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Rumor mill: Tyler Toffoli wants to stay with the Devils long-term
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Over the past few years, Tyler Toffoli has often been on the move. Since leaving the Kings in winter 2020, he’s played for the Canucks, the Habs and the Flames, but next year he’ll be lining up with the Devils.

Now 31, Toffoli seems to be at the stage of his career where a little stability could do him some good. And with a young team like the Devils on the rise, he could be in New Jersey for the long haul.

And clearly, that’s his wish: earlier today, Pierre LeBrun reported that Toffoli would like to sign a long-term contract extension as soon as possible.

However, the Devils are likely to be a little more patient and give him some time to acclimatize. We’ll have to keep an eye on this one, but it’s clear that Toffoli is looking for stability in the years to come.

Max Pacioretty approaches Colorado

Max Pacioretty has had a difficult season. After undergoing surgery on his Achilles tendon last summer, he was traded to the Hurricanes for… nothing. As a result, he spent the early part of the season on the Hurricanes’ injured list.

He came back sooner than expected, but after five games, he re-injured his Achilles tendon, ending his season. It’s a real shame, as he had just come back from a long rehabilitation and had scored three goals in five games.

That said, even if last season was a painful one for him, there’s still a good chance he’ll join the Avalanche on the free-agent market. He’s expected to miss the start of the season, but he could be a great bargain for the Avalanche.

It’ll be a rumor to keep an eye on, but I hope he gets another chance. And, above all, I wish him good health next season.

Hard bargaining continues in Toronto

At the Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews and William Nylander have been the talk of the town in recent weeks. Brad Treliving wants to keep both forwards, who will be free agents in a year’s time, in town beyond next season.

What we’re learning today, however, is that in Matthews’ case, he’s unlikely to sign for eight years. Instead, he’s likely to sign a three-, four- or five-year contract with a big annual salary, with a view to signing another, bigger contract when the salary cap increases.

As for Nylander, negotiations are also continuing, but there’s a big disparity between the Leafs ‘ offer and the player’s demand. They don’t intend to trade him by Saturday (when his partial no-trade clause comes into effect) and want to keep negotiating, especially since the club feels it will be difficult to get a big return if they trade the Swedish winger.

So we’re keeping a close eye on two major issues.

New team interested in Alex DeBrincat

The case of Alex DeBrincat continues to generate buzz throughout the NHL. The Senators’ winger has no intention of staying in town for the long term, and with a year to go before his full autonomy, the Senators would like to trade him this summer to move on.

Among the teams interested, the Red Wings are often mentioned, but now, according to David Pagnotta, another team has contacted the Sens about him: the New York Islanders.

At $9.5 million (a figure that will drop slightly when Semyon Varlamov signs his next contract), the team feels it has the means to attract him and sign him to a long-term contract.

He’s a player to watch, but just imagine if he and Mathew Barzal had chemistry: that would be something.

Tom Wilson is not for trade

For some time now, Tom Wilson’s name has come up in trade rumours. But today, Capitals GM Todd MacLellan made it clear that his power forward is not for trade, nor has he ever been.

In fact, they’d never even discussed it over there, which is why he’s surprised to see his name keep coming up.

Clearly, Washington wants to maximize the window of opportunity as long as Alex Ovechkin is in town. And in Wilson, they have a good mentor for Ryan Leonard, drafted eighth yesterday and who could become a player in Wilson’s mold.

In short, don’t expect to see Wilson traded. At the same time, maybe he’s bluffing…

Matt Murray’s contract won’t be bought out… for now

Let’s return briefly to Toronto to talk about another issue there: Matt Murray’s contract, which is becoming a hot potato.

The goalie, who has a cap hit of $4.867M for next season, is clearly no longer an option in town, and with only one year left on his current pact, the idea of buying him out to save money for next season is an interesting one. It’ll cost $2 million next season, but we’re cutting $4 million for 2023-24.

And even if Brad Treliving has no intention of buying him out by the end of the buyout period (tomorrow), it’s not impossible that Murray’s contract could be bought out later this summer. If a Leaf player goes to arbitration and wins his case , or if there is a prior agreement, another buyout window (of three days) opens for contracts with a cap hit of more than $4 million.

Ilya Samsonov and Victor Mete could go to arbitration.

Murray could very well see his contract bought out later this summer.

Forget the idea of a big salaryman in front of the Kings’ net

By paying the big price for Pierre-Luc Dubois, the Kings have made it clear: they want to win and they want to do it now. The resources are there, both offensively and defensively, and clearly, we want to get to the next level after a bit of rebuilding.

In front of the net, however, things are more complex. There’s Pheonix Copley, of course, but we agree that they need a real #1 goalie.

Nevertheless, the word on the street is that Rob Blake isn’t ready to go after a big salaryman in front of the net. In fact, the plan is to find an auxiliary for Copley who will cost between $1M and $1.5M.

Forget Connor Hellebuyck, Linus Ullmark and Tristan Jarry.

It also closes the door on Joonas Korpisalo’s return to town. I have a feeling they’ll regret not investing in a good goalie next season, but hey.

In a gust

– Really happy to see the Habs Fan TV guys providing some good draft content. I really like what they’re doing.

– Great read.

– Interesting.

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