NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Senators, Jets, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is speculation as to which Toronto Maple Leafs players might be on the move. The Winnipeg Jets have finally terminated the contract of Dustin Byfuglien, where will he go? And, the Ottawa Senators are in a prime position that other clubs might not be.

Maple Leafs Mostly Likely to Be Moved

Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle of The Athletic took a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs and discussed which players from the team are most likely on their way out the door.

Tyson Barrie Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyson Barrie, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Both noted Tyson Barrie and Cody Ceci as defensemen who probably done their time in Toronto. Both are unrestricted free agents who under-performed in their single season with the team. The scribes also took a look at forwards Kasperi Kapanen, Andreas Johnsson, and Alex Kerfoot, thinking they could be used as trade chips in the offseason to replace the pieces that leave on the blue line.

As for Tyson Barrie, they write:

Not only will the Leafs be challenged to make room for his next contract, but it’s also hard to make a case why they should even consider it. Barrie doesn’t bring what’s needed on the right side, and that’s a much sturdier defensive presence who can hang tough with dangerous players in a playoff series. We’re looking at a (very) likely one-and-done here.

source -‘Mirtle and Siegel: Which Maple Leafs will be staying and going this offseason?’ – James Mirtle, Jonas Siegel- The Athletic – 04/14/2020

Related: Remembering Borje Salming: “King” of Maple Leafs’ Defensemen

Now What?: Jets Terminate Byfuglien’s Contract

The drama between the Winnipeg Jets and Dustin Byfuglien finally appears to be over as the NHL announced with the league announcing that his contract has been terminated.

The two sides have “mutually resolved” the grievance filed by Byfuglien and the team wished him the best on Friday morning in a social media post thanking him for all he’d brought to the team. Effective immediately, Byfuglien is now an unrestricted free agent, but Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic noted that the NHL confirmed Byfuglien can’t sign with a team for the rest of this season (if there is one). Earliest he can sign is for next season.

Frank Seravalli notes from TSN:

“Dustin Byfuglien did not receive any money from #nhljets as part of agreeing to resolve his grievance and terminate his contract. He walked away from $14 million due to him over this season and next.”

Where he will go and how ready he might be to return to hockey is unclear but with this move, the Jets free up $7.6-million in salary cap space for the next season — something they will likely use to bolster their blue line that was decimated last season.

Related: 7 Biggest NHL Players in Today’s Game

Senators May Have An Advantage Others Don’t

Assuming a delay doesn’t last so long that the Ottawa Senators find the entire franchise in financial peril, Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun believes a flat or reduced salary cap is actually beneficial for the team.

Pierre Dorion Ottawa Senators
Pierre Dorion, Ottawa Senators, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Senators can target cap-strapped clubs who want to shed salary in the off-season as the Sens only have around $41.9 million invested in next season’s cap payroll. The team is loaded with draft picks and prospects and could move some for high-quality players.

GM of the Senators, Pierre Dorion said:

“We’ll look at our team once the season has ended and look at what kind of trades can be beneficial for us.” He added, “We’ll be looking at trades that help us more on the hockey side than financial.”

source – ‘ WARREN: Why would Senators want regular season to continue?’ Ken Warren – Ottawa Sun – 04/14/2020

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