NHL Rumors: Evgeni Malkin, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Patrick Kane

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The NHL Rumors Mill continues to roar with the Draft officially behind us as all eyes turn to Free Agent Frenzy which opens on Wednesday, July 13 at noon.

One pending UFA that’s been garnering a lot of attention is longtime Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin. Now that Kris Letang has signed a 6-year deal to remain in the Steel City, everyone is wondering why the second most dangerous player in the lineup next to Sidney Crosby remains unsigned.

“Obviously, [Malkin] texted me today – he was really happy,” Letang mentioned after signing. “I kind of just said, ‘I hope you get this done soon so we keep it all together.’”

NHL Rumors: Evgeni Malkin

According to Rob Rossi of The Athletic, Malkin appears to be very unhappy with the current situation. In a text to the publication he asked: “Do they want me?”

Rossi also spoke with friends and teammates who claim Malkin is “devastated” over the way this is going.

“It bothers me how this is happening,” relayed one of Malkin’s teammates. “It’s a bad look. From what I know of what’s happened, Geno deserves better.”

On the day prior to the Draft, GM Ron Hextall told the media he was working on a new deal for the big center. Previous reporting indicated a two-year offer at $6M AAV was on the table, but Malkin would be more willing to accept that money if the term was for 4 years.

Malkin, 35, finished the year with 42 points in 41 games. He just wrapped up a deal worth $9.5M AAV against the cap and could very well find himself on the open market.

Imagine for an instant Malkin lining up with Alexander Ovechkin in a Capitals uniform? If the Penguins let him walk, I could totally see it happening.

NHL Rumors: Vladimir Tarasenko

nhl rumors vladimir tarasenko
May 17, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (91) before game one of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Guess who is back in the rumor mill? Vladimir Tarasenko is starting to be discussed as reports surfaced he has not rescinded his trade request and is still looking to be moved.

Tarasenko, 30, is in the final year of his contract which comes with an AAV of $7.5 million. He’s also coming off a great season where he recorded 34 goals and 82 points in 75 games.

One team that could be interested are the Carolina Hurricanes.

Tarasenko is one year away from free agency, and the benefit for the Blues is they can certainly get more for him this time around as a proven difference maker. He could be the game breaker the Hurricanes desire.

Frank Seravalli, DFO

At this time, the Blues don’t have to move him unless they get what they want. However, when the Trade Deadline rolls around again you can bet Tarasenko will be a most desired target for contenders.

NHL Rumors: Patrick Kane

nhl rumors patrick kane
Apr 23, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during the first period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

As soon as the Chicago Blackhawks traded away both Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach at the draft everyone started talking about Patrick Kane.

Multiple reports indicate the Kane and his agent will be speaking with Hawks management soon about his future.

Kane, 33, has one year left on a deal that hits the cap at $10.5 million. He registered 92 points in 76 games last season and would return a haul of picks and prospects if he’s willing to waive his full no-move clause.

Larry Brooks of the NY Post recently wrote a column that practically lobbies the New York Rangers to trade for him.

The question I am posing is this: If Drury believes this team is close enough to winning a Cup in 2023 to pay big for a one-year rental, would it make more sense to go as far in as possible for Patrick Kane instead of J.T. Miller? 

Larry Brooks, NY Post

At this moment, Kane is an interesting name to speculate on. Things will go wild if he decides he wants to move on.