NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Senators, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is more news on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Zach Hyman, the Detroit Red Wings are preaching patience and have a plan for the offseason, and with so many high-end draft picks, how will the Ottawa Senators decide who to draft?

What Would a Hyman Extension Look Like?

We reported yesterday that Zach Hyman made it known his desire was to stay with the Toronto Maple Leafs. With that news in hand, James Mirtle of The Athletic took a look at what a Hyman extension in Toronto might look like.

Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman
Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Zach Hyman (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

Saying there is some importance to having a bang-and-crash winger on the team, Mirtle’s closest comparable is Colorado winger Joonas Donskoi, who signed a four-year, $3.9 million AAV deal last summer. Since Hyman produced a bit more than Donskoi, would he cost more? A number closer to $4.5 million per season is more likely notes Mirtle. He then wonders if Hyman would take less money for more term.

After looking at other comparables, Mirtle writes:

None of these are perfect comparisons because there isn’t really one for a player like Hyman, who continues to improve despite his “advanced” age. But those that we do have seem to place Hyman into the range of 5.5 percent of the cap on a four- or five-year extension.

Given the cap is likely to remain relatively flat into next summer, that puts a new deal at about $4.5 million a season.

source – ‘Mirtle: What should a Zach Hyman extension look like for the Maple Leafs?’ – James Mirtle -The Athletic – 04/17/2020

Related: Maple Leafs: Whipping Boys From the Last Decade

Red Wings Immediate Plans

In a string of articles last week for MLive.com, Ansar Khan examined where the rebuilding Detroit Red Wings might turn this offseason and who or what they’ll target via trade, the draft or free agency.

Steve Yzerman, Christopher Ilitch
Steve Yzerman and Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. after Yzerman is introduced as the new executive vice president and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Saying the team needs a top-six forward, they’ll also need a pair of free-agent defensemen and a backup goaltender. He went on to list a number of the top free agents from this year’s crop as targets but noted that it would take some convincing to come to Detroit. When asked about buyouts, Khan didn’t think the Red Wings would go that route. He said the team doesn’t want a player’s contract on the books for additional years, even at a reduced rate.

Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman spoke with Detroit News’ Ted Kulfan and said that despite a lousy season, everything is going according to plan. Yzerman said:

“I knew what I was getting into, and I think I had a general idea what it takes to build a team. (Patience) is very difficult to sell, and we gotta show progress. I’m hoping the progress shows next year in wins and losses, but it will show in prospects and their development. 

source – ‘I knew what I was getting into’: Patience defined Red Wings GM Steve Yzerman’s first year’ – Ted Kulfan – Detroit News – 04/17/2020

Senators Not Drafting By Positional Need

Senators beat writer Hailey Salvian noted that Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion has stated the team won’t use it’s higher-end draft picks to fill positional needs. Like many teams do, the Senators will be drafting by using the best-player-available method.

He said in the second and third overall picks in the 2020 draft, they would selected the “two best players”. From there, if need be, the team can make other deals to fill holes that those draft picks might not.

Related: NHL Rumors: Byfuglien, Blues, Maple Leafs, Flames, More

Final Paycheck Deferred

According to TVA’s Renaud Lavoie, NHL players have been debating on how much of their final paycheck should go back to owners via escrow so, for now, they have deferred their decision on their last paycheck until May 15. The idea behind the delay is to give the NHL and NHLPA extra time to figure out if there will be games played this season.

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that players are already getting their 2018-19 escrow return next week, so delaying a paycheck won’t be too painful. There will be some discussion by the NHLPA about what to do with that last paycheck (estimated at $140 million) since players also owe escrow money to the system for this year.

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