As we edge closer to the end of the playoffs and the start of free agency, NHL rumours continue to swirl. Multiple unrestricted free agents are linked to new teams and various contracts are being touted for those under team control. Today’s focus is on the Carolina Hurricanes, Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks. Each team has various issues to address in the off-season’s revolving door. Therefore, let us look at today’s rumour mill for each team.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Analysis: Friedman has been quoted as stating the Carolina Hurricanes believe the demands of Necas are ‘a little rich.’ However, he was unable to confirm the figure suggested or when talks were held. For his part, Necas acknowledged he had taken a ‘step back’ this season and that he must ‘learn from it’. The 23-year-old also expressed a desire to move back to centre, hoping that he and coach Rod Brind’Amour can ‘trust each other a little more’ next season.
Based on the Czech’s comments it is clear that he wants to return to Raleigh and will feel like he has something to prove. However, if the Canes consider Necas’ contract demands a little rich, it could be that they believe he has even more than he anticipated. Currently, the Hurricanes are in full control of the situation and this is what could prove to be a sore spot.
Per CapFriendly, Necas’ qualifying offer is only $874,125.00 so he will be receiving a hefty pay rise this summer. However, it seems likely the former first-round pick will be offered a bridge deal at a maximum of three years. In terms of salary, he could then command perhaps $4 or $5 million AAV. A comparable could perhaps be Pierre-Luc Dubois, who signed a two-year, $5 million AAV deal and is now looking to earn closer to $7 or $8 million off the back of strong performances.
Analysis: This summer, Vincent Trocheck will potentially hit free agency. His $4.75 million AAV contract that he signed with the Florida Panthers is due to expire and it is understood the forward may be willing to move on from the Carolina Hurricanes. The Canes are looking at a cap crunch this off-season and may be agreeable to an amicable separation.
The Pittsburgh native has been tenuously linked with a return home with the Penguins. However, Ron Hextall already has his hands tied trying to resign their own free agents, so this could be unlikely. A move to British Columbia however, could be more promising. He would be a perfect middle-six asset with a great mix of skill, leadership and ferocity; the perfect complement to Vancouver’s young guns. He would also be reunited with JT Miller, who won gold together for the USA at the 2013 World Junior Championships.
There are some downsides to this proposal. The Canucks need to re-sign Brock Boeser and will have one eye on captain Bo Horvat, whose current deal expires next summer. Trocheck will not command a massive raise. However, it is unlikely he will leave Carolina for another team-friendly deal. Potentially, he could be eyeing $6 million AAV over six years. This theoretically provides the security many 28-year-olds desire and a nice bump in his pay packet. This could mean any serious bid for Trocheck would require shifting a contract or two, perhaps even the aforementioned Miller.
Analysis: Powers has correctly outlined how Dach’s development has not gone as expected. The former third overall pick was excellent in the WHL, but was thrown into the fire for the Blackhawks. His rookie and sophomore seasons saw major COVID-19 restrictions, not to mention Chicago’s own struggles as a rebuilding team. He also missed a large portion of his second season with a wrist injury.
In his third season, Dach’s development was able to reset, with 70 games played. However, the 21-year-old’s underwhelming offensive play means a huge offer is not incoming from his employers. Dach will certainly be on a bridge deal, with even three years term unlikely. A league source also disclosed to The Athletic that Chicago may look to pay the Alberta native approximately $2.65 million AAV. This seems reasonable, based on his previous number and high ceiling.
It is unlikely that the forward was hoping for this level of payout early in the season. This could end up working in Dach’s favour, however. A shorter contract which sees Dach’s production increase would mean an improved deal sooner. Dach would be approximately 23 or 24 when his new contract ends. He has yet to enter his prime, so could double his money and term just at the right time.