Since the start of the NHL free agency, plenty of players have either found new homes or re-signed with their team. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any NHL rumours, however. There are plenty of players that still need a contract and plenty of questions surrounding team personnel. In today’s rumours, we will be looking at the Calgary Flames, the New Jersey Devils, and the Arizona Coyotes.
Analysis: The Flames have made multiple moves this off-season, adding players like Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev, and Josh Leivo. They only have $1 million left and have yet to sign Oliver Kylington. This will likely take up the rest of the cap space should his contract not be buried in the AHL. Kylington is still young at just age 23, however, he has struggled at the NHL level. His contract should not take up more than what is available for the Flames.
This will leave the Flames with little cap space to work with for any moves in going forward. This should be fine for the Flames given that they’ve addressed their needs. Signing Markstrom is a large pull for Calgary and they have really shored up their goaltending this off-season. While the loss of T.J. Brodie is a big one, Chris Tanev was signed and will hold a slot as the younger defencemen grow into larger roles. Finally, the Flames added Leivo to add depth to their forwards. After these additions, the Flames shouldn’t be looking to add anyone else too significant this off-season.
New Jersey Devils
Analysis: MacKenzie Blackwood was a shining star in a very dim season for the New Jersey Devils. Taking over the starting role in just his second NHL season is no small accomplishment. If the Devils are able to lock up Blackwood on a deal comparable to Merzlinkins, even if it is just a bridge deal, it can be considered a victory for the Devils organization. A shorter-term deal is wise for the Devils, as goaltending can be inconsistent season to season, and this way they won’t be locking themselves into a deal that could turn out poorly.
Blackwood is still just 23 years old and is one of the best young goaltenders in the league. The Devils still have ample cap space to sign him. For the upcoming season, he will be playing in tandem with former Chicago Blackhawk Corey Crawford who should be an excellent goaltender to help Blackwood transition from a tandem goalie into a fantastic starter.
Rumour: The Arizona Coyotes will be examining Rick Tocchet‘s performance closely this season as his contract is in need of renewal after the season ends.
Analysis: The Coyotes are in a bit of an awkward position of late. With new ownership and a new general manager taking over, Tocchet is one of the few pieces that has lasted over the past season. With his contract coming up and the underwhelming performance from the Coyotes as a whole, the management will have to decide whether or not to bring Tocchet back. One of the decisions that management will have to establish is if the Coyotes underperformance is just as a result of the pieces that were provided, or if the coaching impacted it as well.
Tocchet was able to get the Coyotes to the playoffs for the first time in years last season, albeit in a peculiar way with the play-in series. Even still, sometimes when a new general manager steps in they wish to see the team come together under their own vision with their coach. If this were to be the case with Tocchet and the Coyotes, he surely wouldn’t remain on the market for too long with possibilities opening up constantly.
This concludes today’s NHL rumours!