Welcome back to NHL Rumours. Each day, the Last Word on Hockey staff take a look at everything going on around the league. With the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs wrapping up, NHL Rumours are heating up before an insanely busy offseason. Today, we will be taking a look at NHL Rumours from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, and Florida Panthers.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that Frederik Andersen believes he is worth at least $5 million. Perhaps even more, which will almost guarantee that he will test the market. This was on TSN1050.
Analysis: This probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise from either side. From a team perspective, the Leafs are looking ahead. They are under a cap crunch anyways and could really save some money if they find a cheaper tandem partner for Jack Campbell. Campbell already doesn’t make much and that could be a huge boost for the team. They also haven’t won anything with Andersen frankly. He had some great years in the white and blue but come playoff time he and the team always found a way to fall just short. From that standpoint, maybe a new look is needed.
Conversely, from Andersen’s standpoint, he wants to get paid. He has struggled over the past two seasons, with this last one really being a brutal one for injuries. However, when he was on in the regular season he was an incredibly reliable goalie for Toronto. Approaching the age where another big payday may not come, one can see why Andersen is valuing himself so highly.
It’s not to say there will be no deal between these two sides, but one of them would have to stray away from their current line of thinking. Maybe Andersen tests the market and realizes because of the flat cap no one wants to pay him. A reunion then seems more feasible. Although, if Andersen does want a raise it very likely will not be in Toronto.
Rumour: Jason Gregor is reporting that Adam Larsson and the Edmonton Oilers are having positive talks on a contract extension, noting they are in the same ballpark for AAV and term. Gregor speculates that one of the reasons it’s not done is Larsson is just ensuring he is making the right decision.
Jason Gregor on Adam Larsson: “The talks have been positive, and both [sides] seem to be in the same ballpark when it comes to term and AAV.”
Gregor also gets a sense that Larsson is just taking his time to ensure he makes the best decision.
— Oilers News and Updates (@oilersaccess) July 5, 2021
Analysis: It will be interesting to see what kind of contract comes in for Larsson at this time. He is 28, so extending him past a few years would almost surely be a mistake as he isn’t a top pair guy. However, at a decent cost and a low to medium term, this could be a good thing for the Oilers. Larsson was part of the infamous one-for-one deal that saw Taylor Hall go the other way. Because of that, it has felt like he has been improperly talked about at times. He isn’t the stud defenceman people thought Hall should fetch. That said, he is still a reliable second-pair guy and every team needs that.
For the right price, this could be a very good deal both ways. Though, one of the reasons they are waiting may have to do with the Seattle Expansion Draft. Edmonton is in an interesting place to begin with. Yet, if Larsson doesn’t have a contract, Edmonton doesn’t have to expose him. Yes, Seattle could negotiate with him but if both sides know they’ll sign a deal after then it’s fine. It will be interesting to see how the timeline of this one plays out.
Rumour: Finally, Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli released his 10 buyout candidates list today. On that list at number four was defenceman Keith Yandle. He has two more years at $6.35 million remaining.
Analysis: According to Frank, Florida would save close to $5 million total against the cap over the two years of the buyout. They would also save $2.5 million in real money. That latter part may be the real key. It has been rumoured a couple of times that management in Florida once again wants to cut the budget. And while they showed they can have a real good team and find some useful, cheap players that are effective, maybe they want to double down on that.
Yandle was a healthy scratch in the playoffs and one also has to wonder if coach Joel Quenneville has a use for him going forward. At such a large-cap hit, it might be hard to find a trading partner, so buyout could be the only option. The biggest thing from there will be finding someone more effective to replace him at the savings he brings. It does as much good to bring in nobody versus finding someone just as expensive and skilled. There needs to be a clear upgrade if this team wants to keep pace in a loaded Atlantic division.