The silly season is upon as they say in the business. NHL Rumours are coming fast and furious as we are closing in on the Seattle Expansion Draft along with the NHL Draft. Not to mention free agency begins on July 28th at Noon ET. There are several big names that will hit the open market or on the trade block. We saw one trade happen already that saw Chicago send Duncan Keith to the Edmonton Oilers. More are on the way. Keep it locked on the Last Word on Hockey for the latest news and rumours. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours we look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet 590 that it is unlikely goaltender Frederik Andersen returns to Toronto unless he does not get a deal he likes on the open market.
Seth Jones will cost CHI a piece they’re unwilling to give up ie Dach/Debrincat. If Seth Jones ends up in CHI, more likely he signs as UFA in a year. Unlikely Andersen comes back to TOR unless he doesn’t get a deal he likes in UFA and Toronto still has room for a cheap deal.
— J (@Account4hockey) July 12, 2021
Analysis: The Maple Leafs have several free agents this offseason which include Frederik Andersen. The salary cap is an issue for the Maple Leafs and they have a more important piece to sign in Zach Hyman. Though that seems unlikely too. The emergence of Jack Campbell leaves Andersen on the outside looking in. While he is still a capable goalie, the Maple Leafs are moving in a different direction. If they believed in Andersen they would have signed him to a contract extension already. It did not happen. He will have lots of options when he hits the open market. Lots of contending teams are looking for a goalie like Andersen who can split starts and even challenge the guy who is already there.
And that is exactly what the Maple Leafs need for Campbell because over an 82-game season he cannot hold up. He played great and had a career year with the Maple Leafs. However, as mentioned before the salary cap will come into effect. Not to mention the notion of bringing back the same team to take another run at it. If Andersen does come back to Toronto, which is highly unlikely, but if he does, it will be on a far cheaper deal than he already is on. The Maple Leafs are better off looking for a backup to Campbell instead of bringing back Freddy.
Analysis: Going into the NHL Trade Deadline, everyone expected them to upgrade their defence. With several names out there, the best Jets could do was adding Jordie Benn. Again nothing against Benn, but there were other guys out on the market. Entering this offseason if the Jets want to be contenders again next season, especially entering a tough central division they have to upgrade their defence. Now the top names like Dougie Hamilton might be tough to lure to Winnipeg. He is exactly what the Jets need. However, he may cost too much and the Jets most likely will lose a bidding war. However, Oleksiak is a name the Jets should target again this offseason.
Winnipeg cannot go into next with the same defence. Oleksiak is a rock-solid defenceman the Jets could use that will add depth to the position. Oleksiak skates well for his size and is a good shutdown defenceman. McCabe is a player the Jets should ask the Sabres about as they are open for business. Another young defenceman is looking for a change of scenery and Paul Maurice knows how to get the most out of players. Again the Jets could go with internal options, but with Andrew Copp possibly on the way out, the Jets could use as a bargaining chip to upgrade their defence.
Rumour: Elliotte Friedman on 630 Edmonton radio says he believes Taylor Hall wants 3-4 and there is a belief he wants to say in Boston, but will also test the open market.
Elliotte Friedman on 630CHED:
TOR wanted Bertuzzi at the deadline but he was injured. Doesn’t sound good for Hyman and TOR now. DET and EDM possibilities for Hyman. Hall wants 3-4 years. Thought he was going to stay in BOS, and he still might, but he may test the market.
— J (@Account4hockey) July 9, 2021
Analysis: Taylor Hall revived his 2020-21 season when the Bruins acquired him at the trade deadline. The line of him, David Krejci, and Craig Smith provided much-needed depth scoring outside of the top line for the Bruins. Hall even made an impact in the playoffs for the Bruins even though the team didn’t make it out of the second round. The Bruins found success with Hall and there is a good fit there for both parties. The issue is going to be the salary cap for them. They need to sign Tuukka Rask and Krejci. That is if the team wants to bring them back. Both have mentioned like Hall they want to stay in Boston. However, not only is Hall looking for term but money as well. And therein lies the problems.
Hall wants to get paid but also wants to be a part of a winning team. He has found the winning he has been looking for ever since he wanted out of New Jersey. The question will be can he find something better on the open market. Last year, he had to settle for a one-year deal. We know players love security when it comes to their contracts, but Hall might be best taking another one-year deal with the Bruins and then getting the term he is looking for once the salary cap increases after next year. Because not a lot of contending will want to commit 3-4 years right now.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours. Stay Tuned for another edition on Wednesday.
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