We’re less than a month until training camp, but we have plenty of NHL rumours left to talk about. Teams are trying to get a good idea of what their rosters will look like. The crop of restricted free agents has brought many things to a screeching halt.
All rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Detroit Red Wings
Rumour: Ansar Khan of MLive.com had a couple of items about the Red Wings. Both Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou will become restricted free agents at the end of next season. The pair of young forwards make $3 million a season.
Both players had breakout seasons in 2018-19 and could be in line for a big payday. Mantha would have reached 30 goals if he didn’t get injured last season and Athanasiou hit the 30-goal mark last campaign.
Analysis: Detroit is $4.5 million under the $81.5 million salary cap, but will lose plenty of contracts like Mike Green, Trevor Daley, Jonathan Ericsson and more. The Red Wings do have to lock up RFAs like Tyler Bertuzzi, but general manager Steve Yzerman has room to maneuver.
A fast start for either forward would do wonders for getting a contract done sooner rather than later. Both players have shown offensive spark for a Red Wings team that’s still trying to find their way.
Rumour: Khan also went onto to add that Green should be ready to go for the start of the season. The veteran blueliner has battled various injuries and ailments over the last season.
Khan added that Green could be the talk of trade rumours again if he stays healthy and has a great season. Detroit could spin the Calgary native into another draft pick.
Analysis: Green does have a modified no-trade clause of 10 teams and a contender may kick the tires on the defenceman with some offensive skill. The 33-year-old carries a hit of $5.375 million and he’ll likely not be back next season.
Detroit would probably like to get something in return instead of Green walking for nothing.
Rumour: Cory Lavalette of the North State Journal in Raleigh, N.C. said that the Hurricanes are still waiting to see if captain Justin Williams will be back next season. The 37-year-old veteran is an unrestricted free agent.
Waddell says Justin Williams is still weighing whether or not he will come back.
— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) August 12, 2019
Williams is a three-time Stanley Cup winner and took the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2014. The Cobourg, Ontario native netted 23 goals last season for Carolina.
Analysis: Williams was a key part of the Hurricanes resurgence last season as they made the playoffs for the first time in 10 seasons. He’s always been a good player and under pressure is Mr. Game 7 according to many hockey fans.
His return would bolster a Carolina club looking to take the next step and build off its surprising playoff run.
Rumour: Wayne Scanlan of Sportsnet talked to Senators’ general manager Pierre Dorion about the ongoing contract negotiations with Colin White and Thomas Chabot. Dorion said that they’ve had discussions and didn’t want to negotiate through the public.
Ottawa’s general manager said that both are key parts of the team’s future along with Brady Tkachuk. Scanlan also pressed on the fact that the team has only spent $47.5 million towards the $81.5 million cap. Dorion stressed that the club has the flexibility to keep its young core together.
Analysis: The Senators do have to reach the $60.2 salary floor by the start of the season and the deals would do well to reach that number. White and Chabot both scored 14 goals last season for a young Senators team.
The duo could be a bright spot on what may be a long and painful rebuild. However, there’s a concern that Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk may continue to be parsimonious when it comes to opening up the cheque book.
RALEIGH, NC – MARCH 28: Carolina Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams (14) goes to shoot the puck with Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) behind during the 3rd period of the Carolina Hurricanes game versus the Washington Capitals on March 28th, 2019 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. (Photo by Jaylynn Nash/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)