NHL Rumors: Blues, Rangers, Devils, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on how the St. Louis Blues might free up some cap space to sign Alex Pietrangelo, the New Jersey Devils have plans to improve their roster for next season, and Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersson talks about wanting to finish out the season. Finally, would Lias Andersson return to the New York Rangers if asked?

Blues to Move Players

In his STLTODAY.com column, Jim Thomas was asked about how the St. Louis Blues might free up the cap space needed to sign defenseman and pending free agent Alex Pietrangelo. He wants to stay in St. Louis, but reports are that he’s keen to make fair market value and that could be problematic for the Blues.

Alexander Steen St. Louis Blues
Alexander Steen, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He feels the most likely scenario is trading goaltender Jake Allen and buying out the final season of veteran forward Alexander Steen’s contract. Thomas explains:

Keep in mind, this works only if its a compliance buyout — the kind last used after the 2012-13 lockout year. I don’t think a regular buyout — the kind that’s available to every team, every year — would free up enough money.

If I’m correnctly understanding the compliance buyout language provisions from ’12-13, Faulk wouldn’t be eligible for a buyout because he would have been with the Blues only one year. Even if you could buy out Faulk, that would be adding a lot more money to the organization’s overall “bill” than merely buying out a year of Steen or a year of Bozak. Maybe this all means you’re not re-signing Pietrangelo.

source – ‘ Quick Hits: JT on the Blues’ – Jim Thomas – St. Louis Dispatch – 04/22/2020

Thomas added that because the Blues signed Marco Scandella, at least two roster players will need to be moved off the roster to make room.

Related: Best & Worst Blues’ Draft Picks Since 2010

Devils to Add Top-Tier Defenseman

Abbey Mastracco of Northjersey.com took a look at the blue line situation in New Jersey and noted that the Devils need to add pieces to be a contending team. There’s speculation the organization might target a short-term bigger-ticket blueliner.

Mastracco writes:

If upgrades are made then they will likely be made through trades since this isn’t exactly a team in position to throw big money at free agents. This team isn’t one or two players away from contending, especially on the blue line, but a veteran free agent on a short-term deal may not be out of the question.

source – ‘NJ Devils’ position-by-position: Defense depth badly needed in 2020-21- Abbey Mastracco – Northjersey.com – 04/14/2020

There is also word that the Devils might target trades for forwards with cap-strapped teams and the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs are two clubs the Devils might be looking at. The Lightning might be forced to part with winger Alex Killorn or Ondrej Palat and the Maple Leafs might have to move Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.

Frederik Andersen Wants to Finish Season

When asked about whether or not he’d like to finish out the season, Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen said he’s hoping the NHL can do whatever is possible to find a conclusion to this season.

Frederik Andersen Toronto Maple Leafs
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He said during a conference call:

I think I’ve heard a lot of different ideas and scenarios, but I’m pretty open to pretty much everything that can be done to salvage the season and finish the season and get a Stanley Cup champion. I think all 31 teams have put a lot of time and effort in obviously, so I definitely want to see something to be done to finalize the season and move on and not lose out on all the hard work and all the stuff that’s been put into this season. 

Related: Maple Leafs’ Forgotten Ones: Mikael Renberg

Would Lias Andersson Return to Rangers If Asked?

Talking about his struggles, former New York Rangers player Lias Andersson said he’s not sure if he would return to the Rangers organization if invited. Vincent Z. Mercogliano of Lohud spoke with Andersson about his mental struggles and his response was:

“It wasn’t just something that happened overnight, but it sneaked up on me,” he told Rylander. “I had a hard time. … I was injured, couldn’t do anything about it. There were many small things that made it weigh. I started to get (into) bad habits off the ice.”

Andersson didn’t tell the Rangers about his struggles and it wound up being a poor decision that left him on the outs with the franchise. When asked if he’d return should they invite him, he said, “I do not know.” He added, “Damn, I haven’t thought that far. I get to have a dialogue with agents and whatever it is during the summer — and then I try to take it as it comes. I am open to suggestions.”

Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors