NHL Rumors: Nazem Kadri, John Klingberg, Winnipeg Jets coach search, and more

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Today’s NHL Rumors is loaded with the latest updates on some of the biggest pending free agents that could test the market on July 13.

There is of course none bigger than Nazem Kadri of the Colorado Avalanche. Fresh off his team’s Stanley Cup victory, he’s been open about getting what he’s worth in free agency.

Appearing on Sportsnet’s Real Kyper and Bourne Show, Kadri stated his first choice would be to stay with the Avs and that the feeling is mutual. However, the team has cap issues and it’s very likely to factor into the discussions.

“I’ve shown what my worth is,” Kadri said. “I’m just looking forward to watching this all develop.”

NHL Rumors: Avs will make an attempt to keep Nazem Kadri

Per CapFriendly, the Avs have $25M in space but a list of 12 free agents to sign. There’s no doubt that Kadri should be a top priority to retain and they will at least give it a good try.

“I’m told the Avalanche have informed Kadri’s camp led by Darren Ferris they want to at least have a crack at it before July 13,” Pierre LeBrun wrote in The Athletic (subscription required).

Kadri, 31, is in line for a hefty increase along the lines of $7M to $8M per season. Due to his age, I’m not sure any team would agree to that for 7 years, but strangers things have in in free agency.

However, if the Avs were to give him that big of a raise from his current $4.5M AAV, it would consume a large portion of their available cap space and make it difficult to re-sign other players like Darcy Kuemper, Andre Burakovsky, Valeri Nichushkin, and Josh Manson.

As for Kadri, I could see the Washington Capitals make a big play for him. Now that Nicklas Backstrom could be out for large portion of the season with questions about his career, that $9.2M AAV can go to LTIR in order to fit Kadri.

John Klingberg likely going to market

nhl rumors
Mar 12, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (3) skates against the New York Rangers during the first period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Klingberg, 29, had 47 points in 74 games this past season and is looking for a new deal in the neighborhood of 8 years and $8M per season. The gap between the two teams is wide and it was surprising that he wasn’t traded at the deadline.

“I’m not going to lie, it’s been a few frustrating years individually,” Klingberg said. “As a player, it all ends up coming to your next contract, obviously. I’ve been a Dallas Star since Day One. I’ve been pretty clear that I want to stay here. I grew up here. I had my daughter here and all that. At the end of the day, it’s a business. I understand it’s a business on both sides.”

According to Pierre LeBrun there’s been no talks between the Stars and Klingberg for months and his agent believes he’s heading to free agency.

Keep an eye on the Carolina Hurricanes for his services. They may opt to let Tony DeAngelo walk and use that money on Klingberg.

Winnipeg Jets coaching search and more

Top NHL Insider Kevin Weekes is reporting that the Winnipeg Jets after losing out on Barry Trotz have narrowed their list of candidates to five.

  • Rick Tocchet
  • Scott Arneil
  • Jim Montgomery
  • Jeff Blashill
  • Pascal Vincent

Also, the Toronto Maple Leafs are not going to be able to sign Ilya Mikheyev and are letting teams know they have permission to speak with him.

Mikheyev, 27, registered 21 goals and 32 points in 53 games this past season. He just finished the last year of his contract that came with a $1.645M cap hit. The pending UFA should have a nice list of suitors for his services and it’s a wise move for Kyle Dubas to try and get a late round pick for his negotiating rights.