NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks

NHL Rumours: Could Mitch Marner be offer-sheeted?

We’re almost a week past the opening day of free agency, and there are still some NHL Rumours swirling around. With all the big contracts on the line, we’ve still got plenty to talk about! So pull up a chair and let’s shift our focus to the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks for Saturday’s edition of NHL Rumours.

All NHL Rumours are taken from the original source and subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweeted that the New York Islanders are seriously considering sending an offer sheet Mitch Marner‘s way.

Analysis: Another day, another chapter in the Marner NHL Rumour book. The Leafs aren’t ready to tap out on him, obviously. However, the ever-present cap issues in Toronto might have something to say about that if a large AAV is presented. But that’s a whole separate issue.

Could the Islanders be in Marner’s future? Well, they need to add someone to their top six. After failing to land Artemi Panarin with a hefty $12.5 million offer, the team has made one thing clear: they’re serious about bringing a top name to New York.

They’re not exactly flush with cap space either. We’ve all heard for months that they’re desperate to move Nick Leddy orĀ Thomas Hickey. Ship the two defencemen out, and they’re looking at an additional $8 million breathing room. Pair that with their already available $8.6 million, and suddenly the Isles may have chiselled out a hole for Marner. This would give them an opportunity to present Marner with a deal bigger than the Leafs could afford on their cap.

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: Pagnotta adds a second NHL Rumour to our edition today. He mentioned on Twitter that the Canadiens might be honing in on Patrik Laine.

Analysis: Could the Canadiens be so bold as to send out not just one, but two offer sheets? Word on the ice is, yes. Laine is said to be looking for more of a mid-term deal, while the Winnipeg Jets are airing on the side of the shorter term.

The Jets have an expensive group of players to pay this offseason, including Kyle Connor and Neal Pionk. With just short of $22.9 million in cap space remaining, it’s unclear if there’s room for Laine and the time table he’s looking for.

Montreal struggled on their power play this season. Laine has a lethal shot, and his ability to put pucks on the net could help ignite the team. He struggles at even strength, but the Habs might be the team to turn that around for him. After all, they were nothing less than impressive at 5-on-5.

Vancouver Canucks

Rumour: We end NHL Rumours in Vancouver. Rick Dhaliwal reported that the Canucks and Brock Boeser are still working on finalizing a contract.

Analysis: The Canucks would like to wrap these contract discussions with Boeser up and put a bow on it already. Both sides seem to want to get to a long-term deal. Pounding out the exact details appears to be the stalling point.

Vancouver doesn’t seem to be in much of a rush, as Boeser has no arbitration rights and isn’t eligible for an offer sheet. But the Canucks aren’t sitting worry-free in all of this. They’ve brought on three new defencemen, and now the club is looking at $5.5 million in leftover cap space. Boeser could easily swallow the rest of that.

Rumour: Patrick Johnson of The Providence says the Canucks are still looking to move Brandon Sutter.

Analysis: While the Canucks aren’t swimming in cap money, they are flush in the forward department. At this point, it looks like Adam Gaudette and Sutter are battling for the third-line center spot. The veteran had a low season last year due to injury, posting just six points over 26 games.

Moving Sutter makes more sense for Vancouver. His contract is significantly more expensive than Gaudette’s. Gaudette is exempt from waivers, but he’d need to mature to make the crossover to the NHL level permanently. That risk could be worth the reward of removing Sutter’s cap hit from the books as well as his largely ineffective play.

The best thing the Canucks could do is label Sutter as a depth piece and offer to retain some of his salary.

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