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NHL Rumours: New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning, ESPN

NHL rumours, Tony DeAngelo

The Tampa Bay Lightning have been crowned as Stanley Cup champions. The NHL Entry Draft and free agency will be upon us in the coming weeks. With that said, the New York Rangers are in a tricky salary situation with one of their restricted free agents. The cup champs are in a similar boat but may have to say goodbye to a prized defenceman. And finally, the NHL may be headed to a new network in the United States. These are the latest NHL Rumours.

NHL Rumours

New York Rangers

Rumour: NBC Sports Philadelphia broadcaster Colby Cohen is reporting that the New York Rangers have extended a qualifying offer to defenceman Tony DeAngelo.

Analysis: Tony DeAngelo has become a vital part of New Yorks’s rebuilding efforts. The 5’11” dynamo managed to tally 53 points from the blue line in a 63 game season. Those numbers cannot go unnoticed. The former first-round draft selection has made himself an irreplaceable piece of the Rangers lineup. By nearly doubling his point total from last season, DeAngelo appears to be set up for a massive extension.

Cohen also suggested that it would take an offer of $5 million or more to get DeAngelo re-signed. DeAngelo has arbitration rights, meaning he has significant negotiation leverage for a restricted free agent. Once DeAngelo is signed, the Rangers will still need to find another defender. They also have six forwards to re-sign or replace as well as a goaltender. With roughly $23 million in cap space, they have the money to get a deal done. But it may take a bridge deal for DeAngelo to get his payday.

New Jersey Devils

Rumour: Elliotte Friedman speculated on the 31 Thoughts podcast that the New Jersey Devils may pursue Mikhail Sergachev this offseason.

Analysis: New Jersey attempted to resolve some of their problems on defence by bringing in P.K. Subban from the Nashville Predators. That has not worked out in their favour thus far. Following another down year, the Devils may look to bolster their defence with a recent Stanley Cup winner. Mikhail Sergachev is a restricted free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning and the team may not have the cap space to retain his services.

Bringing in Sergachev would be a hefty price as it would require either a trade or offer sheet. And an offer sheet means Sergachev must hit the market unsigned by Tampa Bay. If they can work out a trade, New Jersey has plenty of ammunition. In the upcoming draft, the Devils own three selections in the first round. In a deep draft, even late first-round choices could turn into prized players. If the Devils are willing to part with one to bring in a known talent, they could wind up with one of the strongest young defenders in the NHL.


Rumour: According to Front Office Sports writer Michael McCarthy, ESPN is expected to make a run at winning back the NHL’s TV rights from NBC.

Analysis: During the 80s and up through the early 2000s, ESPN was one of the prime channels for NHL coverage in the United States. In 2007, those rights went to NBC. Since coverage by the peacock began, the NHL has had some of the highest TV ratings in NHL history. The Stanley Cup Finals in the early 2010’s boast some of the best ratings the sport has ever seen. With the current TV contract with NBC set to expire following next season, ESPN is looking to regain that market.

TV deals have become more important to professional sports than ever in recent years. They are a driving force behind the economic successes the four major North American sports leagues have seen. With multi-million dollar deals being handed out like candy, the NHL is looking for their next one. If the United States sports leader starts covering the NHL more frequently, they could wind up with a ratings bump.

That does it for today’s edition of NHL Rumours. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more!

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