NHL Rumors Roundup is our weekly Sunday feature at The Daily Goal Horn. Bringing you the top rumors of the week and the latest buzz of the day. Our goal is to have the most comprehensive update available.
In this edition, we start with the fallout from the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet.
NHL Rumors: Canadiens looking at options
The word is out that the Montreal Canadiens are already looking at all possible options now that the Hurricanes have given Jesperi Kotkaniemi an offer sheet.
Apparently prior to the offer, the Canes were trying to trade for the 21 year-old Finnish center. That’s because there were rumblings coming out of Montreal that Kotkaniemi wanted out after being scratched in the Stanley Cup Final.
Habs GM is now looking at several options that may include:
- Letting Kotkaniemi go and try to find a way to acquire Jack Eichel (Elliotte Friedman)
- Letting Kotkaniemi go and using the compensation to acquire Christian Dvorak (Eric Engels)
- Let Kotkaniemi go and offer sheet Elias Pettersson (Engels)
Correction: A matched offer sheet means player can’t be traded for a year.
Bruins and Eichel
Speaking of Jack Eichel, he has been in the news a lot this week. First, for switching agents from Peter Fish to Pat Brisson. Then it was learned that Eichel and the Sabres pleaded their cases to the NHL and NHLPA about 10 days ago.
Elliotte Friedman who reported the story said that no resolution was found as the NHL sided with Sabres and PA with Eichel. I know – totally shocking.
One team that was ruled out of landing Eichel due to cap constraints were the Boston Bruins. In truth, very few people have considered Boston a legit contender to land him, and most connections are being made because Eichel is from Massachusetts.
According to Jimmy Muprhy of Boston Hockey Now, the Bruins were one of several teams keeping tabs on the 24 year-old injured star. However, the switch to Pat Brisson may hurt their chances.
His previous report also claims a source says the Rangers are still in it, and that no one should be counted out. The Ducks have also resurfaced in the rumor mill.
In contrast, Larry Brooks recently reported that GM Chris Drury has been telling agents he’s not interested in Eichel.
As for Boston getting Jack – I just don’t see it. The Bruins have $1 million in cap space and don’t have the futures the Sabres are looking for. Which is why I put no stock in Eichel and his $10M cap hit to Boston chatter.
Kraken need a top center
The Seattle Kraken currently have Alex Wennberg as their number one center, and need to upgrade at the position. It been rumored that GM Ron Francis has been talking with teams about trying to acquire more centers. At one point there was talks of them trying to trade for the Rangers’ Ryan Strome, however there also rumblings regarding Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Back in May, it appeared that Kuznetsov was working his way out of town. According to Insider Pierre LeBrun the Capitals were tired of dealing with Kuznetsov’s issues and may look to trade him this offseason.
The 29 year-old pivot has three years remaining at $7.8 million AAV with a 15 team no move clause. He scored 29 points in 41 games this past season, but now Caps GM Brian MacLellan is singing a different tune.
“He’s a good player, we like the player and I don’t know, we’ve never said we’re trading Kuznetsov. I said we’re open to discussions with most of our players for the trade market,” he said. “It’s never been, we are moving Kuznetsov.”
Still, if the Caps struggle out of the gate they may be more inclined to make a deal involving their second line center. Washington would love to gain some younger assets and cap space in a deal, and Seattle fits the bill. The only other question would be Evgeny being willing to go there.
When will Kirill Kaprizov sign?
Kirill Kaprizov lost a little leverage when CSKA Moscow of the KHL made it known that he will not be playing there this past week.
The reigning Calder Trophy winner reportedly had a one-year deal in place for September 1 with the club should he be unable to come to terms with the Minnesota Wild. Many called it the worst bluff in sports history, and they appear now to be proven right.
Kirill Kaprizov led all rookies in goals (27), points (51) and power-play goals (eight) in 55 games this past season. His totals in goals, assists (24) and points served as records by a rookie in franchise history.
The two sides continue to negotiate and although the long term deal the Wild is not an option, they should come to terms before the start of camp.
Expect something in the 3 to 5 year range.