It’s quiet. Too quiet…
The first round of the draft saw zero trades. But that could be the calm before the storm, writes @PierreVLeBrun.
His latest rumblings: https://t.co/4vcfcqWSXK
– The Athletic (@TheAthletic) June 29, 2023
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.
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 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.
I’m hearing more that Max Pacioretty to Colorado could really happen
– Adrian Dater (@adater) June 29, 2023
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.
Contract talks between the #LeafsForever and Auston Matthews continue, but a deal is not yet close. He loves Toronto, and he wants to win, that much is clear. I’m told his next deal will be 3, 4 or 5 years max, not beyond. Will have more on this as the week progresses.
– David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 28, 2023
Can Tampa find a way to keep Killorn? Plus more on Nylander, Hanifin and Karlsson in my latest from Nashville ⤵️
– Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) June 29, 2023
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.
He’s a player to watch, but just imagine if he and Mathew Barzal had chemistry: that would be something.
With approx $9.5M in current cap space (minus the $2M+ they likely give Varlamov), the #Isles are out there looking for a scoring winger. One player they’ve kicked tires on: Alex DeBrincat.
– David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) June 29, 2023
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…
MacLellan on the never-ending Tom Wilson trade rumors (I might pin this tweet): “People make up stuff and throw it out there. I mean, we haven’t had one discussion about him, so whoever’s doing that, I don’t know. We constantly tell people we’re not.”
– Bailey Johnson (@BaileyAJohnson_) June 29, 2023
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.
#LeafsForever GM Brad Treliving reportedly says he doesn’t plan to buyout a contract before tomorrow’s deadline, but notes there is another buyout window later in the off-season.
Here are the requirements for initiating a second buyout window. Matt Murray would be eligible. pic.twitter.com/P8w1C9bTgx
– MICHAEL DISTEFANO (@mickey_canuck) June 29, 2023
Forget the idea of a big salaryman in front of the Kings’ net
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.
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.
Some LAK intel:
With PLD deal behind them, turning focus to acquiring a 2nd goaltender with NHL experience.
Don’t expect big ticket move by GM Rob Blake – looking at $1-1.5M price tag to pair with Pheonix Copley.
A couple of names will surface by the time we leave Nashville.
– Dennis Bernstein (@DennisTFP) June 29, 2023
In a gust
– Really happy to see the Habs Fan TV guys providing some good draft content. I really like what they’re doing.
– Habs Fan TV (@habsfantv_) June 29, 2023
– Great read.
Mathieu Darche remembers when he coached his son at the atom level and Ethan Gauthier often scored against them. “Even in the atom, he was the hardest worker.” @RDSca #NHLDraft2023 https://t.co/iiUvkTT9zQ
– Eric Leblanc (@eleblancRDS) June 29, 2023