NHL Rumors: Kyle Palmieri free agent, Marc-Andre Fleury return to Penguins, and Tyson Barrie staying in Edmonton?

This past NHL trade deadline, Kyle Palmieri was a wanted man. The Islanders made the move to acquire him and Travis Zajac from the Devils as soon as Anders Lee went down with an injury. It appears, Palmieri may be a wanted man again come July 28. That’s when Free Agent Frenzy begins.

NHL Rumors: Kyle Palmieri and Free Agency

The 30 year-old Long Island native struggled during the regular season after his acquisition. In 17 games he collected just four points with some doubting why the Islanders went hard to obtain him. Then the playoffs rolled around and he came alive with 7 goals and 2 assists in 19 games.

“Going into the offseason, obviously you don’t really know what the future’s going to bring,” Palmieri said in his breakup day interview. “There’s the business side to it and hopefully something can be worked out.”

Palmieri just wrapped up a five-year deal that came with a cap hit of $4.65 million. He will be looking for similar money, but a sticking point for some teams could be term. That’s especially hindering if he’s asking for anything more than five years.

The Islanders will be an interesting team this offseason with only around $5 million in cap space. This summer they must re-sign RFA’s Ilya Sorokin, Anthony Beauvillier and Adam Pelech above all UFAs. That means players like Palmieri and even Casey Cizikas could be casualties unless they shed salary in other ways.

Marc-Andre Fleury return to Pittsburgh in the cards?

marc andre fleury
Marc-Andre Fleury wanted (AP)

After their loss to the Canadiens, Peter DeBoer seemed to hint at the possibility that the Knights may need to break up the tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner. “It was obviously a blessing this year,” DeBoer said regarding the condensed schedule. “Next year is a different story. We’re not in those unique circumstances anymore.”

Vegas is a cap strapped team, and although owner Bill Foley would like to keep MAF, dealing him may be a necessity. Rumors indicated that there was a discussion with the Hurricanes before the season started, and the Penguins had some interest in reuniting with Fleury also.

That may once again become a serious discussion this offseason depending on how much contract the Knights would be willing to retain. One thing seems sure, if there’s another place Fleury would waive his no-trade clause for it would be Pittsburgh.

Oilers making a pitch to retain Tyson Barrie?

Tyson Barrie to test free agency
Apr 10, 2021; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers defenseman Tyson Barrie (22) controls the puck during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Barrie finished as the NHL’s top scoring defenseman this season and will test the market per Darren Dreger. “The sense is that Tyson Barrie is going to test the free-agent market. He’s earned that right,” Dreger said. “Given everything that Ken Holland and the Oilers are going to have to go through with hefty negotiations with Adam Larsson, [Ryan Nugent-Hopkins], Darnell Nurse, and other players, you need to be able to compare apples to apples.”

While Barrie is intent on becoming a UFA, he hasn’t shut the door on a return to Edmonton. It also sounds like GM Ken Holland will try to make him an offer as well.

The indirect chatter I hear is that Barrie likes it in Edmonton and feels it’s a fit. While he will almost certainly test free agency (he has earned that right), for reasonable term and salary he’d return to the Oilers. Would 3-Yrs/$4.5m be “reasonable” for his kind of production? $5m?

Kurt Leavins, Edmonton Journal

It is believed Barrie is looking for a multi-year deal along the lines of five to six years. Salary will be dictated by the market, but he could be in-line for something around $6 million AAV.