NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Detroit Red Wings

NHL Rumours
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We’re into the month of November, but we still have plenty of NHL Rumours. Teams are trying to figure out what to do with salary cap space for this season and beyond. Some teams are even looking down the road a few years. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL free agent frenzy

NHL Rumours

Toronto Maple Leafs

Rumour: The Athletic’s James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel did a Leafs mailbag. The question of re-signing Morgan Rielly and Zach Hyman.

Analysis: Mirtle fielded the question on the two young Leafs players. Rielly is under contract with Toronto until the end of the 2022-23 season. This means the Leafs have time to think about a new deal until the 2021 off-season. He currently commands $5 million and is one of the Leafs better defenders. He’ll be on general manager’s Kyle Dubas‘ to-do list when a new deal comes around.

Mirtle speculated that Hyman could take a hometown discount to stay with Toronto. However, management would have to move some salary to make it work. Hyman currently makes $2.25 million this season and he’d likely deserve some type of a raise.

Balancing the books is always a difficult task for Toronto and this is even truer in the flat-cap era. The Leafs do have the advantage of being able to lure some veterans to fill out the bottom-six at a discounted rate. This allows them to make deals to keep players like Hyman and Reilly in the fold.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rumour: Josh Yohe of The Athletic speculated on how long Sidney Crosby will keep playing.

Analysis: Yohe added that Crosby is 33 years old and still has something left in the tank. However, there’s always a concern about his concussion history. Any big concussion or series of concussions could make him step away from the game. He already has collected many awards and Stanley Cups in his time.

Yohe thinks that Crosby may play until he’s 40 if he stays healthy. Crosby will always be driven by wanting to raise another banner with the Penguins. The main concern some have is that he goes out on his own terms unlike Bobby Orr or Mario Lemieux.

Crosby did score 16 goals in an injury-riddled 2019-20 campaign. However, those injuries were not concussion-related. He scored twice in the qualifying round series loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Detroit Red Wings

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon looked at seven teams that could weaponize their salary cap space. Detroit was one of the teams at the very top of the list.

Analysis: General manager Steve Yzerman isn’t getting much luck in the lottery, so he’s going to make his own. The Wings missed out on Torey Krug, but have room to play with under the cap. Detroit does have to sign restricted free agent forward Anthony Mantha. However, they’ll still have cap space to work with after that deal.

Yzerman did take on the contract of Marc Staal from the New York Rangers in the off-season. Detroit took on the $5.7 million cap hit, but managed to get a second-round pick out of it. The Wings could take on contracts to get picks out from teams looking to dump salary.

Detroit is still a few seasons away from being a contender, but they can get assets and picks to speed things along. High draft choices are a premium as the Wings could do some good stuff with the picks they get.

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