NHL Rumours: Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Rumours
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As we wrap up a week of enthralling Stanley Cup Playoffs rounds, we have also seen more and more NHL rumours rack up. Today, we will focus on the Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets and Chicago Blackhawks, with speculation over the future of three prominent players for each side.

NHL Rumours

Detroit Red Wings

Rumour: The Athletic’s Max Bultman has reported on possible speculation around the future of Dylan Larkin after the forward changed his representation to CAA Sports.

NHL free agent frenzy

Analysis: Dylan Larkin is due to become a free agent next summer and general manager Steve Yzerman‘s number one priority will be making sure Larkin stays in the Motor City. However, the Red Wings will definitely be keeping one eye on developments with their captain’s representation.

Admittedly, it is not always the case a player seeks pastures new when they change agents. Larkin is also a hometown hero in Detroit and the face of the franchise. However, it is somewhat suprising that the Michigan native’s former agent felt blindsided by their ex-client’s decision.  As such, he may wish to use his peak years to contend and not commit to a deep rebuild.

In a trade, Larkin would fetch a good return, with likely a first rounder going the other way. However, this is complicated by Larkin’s no-trade clause. Therefore, we could see the 25-year-old hits the open market. If he does, he could expect to earn over $8 million at least.

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Winnipeg Jets

Rumour: In a recent mailbag, The Athletic’s Murat Ates addressed the possibility of an offer-sheet to Pierre-Luc Dubois from the Montreal Canadiens.

Analysis: Pierre-Luc Dubois has long been linked to a return to his home province of Quebec, with the most traction gained when he was looking to be traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now, the 23-year-old may have caught the eye of the Montreal Canadiens again.

For Montreal, there are a lot of benefits to acquiring Dubois. They love a Francophone player, are in desperate need of a top-six centre after losing Phillip Danault to free agency and he will give the Canadiens a firepower that they have missed so much this season. They also have previous when it comes to offer sheets.

However, it is worth considering if it is possible. It is unlikely Dubois will stay in Winnipeg for his whole career. However, right now he does seem relatively happy with the Jets. He is also close to family, with his father Eric the assistant coach of the Manitoba Moose. Dubois will also command approximately $7 million AAV with the Jets as a restricted free agent. If he signs an offer sheet, he will be looking to receive around the $10 million mark.

Per CapFriendly, Montreal are at full capacity and whilst they will shed the salary of Shea Weber, they will likely have to move Jeff Petry and his full salary to afford a genuine offer. Perhaps a trade for Dubois would be more realistic.

Chicago Blackhawks

Rumour: The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus has speculated on the future of restricted free agent Dylan Strome.

Analysis: Since being traded from the Arizona Coyotes to Chicago, Dylan Strome has endured some difficulties in the Windy City. He started strong for the Blackhawks with 34 points in 58 games, following 20 games in the desert. Unfortunately, he quickly began to regress and finished last season with just 17 points in 40 games. Speculation started, with Strome touted to be moved on. This continued into the most recent season, with his place in the pecking order going into freefall. As the season went on however, the former 3rd overall pick managed to rally and finished strong with 48 points in 69 games.

Despite Strome’s resurgence and a public willingness to stay with Chicago, it is understood the Blackhawks have not made contact regarding a new deal. In order to retain the 25-year-old, the Hawks must at least qualify Strome and per The Athletic, this is unlikely. If this proves to be true, it will be interesting to see where the Ontario-born forward could land.

Based on his pick up in form and overall numbers there will be a good amount of suitors. His previous deal had an AAV of just under $3.34 million, so could accept an affordable deal. This means he can come in as a useful and versatile middle-six tool for teams both rebuilding and contending. Big brother Ryan Strome is a free agent that season and Dylan could look to reunite with him wherever he signs.

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