The NHL season has finally arrived and NHL rumours have continued into the start of play. As we watch games each day, we get a better idea of how these teams will perform throughout the year. The Florida Panthers have received calls about the availability of a star player. The Ottawa Senators need to extend a rising star and may not be able to pay him long term. Finally, the Winnipeg Jets may continue to ask for a lot in return for Patrik Laine. Find out in another edition of NHL Rumours.
Rumour: TSN insider Frank Seravalli is reporting that NHL front offices have been inquiring about the availability of Panthers centre Aleksander Barkov.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
🏒 Why teams are calling #FlaPanthers about Barkov
🏒 Latest on Keith Yandle
🏒 Torts’ comments on Dubois
🏒 NHL’s macro dialogue on draft age & showcase events
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) January 14, 2021
Aleksander Barkov has established himself as one of the best players in Florida Panthers history. He is also only 25 years old. With 409 points in 479 career games, he could wind up being a Hall of Fame player. The Panthers captain is also one of the best bargains in the league. Having a near point per game player on the roster for a mere $5.9 million is a steal and the Panthers need to capitalize on the extra salary space while they can. His contract has also led to teams around the league asking about his availability.
Barkov’s contract expires at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. There has been speculation that he will not resign with Florida at the end of his contract. The Panthers have not been able to put together winning teams with him at the helm and their ineptitude at managing their finances will not make it any easier. The Panthers may be publicly saying they will not trade him, but we have seen denial from front offices before only to have players traded days later. It would be better for the team to trade him rather than lose him for nothing.
Rumour: Ian Mendes of the Athletic is reporting that the Senators may have to sign Brady Tkachuk to a bridge deal rather than a long term extension.
The Senators rebuild is going very well with Brady Tkachuk as one of their prime building blocks. He is nearing the end of his entry-level contract and the team would probably like to sign him long-term. As a future leader of this team, he is vital to their success. While he still has room to grow, he is already one of the best they have on the roster. He has earned a long term extension with the franchise. They might not be able to give him one.
COVID-19 has made the NHL’s financial situation highly volatile. There is no certainty about anything moving forward. The Senators are also in one of the NHL’s worst situations in terms of profit. While they have a bright future on the ice, now is not as certain. This could make it difficult to sign Tkachuk long term. While they have the salary cap space to take on a large contract, it is a big unknown if they can actually afford to pay him.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek is reporting that the asking price for Patrik Laine will remain high if he continues to play well.
One of the NHL’s worst kept secrets is that Patrik Laine wants out of Winnipeg. The Jets have reportedly been shopping him for months. The asking price is high for the premier goal scorer and a former second overall draft choice. Laine is in the last year of a short term bridge deal and will be a restricted free agent at its expiration. Many teams around the league have an interest in trading for him but the asking price has been high.
Laine is an elite offensive talent. The biggest concern about his game is his ability defensively. While he can score at a high rate, his defensive lapses have front offices concerned. That has led to them not wanting to pay a high price for the young star. Laine’s performance in the first game of the season should change that narrative. He played phenomenally with three points to start the season. That should keep teams on the hook and more willing to pay a high price for his services.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Be sure to check back for more tomorrow!
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