In today’s NHL rumors, there are scribes taking a closer look at what Dustin Byfuglien might do now that he’s a free agent. There is also talk about how the St. Louis Blues might be interested should Alex Pietrangelo leave. But, if Pietrangelo stays, how do the Blues make room? And, what does Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman think about his future in Toronto? And, is Cam Talbot preparing to leave the Calgary Flames?
Where Will Byfuglien Go Next Season?
Now that Dustin Byfulgien is technically an unrestricted free agent, Matt Teague of The Score.com listed the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, and St. Louis Blues as three potential landing spots for the defenseman.
With respect to the Canadiens, Teague believes Byfuglien would provide additional right-side depth and alongside Shea Weber and Jeff Petry, would drastically improve their defense. Montreal has some money to spend as well and is rumored to be ready to make a splash. This would certainly qualify.
Teague also notes that Big Buff would be the first-pairing right-side defenseman for the Maple Leafs. A team that badly needs to add in that area, if Byfuglien is physically able to go, the Maple Leafs would be contenders. But, salary cap would obviously be a concern. Finally, the St. Louis Blues might be interested if Alex Pietrangelo leaves.
Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago looked at Byfuglien as an option for the Chicago Blackhawks (where Byfuglien once played.) If Byfulgien is willing to sign an affordable one-year deal to see how he feels about the game, the Blackhawks could load the deal with bonuses should he play well.
Related: Blackhawks’ Best Trades of All-Time
Blues to Shed Salary
Speaking of Pietrangelo, Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic looked at what the Blues will need to do to make room for the defenseman if their plan is to re-sign him.
With over $79 million invested in 20 players for 2020-21, Blues general manager Doug Armstrong must shed salary. Marco Scandella’s new deal is somewhat of a wash considering Jay Bouwmeester’s contract will be off the books. As for how they’ll make additional space, Rutherford writes:
If the Blues are going to make cap space, it’s going to have to come from moving Jake Allen, buying out Alexander Steen or making a series of smaller moves that add up to what they need.source – ‘Blues mailbag: Marco Scandella’s contract, Scott Perunovich comparisons and more’ – Jeremy Rutherford – The Athletic – 04/17/2020
Talbot Says Willing to Leave Flames
After joining the Calgary Flames and believing he’s proved he can be a No. 1 goaltender, Cam Talbot says he’s going to go where he gets a chance to be a starter. He spoke with Sportsnet about his future and whether or not it includes the Flames.
He said, “I wouldn’t rule out coming back, but, obviously, my goal coming here was to show the rest of the League that I still have it in me to be a starting goalie and I think I accomplished that.”
Talbot says he signed a one-year deal to prove himself to the league and now he intends to make the most of it, even if it means leaving. For now, he just wants a step up from last season. “I’d like to play more than 50-50, but 50-50 would be, you know, another step up from what I got this year, so I’ll take it,” he explained.
Hyman Comments on Future in Toronto
Kristen Shilton of TSN posted comments from Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman this week regarding his future with the team. He’s got a year left on his four-year, $9 million contract, but knows he could be a casualty of the lower salary cap next season.
He said, “First and foremost, I would love to stay in Toronto. It’s where I grew up. I want to be a Leaf for a long time.” He added that the uncertainty of the NHL means he’s fortunate to have a contract.
“In a way, with everything that’s happening now, I’m lucky that I have another year on my contract because everything will probably be sorted out by then with regards to the cap and whatnot and all those questions that nobody really has answers for right now. I would love to be a long-term Leaf and re-sign here. I want to be here and ultimately win a Stanley Cup.”
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Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”