NHL Rumors: Laine, Krug, Leafs, Sharks, More

In today’s rumor rundown, Patrik Laine new deal with the Jets may not happen for a while, there is speculation the Oilers and Bruins might be talking trade, the Toronto Maple Leafs might waive a goaltender and the Sharks may have to enter the 2018-19 regular season making fewer changes than they would have liked.

Patrik Laine Isn’t In a Rush To Sign

With a big-money extension on the horizon, Winnipeg Jets’ sniper Patrik Laine says no major talks have happened with the Jets and he doesn’t care when he signs his NHL extension. He’s good to do it now or later, but he says he does want to stay in Winnipeg.

Patrik Laine Jets
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets, Mar. 10, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

With that in mind, the Jets have some important decisions to make over the next two summers. Signing Laine — who will be a restricted free agent after this season — will be one of the easier decisions but then the organization needs to figure out what they’ll do with players like Blake Wheeler, Tyler Myers and Brandon Tanev who are coming up in unrestricted free agency. Of course, Jacob Trouba will also become a restricted free agent and money will be tight. The team may have to make some sacrifices to get Laine in at the price he’s going to command for being one of the elite scorers in the NHL.

Perhaps it helps the Jets that Laine is in no rush to get a deal done. Speaking to media including Tom Gulliti of NHL.com, the Winnipeg superstar said, “I really don’t care. There’s no rush, really. I can do it next summer or this summer. I don’t mind. He added he wants a long-term deal in Winnipeg because he’s happy where he’s at and hopes the team feels the same.

It should be assumed Laine will earn between $9 million and $11 million on a long-term deal. Where in that spectrum he falls may depend on the kind of season he has in 2018-19.

Related: NHL Rumors: Sekera, Karlsson, Boeser, More

Oilers Asking About Bruins Defense?

Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports has speculated the Boston Bruins may be a good trade partner for the Edmonton Oilers. The Bruins have eight NHL defensemen under contract for next season and Torey Krug’s name is still floating around in trade rumors.  The Oilers just lost Andrej Sekera for the better part of next season and may be looking at a player like Krug.

Torey Krug Bruins
Torey Krug, Boston Bruins, Dec. 2, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There is no doubt Edmonton could use an offensive, top-four left-handed defenseman (especially if they don’t move Kris Russell back to his strong side) and general manager Peter Chiarelli would know Krug well. Haggerty wonders if the Bruins could get Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a deal centered around Krug? The Oilers would likely be hesitant to make that deal.

Brandon Share-Cohen of The Hockey Writers suggested right-shot defenders Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller could both possibly available via the trade market, representing a smaller trade on a band-aid type deal. Cohen writes, “All of this is to say that the Bruins have a plethora of NHL-ready defenders and if the Oilers are looking to patch things up quickly, Chiarelli’s familiarity with players like McQuaid and Miller could help them in the short-term.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Haula, Drouin, Silfverberg, More

Leafs to Waive a Goaltender

James Mirtle was on TSN 1050 talking about the Toronto Maple Leafs backup goaltender situation. Mirtle notes general manager Kyle Dubas is a believer in Garret Sparks and that he’s likely to get the call as the backup over Curtis McElhinney. Meanwhile, Mirtle said, “Calvin Pickard has been offered around the league in trade talks… you know they [the Leafs] are looking to ease that logjam a little bit.”

Maple Leafs goaltender Calvin Pickard
Maple Leafs goaltender Calvin Pickard (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

It is expected the team will put one of their netminders on waivers. Mirtle assumes Garret Sparks will either be the backup in Toronto or get traded. Having too many good goaltenders is not the worst problem to have but it makes sense the Leafs would want to clear some space knowing how much work they still have to do with upcoming contracts.

Related: NHL Rumors: Seguin, Rinne, Schmaltz, Duchene, More

Sharks To Enter Season As Is

In a mailbag article for The Athletic, Kevin Kurz answered some questions regarding the lack of moves made by the San Jose Sharks this offseason.

Noting that the team, specifically GM Doug Wilson, struck out on some of the big-name players he was trying to land, Kurz wrote:

We’re still about eight weeks away from the season opener on Oct. 3, of course, so there’s still time for a move. Something to keep in mind, though, is that there are rarely big trades in the first three months of the regular season. So, whatever roster the Sharks have in that first game against the Ducks is likely to be very close to their roster at Christmas.

source: Sharks mailbag: Meier’s upside, expectations for Thornton, and much more – Kevin Kurz -The Athletic – 08/13/2018

It is also assumed that while the Sharks are keeping an eye on a player like Max Pacioretty, it seems more likely that the team will go into the season as is. The first few months of the season will determine whether or not Wilson needs to get more active and adding scoring help.