It’s time to start the work week with another edition of our NHL rumours. Some big things are happening and they could bear fruit soon. Teams are trying to bolster their rosters or make some big deals. Today’s NHL rumours talk about the Dallas Stars, Ottawa Senators and suitors for Evander Kane.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek on Saturday’s 32 Thoughts reported on the John Klingberg contract situation.
32 Thoughts from HNIC: Kane/Chychrun/Klingberg — https://t.co/xToLW9GHRd
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 9, 2022
Analysis: There have been conflicting reports on if Klingberg handed in a trade request. The Swede said it “wasn’t entirely true” and that he’d like to remain with the Stars. However, he’s been frustrated with the pace of negotiations with the Stars. Reports have stated that the defenceman is looking for an eight-year, $63 million deal.
Klingberg added that he wanted to get signed like teammate Miro Heiskanen did, but that didn’t happen. He also stated that he hasn’t felt appreciated and is looking for a big-money deal. Dallas general manager Jim Nill said that Klingberg and his team can negotiate with other clubs for a trade. A sign-and-trade could be possible with Klingberg nailing down that big extension.
There will definitely be a market for a solid offensive defenceman like Klingberg. Dallas knows it’s up against the salary cap and trading a top blueliner would give them some space, maybe a player and some picks.
Rumour: TSN 1200’s Steve Lloyd said general manager Pierre Dorion has reached out to Russian winger Andrei Kuzmenko of the KHL.
Pierre Dorion tells us he spoke to Andrei Kuzmenko's agent (Dan Milstein) last night. Kuzmenko is a sought after winger having a great season with St. Petersburg in the KHL. He was a teammate of Artem Zub's for 2 seasons.
— Steve Lloyd (@TSNSteveLloyd) January 6, 2022
Analysis: The SKA St. Petersburg winner has 20 goals and 53 points in 43 games. Kuzmenko has drawn interest from other clubs as he’s improved every season in the league after playing with CSKA Moscow. The 25-year-old is currently sixth in the league in scoring, but may be looking for a new challenge.
Kuzmenko is represented by Dan Milstein’s Gold Star group, who has plenty of Russian clients. One thing that can help Ottawa get the talented winger is that he was Artem Zub‘s teammate for two seasons. That might be enough to bring him over, but the Sens needing help at the forward spot may be a bigger drawing card.
It’s no secret that Ottawa needs help at the forward spot and Kuzmenko could slide into one of the wing spots. He’s listed as a left wing, but is a righthanded shot. The Senators may try to flip him to the right side, but they’ll take help at any forward spot at this point.
Rumour: We go to back to 32 Thoughts and Elliotte Friedman said that teams are interested in the recently released Evander Kane.
Analysis: The San Jose Sharks placed Kane on waivers to terminate his contract after more stuff involving COVID broke.
The Sharks are alleging that Kane, who tested positive for the Coronavirus on December 21st, made a flight to Vancouver on December 29th and they are saying he didn’t have permission to take that flight, medical clearance to take it, and that is being disputed. And also they say he was supposed to return to San Jose, the Barracuda’s of the AHL, on December 31st and did not come back until January 6th. Also, that is being disputed. All this said on-air by Friedman.
The NHLPA will likely file a grievance on behalf of Kane and will appeal. Kane’s agent has already said that they will appeal as well and it could go to an arbitrator. This could stall things for teams that are interested in the embattled winger. Friedman said that teams would look into Kane if he becomes an unrestricted free agent. However, it would depend on the contract and what role he’s willing to play.
There’s also a concern about if he will be a distraction, but he is a proven goal-scorer. Plenty of stuff is surrounding Kane and it would be risk to bring him in for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.