With the NHL season fast approaching, things are starting to heat up. The NHL rumours are still going strong. Teams are beginning to finalize their roster with lots of moving parts in the background. Today we will look at rumours surrounding the New York Islanders, Vancouver Canucks, and Chicago Blackhawks.
New York Islanders
Rumour: According to Darren Dreger the New York Islanders and Mathew Barzal have ongoing talks about a new contract, but nothing is close.
Meanwhile, ongoing discussions between the Islanders and Barzal camp, but nothing close. Barzal is in NY and will be ready for training camp if a deal is reached. https://t.co/eRBZPe7ocs
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 31, 2020
Analysis: Similar to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Islanders have yet to sign their top centre. Similarly to the Blue Jackets yet again, without Barzal their forward group becomes lacking. Barzal is an incredible player that drives offence. The Islanders need to really work on getting this deal done, as they become a much worse roster without him. He is a legitimate star in the NHL, and is a dominant force for the Islanders.
While it is a good indicator that contract talks are ongoing, it is a little scary that they aren’t close with training camp being so soon. On a long-term deal, Barzal could look to get paid a lot of money, money that the Islanders just don’t have. Should the Islanders lock Barzal up long-term, a move will need to be made. If not, then a bridge deal is looking more likely.
Barzal is such a key player for the Islanders. They should be working as hard as possible to get a deal done before camp.
Rumour: According to Rick Dhaliwal, Micheal Ferland will not be with Vancouver for the start of training camp.
Micheal Ferland will not be in Vancouver for the start of the Canucks training camp.
Agent Jason Davidson : Mike is at home trying to work things through. His health is the upmost importance. We will continue to work with the #Canucks in what is best for Mike.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) December 31, 2020
Analysis: After battling with concussions throughout last season, it seems like Ferland won’t be with the Canucks to start the season to focus on his health. While this is a loss for the Canucks, this could allow them to place him on LTIR if he is deemed “unfit to play” by team doctors. If this occurs, the Canucks could have more room to make additional moves when the season starts.
The Canucks had been rumoured to be looking to add another defenceman for the upcoming season. This could give them the flexibility to do so. Even if Vancouver doesn’t want to go out and sign a new player, depending on how long Ferland is on LTIR, they could use the space at the NHL trade deadline. This allows Vancouver to have options moving forward, rather than being restricted in their moves. While they are losing a player they value in Ferland, they can turn this into a positive for the team and use it to better themselves.
Rumour: The Blackhawks and Dylan Strome are continuing their negotiations, however, do not see eye to eye on the value of Strome.
#Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman gives an update on Dylan Strome negotiations:https://t.co/YMEo6a22n9
— Scott King (@ScottKingMedia) December 31, 2020
Analysis: Strome has gained a lot of leverage in the last week or so, with Kirby Dach going down for months, and Jonathan Toews out for a long time. Strome will is now one of the best of the Blackhawks’ centres. This puts pressure on the Blackhawks and shifts the power to Strome. It is becoming more of a requirement for the Blackhawks to hurry up and get a deal done. In the short-term, Strome is an absolutely key piece of their roster and is still young. With a flat cap for the time being the Blackhawks have to navigate this deal carefully, though.
If Strome does not join the Blackhawks roster right away for the start of the season, Chicago could be put into a terrible position. This could potentially force them to start a winger at centre. Strome, while not normally such a key player, is now in an extremely important position due to injuries. The Blackhawks will need to get something accomplished quickly.
This concludes the NHL rumours for today!
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