NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Wild, Blues, Flames, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Carey Price will make his first start of the season for the Montreal Canadiens on Friday night. Meanwhile, are the Minnesota Wild interested in bringing back Marc-Andre Fleury next season?

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The St. Louis Blues understand they could lose Ville Husso and are alright with it, there is some chatter about what Johnny Gaudreau’s next contract could look like, and Matthew Knies has informed the Toronto Maple Leafs he won’t be joining the team this season.

Price to Get the Start Friday Night

Price was the first goalie off the ice today at the Canadiens practice and head coach Martin St. Louis confirmed the veteran netminder would start for the Habs against the New York Islanders. Most fans aren’t concerned with the outcome or the score, just that Price looks anything close to his normal self in the net.

The overwhelming consensus seems to be that battling his way back from a career-threatening injury, and addiction, all while facing multiple setbacks in his recovery is a huge win. If he looks like Carey Price and can play well enough to get a couple of additional starts to end the season, this will be seen as a huge plus for Montreal and the organization and player can decide what to do over the offseason.

Wild Want to Re-Sign Fleury

As per Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, Sources have said that the Minnesota Wild have interest in bringing Marc-Andre Fleury back next season. He writes that the issue is the salary cap and what to do with Cam Talbot.

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LeBrun explains:

According to sources, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin would like to keep Fleury around somehow despite their tricky salary cap situation and the fact that Cam Talbot (who has been terrific again of late) has one more year on his deal next season at a $3.66-million AAV. So, we’ll see where that goes this summer. But there have not been any discussions on that front, so that will wait until after the season.

source – ‘LeBrun: With some quality goalies potentially available this offseason, who could be on the move? Who stays?- Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 04/13/2022

Blues Happy Enough if Husso Plays His Way To Massive Contract

LeBrun also notes that the St. Louis Blues aren’t terribly worried if Husso plays so well that he ends up being too attractive for the Blues to keep around next season. The pending UFA will have a number of teams interested and he may price himself out what the Blues can afford. That said, if he helps the team make a deep playoff run, the franchise considers that a win, even if he walks for nothing.

Ville Husso St. Louis Blues
Ville Husso, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

LeBrun writes:

The Blues aren’t giving up on Jordan Binnington, who is signed for another five years after this season at a $6-million AAV, they very much still believe in him. So, if Husso wants to be a No. 1 starter, there probably won’t be enough net to share in St. Louis although you can’t totally close the door on it. But all things equal at this very moment, I’m betting on Husso leaving via free agency.

LeBrun adds that the two sides have not had any contract extension talks.

Gaudreau is Going to Get Paid

With more than 100 points on the season, it’s clear that Gaudreau is in for a big pay raise this offseason. As per Sportsnet’s Rory Boylen, the 28-year-old left-winger could get as much as $8.5-$9 million per season as an unrestricted free agent on July 13. That’s between $2-$3 million more than he makes now ($6.75 million).

Johnny Gaudreau Calgary Flames
Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There is some question about how Gaudreau’s playoff production might affect his next deal. If he performs well after the regular season ends, he could easily get the $9 million, maybe more. If he struggles and his reputation as mostly a regular-season producer continues, it might make the Flames hesitate to give him that really big deal. And, because Matthew Tkachuk is a pending RFA with arbitration rights, the Flames might be forced to choose between the two if they don’t feel comfortable giving both players $9 million or more per season.

Knies Not Joining Maple Leafs

Matthew Knies has informed the Toronto Maple Leafs he’s going back to school for another year. He’ll return to Minnesota and try to win a National Championship. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman writes, “Unfinished business, chance to win it all with the Gophers.”

There was some immediate concern that this might mean he’ll go back to college and eventually wait things out and become an unrestricted free agent but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Friedman adds that his agent, Matt Federico says that Toronto has “no reason to be concerned about his future with the organization.”

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