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Rumor mill: Alex Ovechkin wants to finish his career in Russia
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Although the NHL is still in the off-season, rumour season is well underway.

Here are just a few of the rumours currently attracting attention on the Bettman circuit:

Alex Ovechkin wants to finish his career in Russia

Alex Ovechkin will be 39 at the start of next season. The Russian maverick, as good as he is, is nearing retirement, and it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll hang up his skates.

One suspects he has two seasons left in the NHL, his contract expiring at the end of the 2025-26 season. He wants to break Wayne Gretzky’s career goals record, and he’s only 42 short of it.

However, Ovechkin may well continue to play after 2025-26, since according to Vladimir Fedosov (a KHL coach quoted by AIF), Ovechkin will want to finish his career in the KHL.

Fedosov notes that Ovechkin will want to play with Moscow Dynamo, with whom he played before arriving in the NHL. He played there during the lockout in 2012-13, too.

We’ll have to wait and see, but Fedosov isn’t worried that the Russian will be able to play until he’s 45. All that remains to be seen is whether the forward will be able to return to Russia, or whether he has alienated the government

Tyler Toffoli is being courted by two of his former teams

This summer, Tyler Toffoli will become a free agent. The contract he signed with the Habs prior to the 2020-21 season has now expired, a pact during which Toffoli was worth every penny of his $4.25 million annual salary.

And a contract during which he played for the Habs, the Flames, the Devils and the Jets.

We suspected the scorer would test the market this summer, but now TheFourthPeriod reports that two of Toffoli’s former teams would like to bring him back into the fold: the Kings and the Canucks.

These are the two teams Toffoli played for before arriving in Montreal. We don’t know what kind of contract he’s looking for, but there will be interest in a guy who can easily score 30 goals a season.

Will the Habs join Toffoli’s list of former teams interested in signing him, and if so, would he be interested in returning? We know he’s still representing the club today, after all…

Jean-Gabriel Pageau may leave Long Island

After establishing himself as the Habs’ bête noire during his time in Ottawa, Jean-Gabriel Pageau has been doing a fine job with the Islanders for the past four years. He’s not a first-line center, but he plays good minutes and offers quality offensive production for a depth player.

That said, the Islanders seem intent on being active this summer. A draft pick deal with the Blackhawks yesterday intrigued many, and Lou Lamoriello could be busy this summer.

According to TheFourthPeriod, the Islanders tried to trade Pageau this season to free up payroll, and the market could be tested again this summer.

David Pagnotta, also for TheFourthPeriod, Anders Lee is another name who could leave Long Island. The latter has an annual salary of $7 million per year, while Pageau has a salary of $5 million per year.

Both guys will see their contracts expire at the end of the 2025-26 season.

Pagnotta also notes that the Islanders are interested in Nikolaj Ehlers, who could leave Winnipeg this summer. Pageau and/or Lee could help swing salaries (Ehlers has a $6M cap hit) and/or provide a replacement for Ehlers in the Jets line-up.

However, Pageau can submit a list of 16 teams to which he refuses to be traded, while Lee can have a list of 15 teams as of July 1.

We’ll keep you posted… but Patrick Roy’s team could be in for a bumpy ride this summer.

Breaking news

– We’ll be watching.

– Pierre-Luc Dubois: his coach wants to help him out.

– Please note.

– On and on.

– A true captain.

– Sad news.

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