NHL Rumors: Canucks, Oilers, Penguins, a St. Louis Return, More

In today’s NHL rumors, former NHL star Martin St. Louis noted during an interview that he’d like to return to the NHL, but not as a player. The Vancouver Canucks have a few items on their to-do list, and the Pittsburgh Penguins will have to make a decision on goaltenders Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. Finally, the Edmonton Oilers signed two players in the last 24 hours.

St. Louis Looking to Coach in NHL

Now retired NHL star Martin St-Louis said during an interview on the Max & Bruno program that he’d like to return to the NHL one day as a head coach. Retired since the end of the 2014-15 season, he’s looking to step back into the game in a few years and sees himself in a coaching role.

(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He said (English translation):

“I can’t wait for this next step. In the past five years, being able to be present for my children in their development is time that I will never be able to take back. If I get into this right away, I’m going to waste time with my kids so I want to be patient, but within three years, I see myself going back to hockey.”

St-Louis has already dipped his toes in having helped with the Columbus Blue Jackets last year in a part-time role. His contract was not extended because he wasn’t ready to commit to the job as a consultant full-time.

Related: NHL Rumors: Canadiens, Sharks, Flames, More

Canucks Contracts and Trade Speculation

NBC Sports’ James O’Brien notes that the Vancouver Canucks may be moving some forwards around to improve their blue line and clear cap space. The idea is to use the NHL Draft to pick up some supporting pieces for Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser and Quinn Hughes.

This means making room to re-sign starting goalie Jacob Markstrom, who is an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Backup Thatcher Demko is only signed through next season so that extension is on the Canucks’ long-term radar as well.

Tyler Toffoli Vancouver Canucks
Tyler Toffoli, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

One question that remains unclear is whether or not the Canucks will spend what is needed to re-sign pending UFA winger Tyler Toffoli. Signing the 28-year-old to a longer-term contract carries some risk. If they choose to, in an effort to make room for Toffoli, Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance of The Athletic believe Chris Tanev, Jordie Benn, and Sven Baertschi are the Canucks most likely to be moved.

While the team would like to move veteran winger Loui Eriksson (and $6 million annual average value through 2021-22) that could be difficult. They write that it could be essential to figure out clearing extra space:

Let’s assume that Markstrom and Toffoli sign for $11 million combined, which seems realistic albeit a bit team-friendly. That leaves $3.3 million available for five additional spots to fill out the roster.

Obviously, in that scenario, the team will need to carve out more space, if only to re-sign their key RFAs (not to mention upgrading the blue line).

source – ‘Who stays, who goes? Analyzing the Canucks’ roster for the 2020-21 season’ – Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance – The Athletic – 04/27/2020

Related: Best Undrafted Players in NHL History

Oilers Re-Sign Haas, Sign Lennstrom

The Edmonton Oilers officially re-signed forward Gaetan Haas to a one-year extension for the 2020-21 season. Ryan Rishaug of TSN reports that the contract will carry a salary of $915K. Haas tweeted that he was really happy to be part of the team for another year.

They also announced the signing of Theodor Lennstrom to a one-year, entry-level contract. The 25-year-old defenceman spent the 2019-20 season with @frolunda_hc of the Swedish Hockey League, posting three goals & 12 assists.

Penguins Goaltending News

Seth Rorabaugh of TribLive.com recently examined what might happen with Penguins’ goaltenders Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry. Noting that Murray has the resume to ask for a hefty contract, the Penguins might not want to spend the money it could take to re-sign him , especially with Jarry in the fold.

Murray could seek an extension comparable to Tampa Bay’s Andrej Vasilevskiy ($9.5 million AAV) or Winnipeg’s Connor Hellebuyck ($6.16 million AAV) but the more affordable option is to re-sign fellow RFA Jarry.

Tristan Jarry Pittsburgh Penguins
Tristan Jarry, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

As a pending restricted free agent, Jarry figured to be a candidate for a pay raise. The 24-year-old is in the final season of a two-year contract with a salary cap hit of $675,000, a bargain for a player who was selected as an All-Star this season.

The timing of breaking out as an NHL-er in a contract year could not have been more convenient for Jarry … until, of course, the league shut down because of a worldwide pandemic, potentially losing $1.1 billion as a result.

source – ‘Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry faces uncertain future with his next contract’ – Seth Rorabouagh – Triblive.com – 04/28/2020

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