It’s a Hump Day edition of our NHL rumours and we have plenty to unpack. Teams that have made early Stanley cup Playoff exits have some tough choices to make. That means we have plenty of NHL rumours to examine. Today we talk to Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers and Washington Capitals.
All NHL Rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger went on Leafs Lunch with Andi Petrillo on TSN 1050 to talk what’s next for the team.
— Leafs Lunch (@LeafsLunch1050) June 1, 2021
Analysis: There are going to be plenty of calls for major changes to be made after another early post-season exit. Armchair general managers and the media will want GM Kyle Dubas to do something drastic. However, there’s still lots of raw emotion and that needs to settle down before anything drastic happens.
Dreger said that the core is safe for now, but they’re on borrowed time if they continue to have first-round exits. Toronto would have to move core pieces if that does happen. There will be no shortage on hypothetical deals that will be bandied about to try and do something shocking from certain people.
The Leafs do have to decide on what to do with Zach Hyman who has put up big numbers as the third man on Toronto’s top line. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent. Meanwhile, defenceman Morgan Rielly becomes a free agent in 2022. He’s earned a significant extension, but the club will need to move things around to make it happen.
New 31 Thoughts podcast: part carcast (news of the week), part regular audio on tonight's Game 7 with the great @Steve_Dangle. Thank you @amazonmusic for your support (this is really overwhelming, honestly). You can find our entire catalogue of episodes on https://t.co/LNXeDWtzRV pic.twitter.com/7TWmtzkVmj
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) May 31, 2021
Analysis: Nurse’s current deal of $5.6 million per season runs out at the end of next season. He does want to stay with the club and identifies as an Oiler. The 26-year-old took many steps this season and recorded 16 goals and 36 points in 56 games.
A Nurse extension will be a priority and general manager Ken Holland will maintain salary cap flexibility. However, there’s always the cap dance that the team needs to do when they have talented players like Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.
The club needs to make decisions about keeping Tyson Barrie and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Holland will also need to address the goaltending situation. However, keeping Nurse is going to be critical because of his importance to the defence.
Rumour: Washington Post reporter Samantha Pell said T.J. Oshie wants to retire as a Capital.
T.J. Oshie said wants to stay in DC, when asked about Seattle: "I signed an 8-year deal here because this is where I want to spend the rest of my career and retire here … I've approached every day since I've been here like this is going to be the last team I will ever play for"
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) May 25, 2021
Analysis: Oshie’s contract carries a hit of $5.75 million and runs until the 2024-25 season. His name has been tossed about for the impending Seattle Kraken expansion draft. However, Oshie does want to remain with Washington and loves playing for the team.
Oshie has made himself at home in the American capital and is a key part of the club. He’s posted 20 goals or more in five of his six seasons since playing for the Caps. Oshie looks to be a key part of the team for the foreseeable future.
It’s a huge off-season as the Capitals are going to have to re-sign Alex Ovechkin as well as add some pieces. The club also has to decide on the future of Evgeny Kuznetsov. He may be moved or exposed in the Seattle expansion draft. Washington would love to get his $7.8 million salary off the books, but he has some power with his modified no-trade clause.