We’re into the month of August, but we still have lots of NHL rumours. The dust has somewhat settled from the wild start of free agency. However, there’s still plenty to be talked about. Teams are trying to secure players for the future and lock them down. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks and Nashville Predators.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
New York Rangers
Rumour: Larry Brooks of the New York Post speculated on how a new Mika Zibanejad contract may look.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 30, 2021
Analysis: Brooks said that an extension for Zibanejad may take the Blueshirts out of the Jack Eichel sweepstakes. The recent Filip Chytil signing may have changed things, but Brooks gave a number of $9-9.5 million to keep the Swedish centre in the Big Apple.
Zibanejad has bee pivotal to the Rangers the last few seasons and his strong second half gave them a big Stanley Cup Playoff push. The top-line centre has one more year left on his deal, but may not want to test the uncertain free agent market in the flat cap era.
Signing Zibanejad pretty much takes the Rangers out of the Eichel race unless some big pieces are moved. General manager Chris Drury knows keeping Zibanejad around is key if the team does want to return to the post-season.
JP Barry on Pettersson and Hughes talks ;
Challenge is getting the term, we need flexibilty from both sides.
Both players want to commit to Vancouver.
I am not surprised the deals are not done, they are difficult deals and the Canucks have cap issues.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) July 30, 2021
Analysis: Agent J.P. Barry represents both parties and said that both want to commit to the Canucks for the long term. However, the main stumbling block for the duo is term according to Barry.
“I am not surprised the deals are not done, they are difficult deals and the Canucks have cap issues,” Barry stated in the article. He did admit that both sides need to flexible in the negotiations. It’s refreshing to see an agent recognize that.
The topic of offer sheets was broached and he thinks one would come late August if it did come. However, if a deal is pretty much done, other clubs won’t bother making one. Offer sheets haven’t been much of a thing in recent years with the exception of the Montreal Canadiens signing Sebastian Aho to an offer sheet. However, that was quickly matched by the Carolina Hurricanes.
General managers have been hesitant to use the offer sheet as a tool and that’s really surprising considering the flat cap era. An offer sheet could be used to get a player, but GMs are often hesitant because of compensation they would be forced to give.
Analysis: Seattle’s deal with the German goalie was slated to be six years at $5.9 million per season. However, an issue could be that Grubauer’s deal was recently rejected because of a collective bargaining agreement violation. The contract was front-loaded and rejected by the league, but has since been fixed by flipping years two and three in the contract.
League officials tightened up those salary rules in the new CBA, which was established in the summer of 2020. Front-loaded contracts in any “immediately adjacent years” can’t exceed 25-percent variance with the first year of that contract, and any year of the contract can’t exceed 60-percent variance from the highest year of the deal. This was according to an article from ESPN.
However, Predators general manger David Poile will likely do the math and make the numbers work. This will also be the case since the league is probably more likely to due to someone already testing the system.
Saros played a big hand in the Predators’ surge to make the postseason. He’s the main man now that Pekka Rinne has retired. The Finnish goalie did file for salary arbitration, but a deal should get done barring disaster.