In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are updates on Chris Kunitz in Chicago and whether or not he’ll keep playing while the Vancouver Canucks need to make a couple of important decisions on two fairly key players.
Kunitz Calling it Quits?
Chicago Blackhawks winger Chris Kunitz has yet to decide whether or not he wants to play another NHL, notes Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago. At his age and lack of production, retirement might make sense.
At 39 years old, Kunitz didn’t play much this season for the Blackhawks and collected only 10 points in 55 games. Unless he can find a team that will give him more than nine minutes per night, he would likely want to move to a sure thing as far as a playoff contending team go. He does have a history of providing offense in the postseason and has won four Stanley Cups.
There may be teams interested in him this summer if he decides that he wants to keep playing but he won’t see much on an increase on his $1 million salary should he choose to keep going.
Related: NHL Rumors: Krug, Kessel, Wild, More
Edler Wants a No-Move Clause in Vancouver?
It is clear Alex Edler wants to remain with the Vancouver Canucks. He refused to waive his no-trade clause prior to this year’s NHL Trade Deadline and Canucks didn’t really push him to. That said, Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre suggests that there will likely be one significant hurdle that needs to be cleared for the pending UFA to remain with the team.
The issue between the Canucks and Edler probably won’t come down to a matter of money or term but whether or not GM Jim Benning’s includes another no-move clause.
Because Edler invoked his no-trade clause this season, Benning might not want to get into a situation where he can’t trade the player should he need to. The expectation is that Edler would not waive if asked. With the Seattle expansion draft now two years away, the odds of him declining to go up even more and the consequences of not having options for the Canucks become greater.
Edler would want to assure he’s protected for the draft so as not to get plucked by Seattle. It is expected discussions on an extension for Edler should pick up again in the coming weeks.
Brock Boeser Wants His Money
Still with the Canucks,Postmedia’s Ed Willes speculates that winger Brock Boeser’s will be asking for around $6 million per season on a new deal coming out of restricted free agency. With 55 points in 68 games, this is the second time he’s reached this mark.
Typically a player like this would be worth this kind of money and probably more in today’s NHL salary structure but the trick for Vancouver is to try and predict how he’ll cope with injuries, which to date, have hampered his short tenure in the NHL. battled multiple groin issues throughout the season as well.
It is the injuries at only 22 years old that might keep him from making what he could otherwise make.
Luongo Happy to Serve as Backup in Florida
The Athletic’s George Richards got the sense from talking to Roberto Luongo recently that he believes he’s not quite ready to call it a career in the NHL. His game is in decline and injuries are certainly an issue but Luongo seems accepting of the idea of playing a backup role next season and possibly beyond if needed.
Luongo still has three years left on the 12-year deal he signed in Vancouver and there will be salary cap implications for both the Panthers and Canucks if he retires before the contract expires when he is 43.
He has said that if he did not feel he could play at a high level, he would hang them up. That has not been the case of late.source – ‘Is Saturday the end for Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo? Maybe, but probably not’ – The Athletic – George Richards – 04/05/2019
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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.”