It’s time for another round of NHL rumours going into the weekend. The league may finally be moving forward with its plan to return from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the rumours are still flying as teams figure out their plans going into an uncertain off-season. Today’s NHL rumours will focus on the Detroit Red Wings, Ottawa Senators and a crop of KHL players that could be heading across the pond.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Detroit Red Wings
Rumour: Bob Wojonowski of the Detroit News speculated on what the Red Wings may do now that they’re in the off-season. He asked general manager Steve Yzerman if he’d be more aggressive in free agency or pursuing trades. Yzerman said that he’d be slightly more active, but he hopes to use the draft to rebuild the team. The Wings should have some cap space with some of the bad contracts coming off the books.
Wojonowski mentioned that Torey Krug could be a name the Wings go after because he’s from Livonia, Mich. Detroit’s defence struggled, but there may be help on the way in Moritz Seider and a returning Danny DeKeyser back from injury.
Analysis: The cap number may stay flat at $81.5 million or even go down, but they’ll shed some of those bad deals made by previous general manager Ken Holland. Detroit does lose the contract of guys like Jimmy Howard, who are likely near the end of their careers. Jonathan Ericsson, Trevor Daley and Johan Franzen also see their contracts end as well.
The Wings do have to re-sign restricted free agents like Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha and Robby Fabbri to new deals. However, the Wings could try to solve their goaltending and defensive depth issues with a sensible signing as Yzerman said. Teams may have make tough salary-cap decisions with a flat or reduced number. Detroit could reap the reward and supplement getting a high draft choice with a new signing.
Rumour: Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun says that the Sens could be getting a new captain. He talked to Ottawa head coach D.J. Smith recently and he and general manager Pierre Dorion have discussed the idea. The Senators haven’t had a captain since Erik Karlsson was dealt to the San Jose Sharks.
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) June 2, 2020
Ron Hainsey, Mark Borowiecki and Jean-Gabriel Pageau wore “A”s before the latter was sent to the New York Islanders at the deadline. Thomas Chabot also took a turn as assistant captain near the end of the season. Chabot and Brady Tkachuk were both speculated on as choices to wear the “C”. Smith added that he wants to make sure whoever is captain doesn’t get the pressure of it too soon.
Analysis: Chabot just signed an eight-year, $64 million contract that will start next season. He looks to be one of the favourites to become captain if Smith and Dorion decide to have one. Chabot had six goals and 39 points and was a pivotal defender for Ottawa.
However, don’t discount Tkachuk as a candidate because of his physical play and all-around game. He’s due an extension at the end of next season, but figures to be part of the team’s future plans. He’s willing to drop the gloves, play defence or whatever it takes to help the young club. The St. Louis native will definitely get consideration.
Rumour: Multiple players from the Russian top league could be coming over for the next season. Both Kirill Kaprizov and Ilya Sorokin are looking to make the jump as Kaprizov is being pursued by the Minnesota Wild. Sorokin is said to be in negotiations with the Islanders to fight for a starting spot in net.
Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040 in Vancouver is reporting that Nikita Nesterov is leaving the KHL and is linked to the Los Angeles Kings. He also reported that there’s been no movement on Nikita Tryamkin and the Vancouver Canucks on a deal.
Hearing D Nikita Nesterov is leaving CSKA in Russia and is being linked to the LA Kings.
Nothing new on the #Canucks and D Nikita Tryamkin, still in a holding pattern.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) June 3, 2020
Analysis: Kaprizov would be a big boost to the Wild’s offence that was 14th in goals for with 218. The Russian forward netted 33 goals this season with CSKA Moscow and has done that two seasons in a row.
Sorokin should challenge countryman Semyon Varlamov for the starting job for the Islanders. Thomas Greis becomes a free agent could not be back for New York.
Nesterov would help a Kings team in desperate need of a makeover on defence. He last played in the league in 2016-17 with the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lightning. Tryamkin has gotten plenty of time to showcase his talents with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg and would boost the Canucks defence.