We’re closing in on the Stanley Cup Final, but there are plenty of NHL rumours to go around. The 2020-21 season will be ending soon and things will be heating up soon. Teams have to worry about the expansion draft, NHL Draft and the start of free agency. We’ve got NHL rumours on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman appeared on Writer’s Bloc on Sportsnet 590 to talk about Zach Hyman.
Will Jack Eichel be moved to the Western Conference? Is Seattle close to hiring its first coach? How might the Maple Leafs replace Zach Hyman if he doesn't return?
That and more in the latest look at the NHL rumour mill:https://t.co/OWGwXyN48u
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 19, 2021
Analysis: Friedman said that it’s going to an enormous challenge to bring Hyman back. His contract of $2.25 million expires at the end of the season and he’s going to get a significant pay raise. However, the Leafs are up against the camp and Hyman may be pricing himself out of town.
Hyman could potentially get $5 million on the open market according to projections. Toronto only has $11.75 million in cap space with only nine forward, five defencemen and a goalie signed according to CapFriendly. This severely handcuffs the Leafs’ ability to bring back key parts of the North Division winners.
Toronto could expose Alexander Kerfoot in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft and that would free up $3.5 million. However, that would make another hole in their lineup. General manager Kyle Dubas has some hard lineup choices to make this off-season.
Reinhart is a speedy playmaking right winger and Horvat’s line would welcome that needed veteran presence. He can also fill in at centre if there’s an injury or need to juggle lines. #Canucks https://t.co/n5I0xOWhBH
— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) June 16, 2021
Analysis: Reinhart would slot in with Bo Horvat on the wing and is versatile. He did well without Jack Eichel in the lineup with 25 goals and 40 points. He’s also 25 years old and a native of North Vancouver that would love to return home.
However, it’s going to be a high price to pay for general manager Jim Benning if he wants the restricted free agent forward. Buffalo is asking for a first-rounder for Reinhart or Eichel and it doesn’t want to get fleeced in another deal.
Benning did say that all options are on the table and the ninth pick could be part of a deal. The Sabres already has the first pick and another top 10 selection would be another prospect to add to their pool. It looks like another re-tool for Buffalo and it looks like it wants to start all the way over again.
The price may be high, but Benning might be willing to pay it in order to get a bonafide top-six forward.
Rumour: Friday night’s Headlines said that Oliver Ekman-Larsson is back on the trade block.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 20, 2021
Analysis: It looks like the Coyotes want to make a change and the Swede is back on the market. Ekman-Larsson will make $8.25 million for the next six seasons. Arizona looks like it’s going to streamline its payroll and OEL makes the most on the club. The ownership group has told general manager Bill Armstrong that they’d like to trade Ekman-Larsson.
However, this time around is going to be a little different than when Ekman-Larsson was shopped before. The team is going to look for a deal and present it to the blueliner for approval. He has a no-movement clause and listed the Canucks and Boston Bruins as teams he’d go to the last time around.
He’s not presented a list of teams he’d accept a trade to, but the team will try to a partner and present the deal to Ekman-Larsson. He has struggled over the last couple of seasons but could be a valuable part of a contending team. Both sides do agree that a change needs to be made.