With the Stanley Cup Playoffs winding down, teams are gearing up for what should be a very busy off-season. The salary cap is going up, many teams fell short of their goal and the crop of restricted free agents is the best it’s been in years. With so much talent looking for new contracts, it also means there’s a ton of money going to be thrown around. This also means we should expect a lot of movement between teams in order to make the number fit under the cap. Today we will look at the latest NHL rumours involving teams such as the Minnesota Wild, Vegas Golden Knights, Winnipeg Jets, and Detroit Red Wings.
NHL Rumours: Elliott Friedman mentions in his 31 Thoughts segment on May 12th, that Minnesota could look at moving both Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker. He mentions that the Wild would most likely want to keep Spurgeon, however, he is their most tradeable asset.
Analysis: It would not be surprising to see one or both of these players moved this summer. Spurgeon will be a hot commodity if he hits the trade market. The right shot defenceman is coming off the best statistical season of his career. He is also set to become a free agent at the end of next season. With the Wild most likely looking at a rebuild, Spurgeon would certainly bring back a solid return in a trade. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team to watch here as they are in the market for right-hand defenceman. Basically, if a right-hand defenceman is available, you can bet the Leafs will be calling.
Zucker was just about dealt to the Calgary Flames last season but the deal fell through in the dying moments. That is enough to make you believe he won’t be back with the club next season. Every team could use more goal scoring and Zucker certainly provides that. Although he saw a drop in production last season, he still managed to reach 20-goal plateau. You would have to expect the Calgary Flames to revisit this deal in the off-season, as well as the Edmonton Oilers, as they look for some more firepower to help out Connor McDavid.
Vegas Golden Knights
NHL Rumours: Elliott Friedman also mentions in his 31 Thoughts segment that defenceman Colin Miller could potentially be on the block as the club tries to make some cap space to sign William Karlsson. He also states that teams will be calling about Karlsson as well as Jonathan Marchessault.
Analysis: Miller fell out of favour in Vegas last season as the defenceman was often a healthy scratch. With the number of teams looking for defenceman the market should be high for him. However, it all depends on the cost. Friedman mentions that teams had called on him last season but Vegas was not just looking to give him away. Which makes sense, I mean he is a quality defenceman capable of playing in the top four. The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team to look at if Miller is available. They have been attached to him in trade rumours before.
As for moving Marchessault or Karlsson, that seems unlikely. Both play on the top line for the Golden Knights and they certainly see themselves as contenders for the Stanley Cup next season. They will certainly look to keep the core intact.
Analysis: It would not be surprising if the Winnipeg Jets elected to go this route. Both defencemen are free agents this off-season. However, Trouba is a restricted free agent. Losing Myers for nothing would be a tough pill to swallow so the Jets could look to move Trouba instead so they could some sort of return for the player. The Jets are strapped for cash however with a lot of notable free agents including Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor, Trouba and Myers. The return would have to be picks or prospects or a very limited cap hit.
Detroit Red Wings
NHL Rumours: According to the TSN Insider Darren Dreger, the Detroit Red Wings are reportedly going to sign Finnish defenceman Oliwer Kaski. His agent confirmed that he will sign the contract after the World Championships.
Oliwer Kaski’s agent, Todd Diamond, confirms the right shot Dman intends on signing with the Detroit Red Wings after the World Championship.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 13, 2019
Analysis: This will be a significant signing for the Red Wings as Kaski is one of the most coveted free agent defencemen outside the NHL at the moment. Kaski spent the last three seasons playing in Finland’s SM-Liiga. Last season he scored 19 goals and 32 assists for 51 points in 59 games. He was the highest scoring defenceman in the entire league. The signing will bring some youth the Detroit’s aging defence group as three of their top six are 35 plus. The 23-year-old will certainly challenge for a roster spot next season.