NHL Rumors: Bruins, Hurricanes, Golden Knights, Kessel, Subban

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what do the Vegas Golden Knights plan to do after learning goaltender Robin Lehner will miss the entire 2022-23 NHL season due to injury? Meanwhile, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney talks about the likelihood the team enters the season without David Pastrnak signed to a long-term extension.

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Finally, there are a lot of people watching what happens with free agents Phil Kessel and P.K. Subban. What is the latest on their respective situations?

Lehner Out For Season, Golden Knights Options

With Robin Lehner out for the upcoming season thanks to hip surgery, Jesse Granger of The Athletic examined some options for the organization, using the extra $5 million in cap space the team will now have to use with Lehner on LTIR. He writes:

Vegas could use that space to acquire a goalie — and we’ll go over the current options — or it could roll with Thompson and his $766,667 cap hit in net. If it chooses the latter, the Golden Knights would have plenty of space to add another free agent, with Paul Stastny, Sonny Milano and Phil Kessel among others still out there.

source – ‘Who will Golden Knights turn to with Robin Lehner out for season? Exploring the options’ – Jesse Granger – The Athletic – 08/11/2022
Robin Lehner Vegas Golden Knights
Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

As for the other options he believes will be available in goal, Granger says there isn’t much on the free agent market and rules out a Jake Oettinger offer sheet. A Semyon Varlamov trade might make the most sense.

Are Bruins Concerned About Pastrnak’s Deal?

Matt Dolloff of 985 The Sports Hub asked Sweeney if the Bruins are alright with entering the season and not having David Pastrnak signed to an extension. Sweeney responded, “Yeah, I mean, it’s part of the business. You know, leverage is out there and the conversations are ongoing.” He added that the Bruins have made it clear to the player that they’d like to keep him and they will continue to do so. He said, “But you know, as far as entering the season with it, not a problem.”

Hurricanes Will Keep Eyes Open for Deals

With news that Max Pacioretty is going to be out for six months, Don Waddell of the Hurricanes noted that the team will keep their eyes open for deals on the market, but don’t feel as though they are in a situation where they “need” to do something. He explained that the salary cap becomes something they have to keep in mind.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Kerfoot, Aston-Reese, Matthews & Marner

As per Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer, Waddell said:

“We still think we’re in pretty good shape but we’ll keep our eyes open. We’ll listen to some teams with some cap issues. We’ll listen. But we also think the player’s going to come back sometime during the second half of the year. You’ve got to have the cap space, too. You can’t just replace his whole salary.”

source – ‘Carolina Hurricanes forward Max Pacioretty to miss six months after Achilles surgery’ – Chip Alexander – News and Observer – 08/101/2022

Latest of Phil Kessel and P.K. Subban

Previous reports have linked both Phil Kessel and P.K. Subban to contenders but as of yet, neither has signed with an NHL franchise. David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period was on TSN radio this week and offered an update on their respective situations.

Phil Kessel Arizona Coyotes
Phil Kessel, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He noted, “With Kessel I think, it’s more of a, let’s see how the contenders line up. Do they feel they have some holes in their lineup going into camp or after camp?” He believes Kessel will sign a low-cost (possibly league-minimum) deal that has some performance bonuses worked into it. He adds, “Really, that’s going to be his decision. I think that is where he’s at right now. If he wants to chase another ring, he’s got a couple already with the Pens, that’s ultimately what he has to do.”

As for Subban, he says, “it’s been quieter than I thought it would be.” He predicts that Subban might be less into the idea of signing with a contender than Kessel and hoping to get something in the $2.5 – $3 million range on a one-year deal. If he wants to stick with a contender, that drops to around $2 million. There’s some thought he wants to go somewhere to show he can still play and earn himself a better contract next summer.