The NHL off-season continues, and so do the rumours. Plenty of teams have players that have yet to be signed and plenty of teams are running out of cap space. There are plenty of NHL rumours swirling about. Many RFAs have yet to be signed; the Colorado Avalanche being one of those teams with them. Teams are looking to unload significant contracts to not only clear up cap space but also free them of the financial burden like the Chicago Blackhawks could be in. Finally, the Dallas Stars will be looking to solidify their staff for the upcoming season.
Rumour: The Colorado Avalanche recently acquired RFA defenceman Devon Toews from the New York Islanders. His next contract could look to be in the $5,000,000 range.
Analysis: Toews being an RFA with the Avalanche means he will need a new contract before playing with them. After being acquired for a pair of second-round picks, the Avalanche will need to get the contract done. A contract at $5,000,000 is around fair value for a player that might play in the team’s top four. If they are able to lock him up at that price for a long-term deal moving forward, it could look like a great contract in just a few years.
Toews was the Islanders’ second-best defenceman last season behind Ryan Pulock. He will be a fantastic fit in with Cale Makar, Samuel Girard and Erik Johnson. While $5,000,000 may seem like a lot for a player that has only played one full season of hockey, he has been exceptional during that time. The Avalanche is also one of the few teams with the cap space to do this as well. At this time, the Avalanche have nearly $6,000,000 in cap space. They can easily afford to sign Toews to a contract with term at that price. With this addition, the Avalanche have one of the best defence groups moving forward.
Rumour: The Chicago Blackhawks are not planning on asking any of Keith, Seabrook, Toews or Kane to waive their NMC’s.
Analysis: The Chicago Blackhawks have recently announced that they are going into a major rebuild. This leads to the question: will they try to trade one of their core pieces from their cup runs? According to Stan Bowman, he has no intention of asking any of Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane to waive their no-movement clauses for the time being. These are players that really tie up the salary cap for a team that should be looking to move forward and rebuild.
It looks like it would be very difficult to trade these players because of the salary that they carry in a year that the cap remains stagnant. However, the Blackhawks need to try to move on as a team and look to how they can contend again in the future. The Blackhawks will be trying to keep the morale up for the roster as they go into a season when they have admitted they are rebuilding, so the benefit of keeping these players around is to show leadership and stability in the locker room.
The Blackhawks likely wouldn’t have been able to trade Keith or Seabrook had they asked them to waive their NMC, though. Both defensemen have their best days behind them. If they were going to try and unload these players, they likely would’ve had to add assets, something a rebuilding team should try to avoid at all costs. It seems for the Blackhawks it will just take time.
Rumour: The Dallas Stars and Rick Bowness are closing in on a contract to remain head coach of the team moving forward.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
– #WorldJuniors and concerns of rising COVID numbers
– Effect of possible rapid testing in 🇨🇦 airports
– GM meeting agenda
– Cost-benefit analysis for next season
– Stars, Bowness close to deal
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) October 22, 2020
Analysis: The Dallas stars have already announced that Rick Bowness would return as the head coach. They have yet to finalize anything with Bowness in terms of a contract, however. According to Pierre LeBrun, it seems that they are close to making it official. Bowness took over from Jim Montgomery mid-season. He was able to coach the team to the playoffs with a 20-13-5 record under him. Bowness was a large part of the team making it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
To make Bowness the permanent head coach of the Stars seems only natural after the stretch he had. He will have the chance to prove it wasn’t a fluke or just a hot stretch for the upcoming season. The length of the contract has yet to be discussed, however, bringing Bowness in for multiple years wouldn’t seem unreasonable for the Stars organization at this point.
This concludes the NHL rumours for today!