NHL Rumors: Pekka Rinne open to leaving Predators, Zach Hyman’s future, and Canucks shopping first round pick

May 27, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) looks to the crowd as he leaves the ice after an overtime loss against the Carolina Hurricanes in game six of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Pekka Rinne wants to finish his career with the Nashville Predators. He’s been open an honest about that fact this season. The 38 year-old goalie was asked about his future back in march and provided a straight forward response.

“I believe in this team,” he said. “I do want to retire as a Predator.”

Pekka Rinne open to leaving Predators

“To be honest, I want to give it some time to think about things with my family about what I want to do,” Rinne said after the season. “I’m not ready to make a decision yet. I am not stressing; I am in a good place.”

As he expanded further on his future he reiterated his desire to stay in Nashville but would not close the door on other opportunities should they not want him back. “I don’t want to close any doors,” he explained. “I’ve always said this is my team. I want to keep that door open and weigh my options.”

If the Predators do not re-ink Rinne and he still wants to play, there are several suitors out there that may come calling. The Washington Capitals would be my top guess, as would the Toronto Maple Leafs should Frederik Andersen leave via free agency.

Zach Hyman wants to return to the Maple Leafs

zach hyman
Dec 28, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Rangers forward Filip Chytil (72) battles to stop Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman (11) from playing the puck in the second period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

This is going to be an offseason of change for the Toronto Maple Leafs. One of the biggest questions in front of them is the future of UFA forward, Zach Hyman.

“I haven’t really thought about it and I haven’t spoken with [my agent], he’s kind of given me space. I’ll talk to him about that,” Hyman said. “I think there are a lot of moving pieces with this. I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll have to speak to Kyle (Dubas). We’ll reconvene and I’m sure we’ll talk in a couple of weeks.”

via The Fourth Period

When asked if he’s like to return Hyman was quick to respond, “of course.” He is looking at a huge raise so it is no given he will be back.

It’s part of that reaction that I saw from Leaf fans that inspired me to go out and ask half a dozen NHL front office executives from other teams, it’s a very simple question: What do you see as Zach Hyman‘s value on the open market or in a new contract? And what I will tell you is that the response I got varied anywhere from $4.5 million a year to $5.5 million a year. And a lot of that is based on player comparables of signings we’ve had here since the pandemic. Brendan Gallagher tops the list of course at $6.5 million a year. He’s 28 just like Zach Hyman by the way. And I will tell you that I think Hyman’s camp led by agent Todd Reynolds will definitely try to introduce that contract as part of the conversation after the season, but again I didn’t hear anyone give me a $6.5 million in a comparison.

Pierre LeBrun, TSN

Canucks openly shopping pick number 9

The Vancouver Canucks are openly shopping the #9 pick in this year’s draft. “We’re going to look at everything. We’re going to call other teams,” GM Jim Benning said. “I know we’re going to get a real good player in the draft. We’re going to have to get a young player who we feel is worth trading the pick. We’re keeping options open.”

The Canucks aren’t the only team openly shopping their pick. The Rangers and Senators are believed to be ready to deal theirs.