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NHL Rumours: Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild

NHL predictions; NHL Rumours

It’s time for another round of NHL rumours as we continue through the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There are some big things in the offing this coming offseason. General managers are going to have to make some tough decisions in the next few weeks. There may be some trades that need to be done. However, it may be for salary cap reasons. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Tampa Bay Lightning and Minnesota Wild.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Tampa Bay Lightning

Rumour: The Athletic’s Joe Smith talked to defenceman Victor Hedman about his future. Tampa’s veteran defender said that he would love to finish his career with the club.

Analysis: Hedman did have some struggles this season and seems to be missing former assistant coach Derek LaLonde, who helped with the defence. In contrast, there’s no doubting how good the Swede has been. He’s looking to bounce back and be a key part of the Lightning. The 33-year-old is heading into the final year of his contract that sees him make $7.875 million. Hedman reached the 1,000 games played mark last season and hopes he has a lot more to give. The veteran blueliner said that he wanted to play until he was 40 years old.

Tampa Bay General Manager Julien BriseBois does have around $12 million of salary cap space available. However, he does have to worry about trying to bring back captain Steven Stamkos this offseason. BriseBois said that he would love to keep Hedman around for some veteran leadership.

Hedman could fill the role of veteran mentor to usher in the next generation of Lightning defenceman. The Tampa Bay blueline mainstay did score double-digit goals once again with 13 and BriseBois said Hedman is still an important part of the team. Conversely, cap space could dictate where Hedman goes after next season. The veteran is eligible for a contract extension as of July 1, 2024 because he’s heading into the last year of his deal. Re-signing Hedman might be the next item on BriseBois’ agenda after dealing with Stamkos.

Minnesota Wild

Rumour: The Fourth Period reports that General Manager Bill Guerin is fielding calls on goaltender Filip Gustavsson.

Analysis: Minnesota has another year of salary cap pain due to the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Wild will have to deal with around $14.8 million of dead space for one more season before the pressure relents. However, Guerin plans to be active this offseason.

One of his main missions will be trying to make sure the team is cap-complaint. There cap is slated to go up a little bit more than in past seasons. However, the Wild are going to be forced into making some moves they may not want to make. One of these might be off-loading Gustavsson in the coming offseason.

The 25-year-old has two more years at $3.75 million left on his deal. Guerin has already signed Marc-Andre Fleury to a deal for the 2024-25 season. There’s also prospect Jesper Wallstedt waiting in the wings to get some gametime. The 21-year-old netminder has another year on his deal at $925,000.

According to the Fourth Period, Guerin would love to get a package of prospects and draft picks in an attempt to clear out his full salary cap hit. It might be only a few million dollars off the books, but the margins seem to be thin at this point.

A number of teams are going to be looking to upgrade their goaltending situations. Gustavsson will probably get some attention from teams looking to get a young goalie at a relatively low cap number. He could be one of a number of moves for the Wild this coming summer.

Main photo by: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports


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