Welcome to the Friday edition of NHL Rumours. The season is a week old now and things are already heating up off the ice. Some teams are looking to the present while others are looking to the future. But as the rumours heat, be sure to keep it here as the crew at Last Word on Hockey has got you covered. Today’s NHL Rumours include the New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Anaheim Ducks.
All NHL rumours come from their original source and are subject to change.
New Jersey Devils
Rumour: According to Pierre LeBrun on TSN Insider Trading, the New Jersey Devils and Jack Hughes have begun preliminary talks on a new contract.
ICYMI, INSIDER TRADING: #TSNHockey Insiders discuss…
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) October 20, 2021
Analysis: As LeBrun notes these talks are in the very early stage as the Devils were the ones who initiated the talks with the Hughes camp. The Devils are looking to capitalize on Hughes before he has a monster year in the NHL. Similar to what the Montreal Canadiens did with Nick Suzuki. However, Pat Brisson, who represents Hughes, will want his client to wait as he is poised to have a breakout year. Now, it is early in negotiations, so these things take time and Hughes will sign a new deal with the Devils. It all depends on when. Hughes is in the final year of his entry-level deal and all signs point to him signing a new deal. Whether it is now or in the summer, Hughes will be a member of the Devils for his career.
The Devils will have a ton of cap space in the summer once P.K. Subban‘s deal expires. So there is plenty of money from that deal. Not to mention the other contracts that expire. Not every player is the same when it comes to contract negotiations. Captain Nico Hischier signed his new deal early into the final year of his entry-level deal. That does not mean Hughes will not do the same thing, but there are expectations and Brisson is a strong negotiator. So these talks will play out throughout the course of this season. But Hughes will be signed before the summer comes.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: According to Elliotte Friedman in his 32 Thoughts column, the Toronto Maple Leafs will soon have to negotiate a new contract with goaltender Jack Campbell.
Analysis: Ever since being picked up by the Maple Leafs all Jack Campbell has done is win. And Campbell is picking up where he left off last season. Granted Petr Mrazek is hurt, but Campbell has proven to be a great option for the Maple Leafs in between the pipes. Last season, Campbell posted an 11-game winning streak with the Maple Leafs with Frederik Andersen injured. The team rallied around Campbell and wanted to play for him. And by no means was he the reason Toronto lost in the first round. Even though he shoulders the blame. However, if Campbell continues this pace, the Maple Leafs are going to have to pay him.
The big question is what is Campbell worth to the Maple Leafs? Friedman states a comparable contract is someone like Cal Petersen in Los Angeles. Petersen just signed a three-year deal worth $15 million which is about $5 million a season. Currently, Campbell has a $1.65 million salary-cap hit and that price will go up as Campbell was a late bloomer when it came to his NHL career. Obviously, the salary cap will be an issue for the Maple Leafs even if the cap is supposed to go up like it is projected to. Mrazek’s cap hit is $3.8 million a season, Campbell will want that and more. So this is an interesting situation worth watching.
Rumour: Sticking with Friedman, in his 32 Thoughts piece, he believes the Anaheim Ducks are going to be sellers at the trade deadline this season and Ryan Getzlaf, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson and Rickard Rakell will not be re-signed.
Analysis: It is clear that the Ducks are in a rebuild, and even though they are off to a good start, the team will be sellers at the deadline. With Getzlaf, Lindholm, Manson and Rakell all unrestricted free agents there are no signs of any extensions coming. Not to mention all four players have been mentioned in trade talks over the past season, so it does not sound like these players will be there for the long haul. Each player will be good for a contending team when the march to playoffs happens. Lindholm and Manson were targeted during last season’s trade deadline, but the price was too high for teams that wanted to make a deal. Do not be surprised like a team like the Islanders come calling for Lindholm or Manson to bolster their defence.
As far Getzlaf and Rakell go, look for both players to be on the move as well. And both players have reasonable cap hits that can help out a contending team. The defencemen have higher cap hits but can still fit in on any team that needs help down the road. Rakell and Getzlaf are big bodies that are essential when the playoffs begin. The issue with Rakell is that he is injury prone, while Getzlaf is not the player he used to be, however, a change of scenery will do both players if not all four players justice.
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