Welcome to the Tuesday edition of NHL Rumours! Training camps are underway and so is preseason hockey. Most teams have at least played one preseason game while there are others that have not even touched the ice. Even though it is still the beginning of the season, this is when the rumours start to ramp up about next season and the trade deadline. In today’s edition of NHL Rumours, we take a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators, and San Jose Sharks.
All NHL Rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour:Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly will not discuss his new contract at this season.
Analysis: This is a big year for the Maple Leafs and what the team does going forward. Rielly has been with the Maple Leafs ever since he was drafted fifth overall in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. As he enters the final year of his contract, the Maple Leafs do not want to have another Zach Hyman situation on their hands. Recall that Hyman walked in the offseason and the team got nothing in return for him. They are in a similar situation this season with Rielly. The question will become does the team see him as a part of their future. Because like always the salary cap and the results the Maple Leafs put on the ice will be a factor in their decision.
With the core four pieces locked up long term, the winds of change started to happen this past off-season. Will this include Rielly this upcoming off-season. Considering Rielly does not want to talk about and is all about business, he will let his agent do all the talking with Kyle Dubas. But there will come a point where Toronto will have to make a tough decision about its top defenceman. Rielly would like to be a Maple Leaf long-term but understands it is a business. Toronto needs to figure out to take care of him quickly.
Rumour: According to Darren Dreger on TSN 1050 radio he says that Brady Tkachuk and his camp are not interested in a long-term deal in Ottawa and want a bridge deal.
Dreger on TSN1050 on Tkachuk/Sens and a long-term deal: “For whatever reason the Tkachuk camp just isn’t interested in that…..I wonder if again the Tkachuk family, hand-in-hand with Newport Sports aren’t pushing in that direction with a bridge.”
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) September 27, 2021
Analysis: This is the biggest story of the offseason in Ottawa this off-season. As the Senators open training camp, there is still no sign of Brady Tkachuk. And this could very well be another William Nylander situation as we saw in Toronto a few years back. Even though Brady Tkachuk wants to remain in Ottawa and is the future of the team, it does not mean he does not want to maximize his value on the open market. There are reports out there the Senators are offering Tkachuk the maximum eight-year deal around $8 million a season. Which is similar to what Andrei Svechnikov got in Carolina. While some might argue that Svechnikov is the better, you can’t argue what Brady brings to the Senators organization.
It will be an interesting situation to watch as training camp and preseason continues. The regular season begins in about three weeks time. Considering Brady is one of the favourites to be the captain for this young Senators it makes the most sense for him to sign a long-term deal, so the team does not have to go through this exercise again with him. It makes the most sense from a team perspective to lock him up for the long term at a reasonable AAV. On the flip side, the player wants to maximize his value so a bridge deal works perfectly for him. The issue with a bridge deal and then making him captain is then what happens if he does not want to stay. But from all indications, Brady wants to be there and go through this rebuild with the Senators.
These talks have been contentious at times, but do not be surprised once the clock starts ticking on the regular season a deal gets done.
San Jose Sharks
Rumour: Jon Lane of NHL.com writes that Tomas Hertl is willing to take a hometown discount to stay in San Jose if the Sharks are competitive.
Analysis: Hertl is entering the final season of the four-year contract he signed back in July of 2018. And with the way he has performed on the ice, Hertl could expect to hit it big this upcoming off-season. However, he understands that it is not always about the money. It is about the team as well. He learned that from Joe Thornton when he was in San Jose. It is better to take less to be on a really good hockey team. But if it is truly about the money then Hertl can anywhere he wants, but be on a losing team for the next seven to eight years. And that is something he may not want. So Thornton’s influence is definitely weighing heavily on his mind as he enters the final year of his contract.
Another factor in if Hertl stays or goes will be how well the Sharks perform this season. Hertl wants to remain on a competitive team. And that will be the ultimate factor in everything. Hertl has yet to speak with Sharks general manager Doug Wilson about a contract extension. His agent has spoken here and there with the team. But Hertl just wants to help the Sharks be a competitive team this season and go from there. In the end, Hertl will do want is best for himself and the team.
That does it for this edition of NHL Rumours stay tuned for another edition on Wednesday.
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