NHL Rumors: Sharks, Blackhawks, Rangers, Canucks, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the San Jose Sharks will cooperate with an NHL investigation of forward Evander Kane who is being accused to gambling on NHL hockey games, specially ones he was playing in. Meanwhile, goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has informed the Chicago Blackhawks he’ll report next season. Did the New York Rangers make a trade offer for Jack Eichel? Finally, are the Vancouver Canucks worried about an offer sheet for Elias Pettersson?

Fleury Will Play for Blackhawks

The Chicago Blackhawks got good news on Sunday as Fleury has informed the franchise he will play next season despite his unhappiness with being moved by the Vegas Golden Knights in a trade that caught a lot of attention just ahead of NHL free agency this offseason. The Blackhawks tweeted a photo of a flower and multiple insiders are saying Fleury has told the team he’s good to go.

There was talk Fleury might choose to retire from hockey instead of report to the team and that he was going to take some time and talk with his family before making a decision. With a single season remaining on a $7 million AAV contract, he’s going to report and the be starter for the Blackhawks.

While the team could move him by the trade deadline or he could sign in free agency with another club next summer, the Blackhawks got Fleury for almost nothing in a trade and will have the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in net thanks to a shrewd move by GM Stan Bowman to capitalize on a salary cap dump move by Vegas.

Related: Blackhawks Banter: Fleury’s Future, Suter’s Departure & Favorite Moves

Kane Under Investigation by the NHL

The NHL will be looking into allegations made against forward Evander Kane by his estranged and soon to be ex-wife. She claims he’s been neglecting she and their daughter, but also that he’s been gambling on NHL hockey games, specifically ones he’s been involved in with the Sharks.

Evander Kane - Sharks
Evander Kane, San Jose Sharks, Oct. 9, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

A series of posts by the NHL Public Relations social media account note:

The League was made aware this evening of a post on social media alleging that San Jose Sharks Player Evander Kane bet on NHL games. The integrity of our game is paramount and the League takes these allegations very seriously. We intend to conduct a full investigation and will have no further comment at this time.

Against the advice of his legal counsel, Kane posted a response to the allegations on his own social media pages and denied any truth to the allegations. He called them “completely FALSE” and said “I have NEVER gambled/bet on Hockey, NEVER gambled/bet on a Sharks game, NEVER gambled/bet on any of my games and NEVER thrown a hockey game.” He said he was proud to have had the best personal season of his career last year that his ex is mentally unstable. He noted that he loved his daughter and will always take care of her, while trying to de-escalate divorce issues to no avail.

Rumored Rangers Offer for Eichel

Noting that a lot of what happens between the Rangers and Eichel will depend on what happens between the Rangers and Mika Zibanejad first, Larry Brooks of the NY Post writes that a source said a recent Rangers offer didn’t include Filip Chytil but did include Vitali Kravtsov, Zach Jones, Alexandar Georgiev and a first-round draft pick.

He also adds that the Rangers are focused on re-signing RFA goaltender Igor Shesterkin and would like to get a deal done at around $5.5 million. There is thought it could cost $6 million or more.

Canucks Not Worried About Pettersson Offer Sheet

Ben Kuzma of The Province has cited comments from Canucks general manager Jim Benning that the organization is not worried about Elias Pettersson receiving an offer sheet. Benning says:

“I don’t think people should be concerned. We’re going to get these deals done. We’ve had constructive talks (with agents) J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson about their clients and continue to work on those things. We’re going to be able to figure them out.”

source – ‘Canucks notebook: Benning wary, not worried about possible offer sheet to Pettersson’ – Ben Kuzma – The Province – 07/28/2021

Several contract options have been discussed and a bridge concept could work for Pettersson with a backloaded structure to capitalize on his RFA status with arbitration rights when the deal expires.