The NHL is entering its busiest part of the off-season. The NHL Draft has come and gone and the free agent frenzy is right around the corner. It keeps the rumour mill churning. The expansion draft has added a new layer to the normal NHL off-season craziness, with the Vegas Golden Knights wheeling and dealing.
The league is now in its ‘legal tampering phase’, where teams can begin meeting and negotiating with potential free agents, so there is a lot of buzz. The following are some of the rumours and transactions circulating throughout the league, including John Tavares, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Radulov and more.
NHL Rumours: John Tavares, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alexander Radulov and more
Elliotte Friedman was on Sportsnet 590 discussing the future of John Tavares. Friedman does not believe Tavares will sign a new deal before July 1st. His feeling is the Islanders and Tavares will “take this into next season”. Friedman also said he has not heard anything about the Islanders trading Tavares.
More on Tavares
Damion Cox of the Toronto Star writes the Toronto Maple Leafs could be players if John Tavares becomes available. Cox points to the Leafs willingness to spend big last summer, when Steven Stamkos was a free agent. Stamkos opted to re-sign with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Kevin Shattenkirk remains the most highly sought after defensemen heading into free agency. Several teams are linked to Shattenkirk, including the Buffalo Sabres, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. The New York Rangers are considered the front runners. Bob McKenzie said on TSN 1260, however, that the Rangers might not be as interested in Shattenkirk as people think they are.
Pierre LeBrun is reporting that 10 or 11 teams have reached out to Montreal Canadiens forward Alexander Radulov.
The Alex Radulov camp has heard form 10-11 teams so far. Not planning site visits at this point; still want to keep Montreal in the mix, too
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 27, 2017
Radulov and the Canadiens remain in contract negotiations. The major issue is term, reports Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette.
Pierre Lebrun reported via twitter that at least a dozen teams have reached out to Joe Thornton.
Hearing Joe Thornton‘s camp has heard from a dozen teams so far… obviously San Jose remains the top wish. But interesting week ahead…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 26, 2017
Darren Dreger reported on TSN 690 that the New York Rangers are one of the teams that will “kick the tires” on Thornton.
TSN’s Darren Dreger repors via twitter that several teams, including the Calgary Flames, have contacted Kris Versteeg so far.
Im told a dozen teams have reached out to Kris Versteeg. Calgary remains in discussion to bring back the veteran forward.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 27, 2017
Renault Lavoie of TVA sports is reporting that Andrei Markov is seeking a two year 12-million dollar contract.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) June 27, 2017
Toronto Maple Leafs
James Mirtle of the Athletic reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs are in the market for a defenceman. Mirtle reports the Leafs were one of the teams interested in Travis Hamonic. Hamonic was eventually traded to the Calgary Flames.
While Kevin Shattenkirk would be ideal, Mirtle thinks the Leafs are a long shot. Mirlte thinks Toronto’s best chance at improving their defence is through trade. The Anaheim Ducks, Winnipeg Jets or Florida Panthers could be trade partners. The Panthers have been shopping Jason Demers, who Mertle thinks would be a great fit for Toronto.
Michael Russo, of the star tribune, reports the Minnesota Wild could be making a trade soon. The recent moves made by the Wild suggests the team is preparing to make a move. The Wild signed Gustav Olofsson and released Christian Folin.