NHL Rumors: Mathew Barzal only getting a bridge deal, Rangers interested in Chara, and more

The biggest free agent still “available” is not unrestricted. Rather the New York Islanders brightest star, RFA Mathew Barzal. Of course, the only way to acquire him is to get Barzal to sign an offer sheet and suffer the wrath of Lou Lamoriello after he matches.

NHL Rumors: Mathew Barzal likely to only get a bridge deal

One of hockey’s best insiders, Elliotte Friedman discussed Barzal on Sportsnet 960. “That’s still what I’m hearing,” Friedman explained about Barzal getting a bridge deal. “They still have a lot of cap issues, so that’s what I expect.”

When it came to trying to understand why the Islanders wouldn’t go longterm he just couldn’t see how it was possible. “I just don’t know how they’re going to be able to get to a Barzal six- or seven-year number without major surgery. Even a two- or three-year deal could be somewhat painful surgery.”

Rangers among teams interested in Zdeno Chara

zdeno chara rumors
Zdeno Chara (NHLI/Getty Images)

A new rumor is surfacing with regard to 43 year-old Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. According Boston Hockey Now, the Rangers among some other teams are interested in signing him.

I’ve been trying to track this rumor down, but have hit dead ends so far. Over at Forever Blueshirts I wrote:

I’m not saying anything about the Chara rumor other than I haven’t heard it and currently not making any headway on it. Is it possible the Rangers reached out prior to signing Jack Johnson? Sure, why not? He is after all a left handed defenseman and the Rangers need that. At this time however, there’s no room due to performance bonuses.

As I noted there, I will keep digging. I still feel strongly based on what I was told, that Chara could opt to sit this season out and maybe retire.

Max Pacioretty laughs off rumors

We’ve heard a lot of rumors around the Vegas Golden Knights trading Max Pacioretty. Well, he’s heard them too and had this to say.

“I played in Montreal for 10 years, so this is lightweight stuff. I’ve heard a lot worse. … This is nothing.”