We’re in the middle of summer, but we still have plenty of NHL rumours to check out. Teams are trying to figure out their salary cap situations and see what they can get at a discount. Today we examine rumours surrounding the Winnipeg Jets, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks, and Florida Panthers.
Rumour: We start off NHL Rumours with Ken Wiebe of The Winnipeg Sun stating that Andrew Copp‘s new deal could mean the Jets may need to make some cost-cutting moves to re-sign both Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. He also stated he doesn’t expect a buyout of Dmitry Kulikov to do this but rather possibly a trade like the Joel Armia and Steve Mason one last season. Lastly, he mentioned both Laine and Connor’s contract talks could extend deep into the summer.
Analysis: It would make sense that the Jets would look to move some money off the books. The question is, who and what would it cost? One of the ways teams win the Stanley Cup is by having solid depth that contributes to the big games. Cap teams often find themselves trading this away for space for the big players but also then find they need the assets later on.
The Jets have a tricky situation because lots of their roster is still very good or young. A contract like Bryan Little‘s will need to be moved likely at some point. However, given the recency of the extension it wouldn’t make sense it’d be this season. Mathieu Perreault is an under-valued player on a good contract but someone like him may have to go.
Making room for the big young players will be key and the Jets will need both of them to play their best next year if they wish to return to the Western Conference Finals.
Rumour: Yvon Pedneault of TVA Sport’s reported on speculations about the Habs and Patrick Laine. He said that a trade is very unlikely and there may have not been much talk at all. However, if there were to be something started Max Domi would be a rumoured piece going the other way.
Analysis: It seems that the Canadiens may just be kicking the tires around the league. This is totally fair and part of the job for general manager Marc Bergevin. The Habs already tried to offer sheet Sebastian Aho and still have lots of cap space left. This cap space could allow them to try and pursue another young star on a capped out team.
Whether this is via offer sheet or trade, they would have the space to sign a long-term deal and make them part of the future. With so many young players unsigned still look for the Habs name to keep popping up in these rumours.
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Analysis: After not receiving a qualifying offer Hutton remains one of the best UFA’s on the market. He wishes to stay in the NHL and is a decent defenceman with the skills to do it. He logged over 20 minutes a night last season and hopes to be playing somewhere on a second pair.
Just because the Canucks didn’t qualify him doesn’t mean they won’t still be thinking about it. One of the problems they may have had was is if they went to arbitration and Hutton was given under $4.3 million the Canucks wouldn’t be allowed to walk away. With their big July 1st, it seems like they wanted that space. They still have Brock Boeser to sign so their priorities are absolutely elsewhere, but if they find a move to make space they may look at Hutton again.
As for other teams, there are plenty of teams that could make sense. The Habs and the Dallas Stars seem like a decent fit. The Minnesota Wild could be an option too. If Hutton looks for a short or medium-term deal he could have lots of suitors.
Rumour: Brian McNally of NBC Sport’s reports that the Christian Djoos arbitration deal puts the Caps in an interesting spot. Being slightly over the cap they may have to look to trade someone and it could possibly be Djoos.
Analysis: The Caps are only about $300k over the cap but do have lots of things to consider. They were busy during free agency signing lots of bottom role players. The money wasn’t huge but sometimes the term was bigger. Either way, McNally is correct when he mentions that prospects in the Caps system may come for Djoos’s job sooner rather than later.
A Djoos trade could make sense, teams are always looking for defencemen. Especially solid depth ones like Djoos. A team would pick up a cheap young player who can easily play on a bottom pair and do well. This could also give the Caps some kind of asset back, which due to the constant state of going for a Cup, they could really use.
That’s all for NHL Rumours, check in again tomorrow for more!