NHL Rumors: Panthers eye Pietrangelo, Islanders in on UFA Hoffman, and NY Rangers buyouts

The NHL Rumors keep on churning at The Daily Goal Horn. Seven teams have been eliminated from the qualifying rounds. One of them are the Florida Panthers who will have a busy off-season coming up.

After spending a boatload on Sergei Bobrovsky last summer, the Panthers may be doing so again in free agency. This time they are ready to spend big on a defenseman, and the rumor mill says they have their sights set on Alex Pietrangelo.

NHL Rumors: Florida Panthers eye defenseman in free agency

The St. Louis Blues want to do everything they can to keep Alex Pietrangelo. At 30 years-old, he will be looking for a longterm deal at max money. If the Blues don’t come up with it, you can expect the Panthers to pounce.

Back in April, Blues GM Doug Armstrong said, “Our goal is to try and get Petro signed.” With only $2 million in cap space due to the flat cap of $81.5 million, he will need to trade away a lot of players to make room for Pietrangelo at around $8-9 million per season.

If the Panthers don’t land him, they can shift their focus to Torey Krug of Boston or Tyson Barrie in Toronto.

NHL Rumors: NY Islanders eyeing UFA, Mike Hoffman

The goal starved NY Islanders may be opening the bank for 29 goal scorer, Mike Hoffman. The lefty forward is set to hit the open market this summer and the Isles need more goal scoring support for Mathew Barzal.

NHL Rumors Panthers
The Islanders got a close up look a UFA Mile Hoffman (NHLI/Getty Images)

Of course, there are other teams that could be eyeing him as well. The Edmonton Oilers may still have interest from this past deadline. Another team always in need of some scoring are the Columbus Blue Jackets.

NHL Rumors: NY Rangers may buyout Marc Staal or Brendan Smith

The first buyout period is currently marked for September 25 or the first day of the Finals. The later date of the two will be the actual start of buyouts. When it opens the Rangers have to think very hard about who to use it on.

Next season, Staal and Smith will combine for a $10,050,000 cap hit. Either one of them will be a candidate for a trade, or a buyout in a worst case scenario. Staal has a clause in his contract but may be willing to go to a contender next season.

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