As the season began last week NHL fans got to witness their teams either in person or on TV. Some teams are still looking for missing pieces to fill the needs they had before final rosters were released. That, in turn, creates some NHL rumours to discuss here. Today we cover the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, and Patrick Marleau.
Analysis: Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman has been busy in the offseason attempting to improve his roster through trades and free-agent signings. He knew in the back of his mind that both DeBrincat and Strome’s entry-level contracts were expiring soon and he’d need to address it. He did exactly that signing DeBrincat to a three-year extension worth $6.4 million a year. It seems to work for both sides with the Blackhawks gaining his employment for a reasonable number of years at a fair salary that both sides could accept.
When one analyzes Strome’s situation it’s not as cut-and-dry. His tenure with the Chicago club is shorter with his appearance in just 58 games in the Windy City since his trade from the Arizona Coyotes. While in the desert Strome floundered with just 16 points in 48 games while bouncing back and force between the AHL and the NHL until he found his game in Chicago. Then, with the Blackhawks things finally clicked for the youngster and he collected 17 goals, 34 assists in just 58 games.
Out of the Press
“I don’t anticipate negotiating through the press with Dylan either and I think that was a nice thing with Alex, you guys kind of left us alone with that one, so I would suggest to do the same thing,” Bowman joked with the media. “But we have time on that. Certainly, that’s the next order of business. Whether we do it now or in a month or in six months, I can’t say at this point, but certainly, that’s something we’ll take a look at.”
A good test would be for Strome to again prove himself worthy of an extension in the range of DeBrincat’s by playing well this new season. If he can do that then he will deserve a new and bigger NHL level contract in his young career. At least Strome knows what is expected of him and now he needs to perform to prove his worth.
New Jersey Devils
An update for the piece: there have also been very preliminary talks between Nico Hischier’s camp and the Devils. Very early in the process but least there’s already been dialogue. https://t.co/ZNUtmSiGVW
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 5, 2019
With all the NHL rumours being cast on whether teammate Taylor Hall will sign a new contract before next summer, Nico Hischier’s contract will also expire at the same time. The difference between the two Devils’ players is Hischier will be a restricted free agent whereas Hall will be an unrestricted free agent.
The salaries are quite different also with Hall pulling down a current contract of $6 million while Hischier’s has an entry-level deal for $925,000. No doubt Hischier will be gunning for a substantial pay increase in is negotiations with the team. He had performed well with 100 points in 153 NHL games. The first overall pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft has some good possession numbers to go with his scoring statistics. He has a Corsi For % of 50.3% and a Relative Cori percentage of 3.7.
Hischier won’t possess any arbitration rights next summer and we all saw what happened this summer as many RFAs stretched their contract talks into the period of when training camp begins. If some headway can begin this early, it seems reasonable that both parties can avoid another holdout which was so prevalent recently. In any case, with Hischier’s outstanding play, he is due to get a sizable increase in his bank account.
For the first time since 1996, Patrick Marleau didn’t start the season on an NHL roster.
— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) October 6, 2019
Analysis: It shouldn’t shock anyone if Marleau returns. He still has a burning desire to compete and has only missed one game in the last ten years. He’s has been discussed in NHL rumours for a while now. The main reason he is not signed yet is due to his desire to stay close to his home and family in San Jose. The interest in Marleau has seemed to subside with teams like the Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks having adequate salary cap space to add him.
They are moving in another direction focusing on their young players. The other two teams who may have some interest are the Arizona Coyotes and Vancouver Canucks, but both teams are up against the salary cap limit. And of course, the San Jose Sharks have decided to not go after Marleau as they too are concentrating on young players and developing them for NHL play. Through all of this, Marleau remains positive that he will be playing somewhere. However, it just may not be close to the San Jose area.
That’s all for NHL Rumours, tune in tomorrow for more.