Welcome back to another edition of NHL Rumours from the crew at Last Word on Hockey. The season is under full swing and rumours are beginning to circulate around the league. Today, we look at rumours involving the New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks and the Ottawa Senators.
All NHL rumours come from their original source and are subject to change.
New York Rangers
Rumour: On TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun states that there have been preliminary discussions on an extension for Adam Fox with the Rangers.
INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) October 19, 2021
Analysis: LeBrun states that the Fox camp will be looking for a contract that starts with a nine. Rightfully so. Fox is coming off a season where he won the Norris Trophy. Given the recent contract extensions of Cale Makar and Charlie McAvoy, Fox certainly deserves to be paid around the same as those players.
Fox really turned up his about halfway through last season scoring 32 points in the final 29 games and finishing the season with 47 points in 55 games. So far this season, Fox has scored one goal and three points in four games while averaging almost 26 minutes of ice-time per game.
Fox doesn’t just provide offence though. He plays a significant role on the team’s penalty kill unit, appearing on the top unit and averaging over three minutes per game to start the season. 52.9% of his zone starts come in the defensive zone as well. So the Rangers put a lot of responsibility on the young defender. He has solidified himself as a premier defender in the NHL and deserves to be paid as such.
Rumour: Also on Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun states that even though the Canucks are starting the season without Travis Hamonic, they will not be dipping into the market looking for a replacement.
Analysis: Benning is clearly comfortable with the group they have as it stands. And to be fair, he doesn’t really a have choice. With Hamonic likely to return at some point, the cap space isn’t there for the entire season. Meaning the Canucks can’t just use the cap space they have from Hamonic right now to add a player to replace him. So they’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. The Canucks haven’t had the start they had hoped for, going 1-2-1 in the early going of the 2021-22 season. Tucker Poolman and Tyler Myers have been operating as the club’s top two defenders on the right side to start the season. While it’s a tough spot for the Canucks to be in, Hamonic’s personal life needs to come first. We wish him all the best.
Analysis: According to Friedman, there were multiple denials after looking into the rumours. However, he did mention that the Senators and Flyers were apparently in discussions last summer. So who knows what is fact or fiction.
Here are the facts though. Giroux is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He also resides in Ottawa in the offseason. Pierre LeBrun reported last week that Giroux and the Flyers mutually agreed to put off contract talks until the offseason. So it looks like it is extremely possible Giroux and the Flyers part ways. Bruce Garrioch also reported that Pierre Dorion will certainly make a move if he feels it would improve his roster. Given the lack of experience in the centre ice position and the calibre of player Giroux is, he would certainly improve the Senators lineup.
Would Dorion want to trade assets to acquire the veteran centre? According to Garrioch, he would be. However, it would certainly depend on how the team is sitting in terms of playoff position. The likely hood of them dealing assets for an expiring contract when they’re on the outside looking in is slim. Especially if Giroux did, in fact, have interest in playing for the Senators, they could just look to sign him in the offseason. It’s certainly a situation to keep an eye on.