It’s time to start the week with a new bunch of NHL rumours. The end of the regular season is upon us and there are some big contract decisions coming on the horizon. General managers and agents are trying to get the best possible deal for their respective sides. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Ottawa Senators, Nashville Predators and New York Islanders.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: The Athletic’s Ian Mendes went over a possible new Josh Norris contract this coming off-season.
How unique is Josh Norris’ season with the Sens?
I dug into the numbers and found some interesting comparables.
A look at what it all might mean in a contract year for Ottawa’s super sniper. https://t.co/yC6y8e0MQ4
— Ian Mendes (@ian_mendes) April 14, 2022
Analysis: The Oxford, Mich. native is having one of the more unique seasons in recent history. Norris is a centre by trade but has a lot more goals than he does assists. The 22-year-old could be in line for getting more than 35 goals and less than 20 assists. He would be the first player since Hall of Famers Howie Morenz and Nels Stewart did it back in 1929-30.
Norris has made his hay this season with all but one of his power-play goals coming from the right face-off circle. He’s converting at an ungodly 25.4 percent of his extra-man shots. That percentage usually falls back to the mean after a while, but it’s still an impressive number. His overall percentage is 19.2 in the first two seasons as of the time of the article.
Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion wanted to get all his young players under contract. However, some may be harder to ink to deals than others. This could open the door for a bridge deal for Norris and he’d be gambling on himself.
Rumour: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada’s 32 Thoughts segment talked about the latest development in the Filip Forsberg negotiations.
HNIC 32: NHLPA/Horvat timeline/Forsberg meeting/Women's league details/Junior host bids/Canada Worlds coaching possibilities — https://t.co/oNe9dtiYD6
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 17, 2022
Analysis: Friedman reported that Forsberg’s agent J.P. Barry met face-to-face with General Manager David Poile during the week. Both sides were mum on details of the negotiations, so there are no numbers to report. However, it is pretty significant that it was an in-person meeting.
It would be the first time the two sides have met in the same room in quite a while. The superstar Swedish forward’s contract comes up at the end of the season and he’s due a big raise. Forsberg will finish the final season of a $6 million deal with the club and there’s worry the Predators won’t be able to keep him.
Some small chatter about Forsberg being traded at the deadline happened, but Nashville didn’t want to give away one of its best players in the middle of a Stanley Cup Playoff race. The feeling is a deal will get done where he’ll get more than the $8 million Ryan Johansen and Matt Duchene get, but less than what captain Roman Josi gets.
New York Islanders
$1 a month for new subscribers offer is stll on:https://t.co/q0i4CaK0r9
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) April 14, 2022
Analysis: Sorokin is coming off a 44- save performance in a shutout win over the Montreal Canadiens in his last start. The Russian goalie has gone 25-15-7 with a 2.29 goals-against-average and .928 save percentage. Sorokin also has seven shutouts this season and has been a big part of the Islanders’ much-improved second half of the season.
Both Sorokin and Varlamov are going to play in the final stretch of the season. Varlamov has one more year and $5 million to be paid out on his contract. There are plenty of teams that could use a netminder like Varlamov as a starter or an insurance backup. He may be turning 35, but he can still be a valuable part of a contender.
Sorokin is the goalie of the future and that could be coming sooner rather than later. The Metro New York area may become the hub of goaltending between Sorokin and New York Rangers budding star Igor Shesterkin.