Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours. Every day, LastWordOnHockey brings you the latest rumours from around the league. With training camp approaching and so many RFA’s still unsigned we have lots of rumours to bring. Today we look at NHL Rumours from the Winnipeg Jets, Vancouver Canucks, Philadelphia Flyers, and the St. Louis Blues.
St. Louis Blues
Rumour: Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic talked to Alex Pietrangelo and it sounds like there is no new contract in the works yet. As well, Pietrangelo does not want to focus on it which means nothing will get done this season.
Pietrangelo on entering the final year of his contract: “I’m not going to talk about it. Ask (Blues general manager Doug Armstrong). I’ve got nothing to say about it. I don’t want it to be a distraction. I’m not going to talk about it.” https://t.co/LLuMnI0B8E #stlblues
— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) September 12, 2019
Analysis: The captain has one more year left at a 6.5 million dollar cap hit. Just because he won’t discuss anything now does not mean that there won’t be a deal in the summer before Free Agency. Pietrangelo wants his focus to be on winning back to back cups with the Blues.
He’s a crucial part of that team’s defence core and no doubt the Blues will want him back. Pietrangelo is due for a hefty pay raise so that may be interesting. However, for now, both sides appear fine to let it go for the season. This makes perfect sense as the focus will be on winning for the second time in their career. Last season was quite the show for the Blues, getting off on the right foot could help them, even more, this year.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 12, 2019
Analysis: The focus has often been on Patrik Laine for these quite often. However, we switch from team negotiations to offer sheet potential. Now, there have been many times that offer sheets have been said to be a possibility and didn’t pan out. This is for many reasons, the player needs to agree to it, and the team needs to be willing to give up the compensation if the other team does not match. Those are two of the biggest reasons teams stay away.
As for Connor, he is a very underrated player. He is a very good goal-scorer with two 30 goal seasons under his belt. His defensive play isn’t amazing but he makes up for that by creating tons on the power play. He would give any team an instant offensive boost, which is huge in this league.
Because of all this, Connor wants a longer-term deal. However, the Jets have lots of cap space tied up in players already and may not be able to give him that. This is where the offer sheet would come in. It isn’t stated who is looking at it but it is a possibility that teams see him as the perfect long-term target. If teams go a year or two extra at a million or two more than what Winnipeg is comfortable with, there is a possibility it isn’t matched. This will be something to keep an eye on going forward.
While PHI and RFA D Ivan Provorov appear to be making some progress on a new contract, or at the very least talks have intensified over the last couple of days, the same cannnot be said for PHI RFA F Travis Konecny. PHI and Konecny are not close on a new deal.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 12, 2019
As for Konecny, the Flyers seem to be further apart. There have been some rumours that the two sides have discussed a few deals, however, nothing is close yet. Konecny is another player the Flyers will likely want to sign before the season starts. The Flyers can’t get off on the wrong foot to start the season. They will be in a fight all year to try and make playoffs in what is a super tight Metro division.
Long-term cap situation is more important than focusing on one year and the Flyers do know that. Again, it doesn’t feel like a case where the player and team are insanely far apart like the case is in Toronto. However, there is clearly still lots of negotiating to be done. Konecny is a very solid forward and a compromise from both sides will need to be made for them to move forward. It is also possible Konecny is hoping some other RFA’s sign to use as comparables. Only time will tell what kind of deal gets done.
Rumour: Matthew Sekeres of TSN1040 reports that the Canucks offered RFA Brock Boeser a six-year deal with a 7 million dollar cap hit around the draft. Boeser turned that down and due to the Canucks lack of cap space, has led to a stalemate today.
That might explain the stalemate today because now the agent *has* to do better for his client, & the Canucks have spent cap space on UFAs.
— Matthew Sekeres (@mattsekeres) September 12, 2019
Analysis: The Canucks spent big this offseason and it may already be starting to cost them. They have just over 4 million dollars to re-sign Boeser. It feels pretty obvious some sort of cap move will need to be made regardless of the AAV. If Boeser is expected to come in at over 7 million the Canucks will need to move some money. This could be in the area of at least 4 million or so in cap out, possibly more.
No Offer Sheet Potential
The good thing for Vancouver is Boeser hasn’t played enough in the NHL yet and can’t be offer sheeted. This is a very good thing because they’d be in a terrible place to try and match an offer sheet if one was made today. They would need to find a team to take cap right away and that would not be cheap. However, they don’t need to worry about that and can take their time through training camp with a new deal.
They likely don’t want to wait too long because Boeser is a massive part of the team’s offence. He and Elias Pettersson are a duo that all teams would love and the Canucks need him in the lineup to compete this season. As well, the further he goes into the year without a deal the higher the cap hit will be in year one. For a team so close to the cap this is something the Canucks would look to avoid. Look for Vancouver to be active in salary shedding in the next few weeks.
That’s all for NHL Rumours! Tune in again tomorrow for the next dose of what’s happening around the league.