We’re one week into the off-season, but the NHL rumours are still coming. There are still big moves in the offing and teams are taking stock of what to do next. We look at rumours surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and the Seattle expansion team.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun believes newly acquired defenceman Tyson Barrie will seek a big raise when he becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. The 27-year-old apparently wants an eight-year deal at around $8 million.
Analysis: General manager Kyle Dubas could potentially have another salary headache to deal with next off-season. He’s done a masterful job clearing space to accommodate a potential Mitch Marner contract. However, Barrie’s impending deal may throw a monkey wrench into everything.
The Victoria, British Columbia native makes $2.75 million this season and will be in line for a pay upgrade if he can help the Leafs make a deep playoff run. It looks to be a neverending-dance in the race to stay under the cap.
New Jersey Devils
Rumour: Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the Devils and former Hart Trophy winner Taylor Hall could be set for a salary showdown next off-season.
Looking at Taylor Hall and the Devils' free-agency dance https://t.co/aQzWIOnatP
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) July 6, 2019
New Jersey is flush with cap space, but Brooks speculated that the bidding for the Calgary native could start at $13 million. General manager Ray Shero and Hall have played nice in the media to each other.
Analysis: Shero would be gambling in not getting an extension done sooner rather than later. Ownership has really been wanting to add some marquee attractions, but need to keep their biggest star happy.
Hall would arguably be the biggest name of the next off-season class. Shero would like a deal done as soon as possible.
Rumour: Multiple sources have stated that former Carolina Hurricanes general manager Ron Francis is a strong candidate to be the expansion team’s first general manager. ESPN’s John Buccigross also said that former Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall is also a possible choice.
Former Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis is a name that continues to pop up a as strong GM candidate in Seattle.
— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) June 30, 2019
Analysis: The new expansion team has yet to have a name or any players, but owner Tod Leiweke has to nail this choice down if they want to contend right away a la the Vegas Golden Knights.
Francis did create the foundation that Don Waddell built off of to lead the Hurricanes to the Eastern Conference Final. The former Stanley Cup champion has kept himself busy but would love to build a winner in the Pacific Northwest.
DENVER, COLORADO – FEBRUARY 20: Tyson Barrie #4 of the Colorado Avalanche plays the Winnipeg Jets at the Pepsi Center on February 20, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)