steal. At this point, the ball is likely in Dzingel’s court as he decides where to play next year.

New York Rangers

Rumour: Larry Brooks of the NYPost.com writes that the Rangers are dealing with a tight salary cap and need to find a way to shed some money quickly.

Analysis: The Rangers signed top free agent Artemi Panarin to a ground-breaking deal. The winger, who netted 87 points last year, has changed the mindset in New York. The Rangers were considered to be starting up a long rebuild last year but now seem like they could contend for a spot in the playoffs. However, the rapid change doesn’t come without its drama. The team is now facing a cap crunch. They’ve got $8 million left to play with, and a cluster of free agents to re-sign. Jacob Troubaacquired via trade ahead of the draft, is one of the players due for a new contract. Pavel Buchnevich and Brendan Lemieux also need new deals.

Trouba alone could eat up the majority of the remaining $8 million. If the Rangers give Trouba the long-term deal he’s reportedly looking for, they’re in a tough spot. The only way to make the cap situation work is likely to dip into the trade market. If the Rangers can find a way to clear up cap space, while also maintaining roughly the same skill level, they might dig their way out of this hole. Brendan Smith and Kevin Shattenkirk are two names that could fit this ballet. Both players are on pricey deals, earning a cap hit of $4.35 million and $6.65 million respectively. They have both been linked to trade talks, yet both also possess a modified no-trade clause. This could make potentially deals much more difficult to find.

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