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NHL Rumours: Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues

NHL Rumours

Training camps are underway and the NHL rumours are ready to pick up steam. Teams are already thinking about the future and looking ahead to this season and beyond. We had a wild off-season with offer sheets and trade offers. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Montreal Canadiens, Florida Panthers and St. Louis Blues.

All NHL Rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Montreal Canadiens

Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said that the Canadiens are going to take a run at locking down Nick Suzuki.

Analysis: Montreal may have been surprised when the Carolina Hurricanes hit Jesperi Kotkaniemi with an offer sheet. Carolina successfully offer sheeted the young Finn to a one-year, $6.1 million deal. Suzuki would be a prime candidate for an offer sheet when he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of the season.

The young Habs forward has looked solid with 13 and 15 goals, respectively, the last two seasons. He and Cole Caufield are slated to be the two top forwards of the future for Montreal. General manager Marc Bergevin doesn’t want to get outflanked again, but an offer sheet should be an easy match if he gets one.

However, Bergevin probably doesn’t want to get to that point, so he’ll likely try to sew up a deal with Suzuki. It will be good asset management to take care of that deal and then worry about Caufield down the way.

Florida Panthers

Rumour: Luke Fox of Sportsnet took a look at the top free agents of 2022 and looked at Aleksander Barkov‘s next deal.

Analysis: Panthers general manager Bill Zito has some work to do sign Barkov to a big-ticket deal. Sergei Bobrovsky is already making $10 million and Barkov could in line for that type of money. However, there’s still the matter of signing Jonathan Huberdeau to a new deal when his runs out in 2023-24.

Both players are key components of the rising Panthers squad and both are going to get a nice pay raise. George Richards did say the two sides are close to a deal with a $9.5 to $11 million deal being the range. Barkov is the captain and is one of the best-two centres in the league despite only being 26.

He did say he loves being in Florida and wants to stay put. A deal should get done, but it’s going to be a whopper. Zito won’t risk losing his top centre and getting out on the open market.

St. Louis Blues

Rumour: Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comments that Vladimir Tarasenko will stay put in St. Louis for now.

Analysis: Tarasenko was mum about his turbulent off-season that saw him pretty much out the door. However, being exposed in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft and numerous other rumoured deals did not work out. The Russian winger said everything was in the past and he’s concentrating on returning to his All-Star form.

He side-stepped questions regarding his criticism of team doctors and trainers. Tarasenko preferred to focus on getting back to work and his teammates said the same thing when made available to the press.

He still has two more years at $7.5 million per season left on his contract. Tarasenko would be a good fit for a team looking to add some scoring punch, but some clubs may have trouble fitting in his cap number. However, there could still be a deal if the Blues fall out of contention this season. The 29-year-old would still fetch a nice return for a team that may hit the reset button. General manager Doug Armstrong did recently sign a five-year extension, so he’s got some leeway in making a move.

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