NHL Rumors: Canucks, Senators, Lightning, Red Wings, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there are more details emerging as to why a deal between the Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins fell through at this season’s NHL Trade Deadline. Meanwhile, have things gone off the rails between the Ottawa Senators and Cam Talbot?

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Could the Tampa Bay Lightning lose Alex Killorn in free agency? Finally, what are the chances the Detroit Red Wings target William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason?

Canucks and Possible J.T. Miller Trade

Elliotte Friedman noted during a recent 32 Thoughts podcast episode that one of the reasons the Penguins rumored deal for J.T. Miller didn’t happen was because they knew Jason Zucker would have to come back in the trade and they were not sure he would stay in Vancouver. Zucker is a pending UFA and he could have bolted after the season if he didn’t feel the Canucks offered him any real shot at winning.

Jason Zucker Pittsburgh Penguins
Jason Zucker, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Canucks did think about making the trade anyway and seeing if they could send Zucker somewhere else. Apparently, they even talked about that possibility with other teams. That said, Friedman emphasizes the Penguins and Canucks didn’t get close to finalizing a deal, as it was too complicated.

Senators and Talbot Not on the Same Page

Friedman also spoke about the goaltending issues in Ottawa and noted: “One thing that really didn’t get a lot of attention that I think is a really big story is in a game they absolutely had to have, Talbot didn’t dress.” There has been speculation that Talbot is asking for more money on a contract extension than the Senators are willing to offer and Friedman added that during the season, talks went sideways at some point. He noted, “From what I hear they were never close”.

The NHL insider suggests that the Senators are comfortable going with a combination of Mads Søgaard and Anton Forsberg in goal next year. Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun tweeted, “If the #Sens don’t even dress veteran Cam Talbot as the backup tonight in Florida, and it looks like that will be the case, then that’s a pretty strong message. He was brought in to be a difference maker and he simply hasn’t been able to stay healthy or be consistent.”

Could Killorn Depart Lightning Via Free Agency?

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun recently reported that he believes it’s going to be difficult for the Tampa Bay Lightning to re-sign forward Alex Killorn. While his back-to-back 25-goal seasons would be something the Lightning would like to keep on the roster, he’ll be among the most interesting players in a fairly weak UFA class.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Kampf, Aston-Reese & Lafferty

LeBrun points out that Killorn will be in line for a raise over his $4.45 million annual salary and the Lightning still have to find a way to afford the deals they signed with Erik Cernak, Mikhail Sergachev, and Anthony Cirelli. If the Lightning need to clear up $7.4 million in cap space, it’s hard to imagine Killorn not heading to the market on July 1.

Could the Red Wings Target William Nylander?

When asked in a recent mailbag segment if the Detroit Red Wings should be keeping an eye on the situation in Toronto and perhaps target William Nylander if the Leafs struggle in the playoffs, Max Bultman of The Athletic writes that it’s a long shot, but it could be something GM Steve Yzerman has a look at.

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs
William Nylander, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Bultman writes that Toronto might be able to keep all three of their big scorers because the John Tavares deal only has two seasons left. But, if the Maple Leafs are ousted in the first round, Tavares’ contract status might not matter. He writes:

But if the Leafs do lose in the first round again this year, some kind of shake-up feels inevitable. And while Matthews would be a pipe dream, Nylander would be an outstanding target for Detroit … and just about anyone who could use a big-time scorer. So it feels like a long shot, but hey, I love the thought.

source – ‘Red Wings free agency, reason for optimism and a 2030 prediction: Mailbag, Part 2’ – Max Bultman – The Athletic – 4/8/2023