NHL Rumors: Jack Campbell, Reilly Smith, and Zdeno Chara

jack campbell
Oct 13, 2021; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) and goalie Jack Campbell (36) celebrate a win over Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s NHL Rumors checks in on the Toronto Maple Leafs and pending UFA goalie Jack Campbell.

Initially, it was believed that the two sides were in mutual agreement to make something work for a return. Contract talks have apparently stalled and now the buzz appears to be where Campbell may tend goal next in 2022-2023.

NHL Rumors: Jack Campbell and the New Jersey Devils

According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, the New Jersey Devils are very interested in making Campbell their starter for next season.

We’re told by one informant that New Jersey may attempt to jump the process by dealing for the 30-year-old’s rights if the Maple Leafs cannot or will not extend the netminder, who started more than 26 games (47) in a season for the first time in his career.

Larry Brooks, NY Post

Campbell, 30, was 31-9-6 with a 2.64 GAA and a .914 SV% this past season for the Leafs.

As for the Devils, they are looking for an upgrade in goal and may even look across the Hudson River at the New York Rangers.

Alexandar Georgiev, 26, is a restricted free agent looking for an opportunity to be a starter. The Rangers don’t have the cap space to qualify him at $2.65M, so it’s possible he may become unrestricted on July 13.

NHL Rumors: Golden Knights and Reilly Smith deal

nhl rumors
Nov 13, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Vegas Golden Knights right wing Reilly Smith (19) celebrates after scoring a second period goal against the Vancouver Canucks at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights moved out Evgenii Dadonov’s $5M cap hit to ensure they can re-sign popular forward Reilly Smith. According to several insiders, this deal was agreed to during the season.

Per Frank Seravalli, it is a 3 year-deal with a $5M AAV.

Smith, 31, scored 16 goals and added 22 assists for 38 points in 56 games. He’s been with the Golden Knights since their inaugural season in 2017-18.

NHL Rumors: Zdeno Chara’s future

Big Z is 45 years-old and a veteran of 1680 regular-season games. His body has also been through 200 playoffs contests in his career that spans 24 years.

The question remains, does Chara fell that there’s enough gas in the tank for one more run?

“He’s going to take the summer with his family and assess where he’s at physically, where his family’s at, and make a decision in September,” agent Matt Keator told the Globe in comments published Saturday. “No rush.”

via NHL.com

If he decides to play one-more season, there should be a handful of teams interested in adding him as a third pair defenseman.

He registered 14 points in 72 games with the New York Islanders in 2021-22, while averaging 18:44 per game.

Would he consider one last ride with the Ottawa Senators, where he blossomed into a star? We will have to wait and see.