In today’s NHL rumor rundown there are more detail on the negotiations between Mitch Marner and the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Washington Capitals might look very different next season and the Ottawa Senators have asked for permission to speak with an assistant out of Toronto.
Mitch Marner Could Be Traded
The Sportsnet panel said on Saturday night that if the Toronto Maple Leafs are sincere in their negotiations with Mitch Marner, they’d better come out with a good offer immediately and somewhere in the range of what Auston Matthews is making. If they don’t there could be problems getting that deal done.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said, “If that doesn’t happen, then I think Mitch Marner owes it to himself to take this to July 1.” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said if an extension is not in place by July 1st, there could be trade rumors and “anything’s in the air.”
TSN’s Darren Dreger asked on TSN 1050:
Can you afford to add two, let alone three $11 million players in Matthews, Tavares and in Mitch Marner?” “I don’t see it – but the unthinkable is, what do you do? Do you move Mitch Marner? If you legitimately can’t get to $10 million or more and you’re legitimately afraid of an offer sheet, what do you do?
Dreger then asks, ‘Who do you trade?’ He suggests there’s no way the Maple Leafs trade Auston Matthews and you’re not trading John Tavares. That leaves only Marner or dumping a good portion of the surrounding cast.
The Washington Capitals Are Likely to Lose a Number of Players
Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post writes that the Washington Capitals will have a $1.15 million bonus overage penalty added on to their salary cap for next season. This makes an already sticky situation stickier.
GM Brian MacLellan said they are interested in a long-term deal for Jakub Vrana after he posted a career-high 24 goals this past season. A new deal will probably come in around the $4.5 – $5 million per season mark.
The Capitals would also like to re-sign Chandler Stephenson but between Vrana and Stephenson, this could mean saying goodbye to Andre Burakovsky and his deal which requires a $3.25 million qualifying offer, players like Brooks Orpik and Devante Smith-Pelley, Brett Connolly and Carl Hagelin.
An alternative for the Capitals might be looking at trading defenseman Matt Niskanen to clear up some space.
Senators Interested in D.J. Smith
The Ottawa Senators have asked for permission to speak with Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach D.J. Smith according to Elliotte Friedman. This news comes after it was already revealed the Senators have spoken with Marc Crawford, Jacques Martin, and Troy Mann.
Smith, 41, has worked with the Leafs since 2015 as an assistant. His experience working with younger players is likely why the Senators are interested and it helps that he would have a profound knowledge of the workings of the Maple Leafs, who the Senators play quite often. Smith has the makings of a future NHL head coach and this does seem to be an ideal situation for him to make that jump.
The Senators plan to talk to five or six people before moving on to round two of interviews. Mike Yeo, Nate Leaman, and Dominque Ducharme could also be possibilities.
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Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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