It’s just over a month until training camp, but the NHL rumours are still coming. Teams are trying to make the numbers work and get their players under the $81.5 million salary cap. There are a number of restricted free agents still available. Clubs are debating whether to hand out bridge deals or to ink long-term contracts. Today’s rumours are about the New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, and Edmonton Oilers.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
New York Rangers
Rumour: Dan Rosen of NHL.com indicates that despite months of rumours, forward Chris Kreider is expected to be with the New York Rangers when training camp opens in September. New Rangers president John Davidson confirmed that Kreider is likely to be part of the team at the start of the year. However, it will be difficult to get him signed to a contract extension given the state of the Ranger salary cap.
Analysis: The Rangers spent big on Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba this summer. They also have a number of talented young players who will need big raises in the next few years. Signing Kreider to a big contract extension just does not make sense for the Rangers right now. They have been trying to move him, but the type of offer they want just has not been there this summer. The Rangers can also see what the pending UFA is worth at the trade deadline.
Los Angeles Kings
Rumour: Dennis Bernstein of the Fourth Period reports that the Los Angeles Kings are one of several teams who are interested in free-agent defenceman Ben Hutton. He also mentions the Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, and the New York Rangers as other interested clubs.
Analysis: Hutton is a talented, puck-moving, left-handed defender who could help a number of teams at the right price. However, he has been inconsistent. It was a rough season as Hutton had just 20 points in 69 games last year. He was a cap casualty as the Vancouver Canucks did not tender him a qualifying offer. Hutton should sign a short-term, prove-it contract and try to get back in the free-agent marketplace after a solid season in 2019-20.
Rumour: TSN.ca staff report that Jesse Puljujarvi‘s agent, Mark Lehto, has once again reiterated the player’s desire to leave Edmonton. He indicates that this isn’t about the money, but rather about Puljujarvi getting a second chance in a new environment.
Analysis: A fresh start could provide a spark for the young Finnish forward. The former fourth overall pick has the talent but hasn’t translated it to the NHL Level so far. Puljujarvi thinks a new organization could provide a fresh start and this has worked for a number of prospects over the years. The risk/return ratio on this should have nearly every club kicking the tires on a deal. However, Ken Holland hasn’t been able to get what he is asking for, yet.
Main Photo: Vancouver Canucks defenceman Ben Hutton. (via Getty Images)