NHL Rumors: Oilers, Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Sharks

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is more talk about Patrick Kane, from both the perspective of the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Is there anything to these rumors?

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The Montreal Canadiens appear to be getting closer to a deal with Kirby Dach and what is the latest on the arbitration hearing between the San Jose Sharks and Evander Kane?

Oilers Have Bigger Priorities Than Patrick Kane

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal cited NHL insider John Shannon’s belief that the Oilers have bigger fish to fry than to try and pry Patrick Kane out of Chicago — something Gene Principe recently said was the Oilers’ “Plan A”. Instead of more offense, the Oilers should really be trying to shore up their blue line, Shannon argued.

Patrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

The veteran hockey analyst explained:

“If you think that the Oilers are that close to a Stanley Cup, does Patrick Kane put you over the top? My thought process would be a defenceman rather than another forward. Goal scoring is not going to be the problem for this hockey club. The issue for this club — as it has been for the last couple of years — is how to keep the puck out of the net at key times. For the most part, they’ve done a pretty good job. Jack Campbell is going to address some of those issues. But I still think they need another defenceman before they need another forward.”

source – ‘Patrick Kane doesn’t make the most sense for the Edmonton Oilers, NHL insider says. Hmm’ – David Staples – Edmonton Journal – 08/23/2022

Shannon added, “I don’t believe in one-year rentals for a first-round pick. That’s not good business… If Patrick Kane were a defenceman I might think differently.”

Kane Like the Idea of the Maple Leafs?

According to Leafs Updates (not sure it’s an entirely trusted source), the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks have held a brief conversation regarding Blackhawks legend Patrick Kane. That’s filtered into chatter around the Internet that Kane in the top-six for the Maple Leafs would be even more dangerous a threat than if he were to join the Oilers.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This led Paul Bissonnette of Spittin’ Chiclets to throw out the theory that Kane would join the Maple Leafs and choose to re-sign a “hometown discount” to stay with the Maple Leafs after his current contract ends. He would then pass the torch as the greatest U.S.-born player to a player who could turn into the greatest U.S.-born player in NHL history, Auston Matthews.

One important thing to remember here is that Patrick Kane hasn’t, as of yet, told the Blackhawks that he’d like to leave the organization. Bissonnette’s comments are likely more poking fun at the idea of Kane to the Leafs. The organization would have the same salary cap issues that hinder the Oilers’ ability to add Kane at some point this season.

Canadiens and Dach Close on an Extension?

As per Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now, a deal between the Montreal Canadiens and Kirby Dach seems imminent and he notes it’s only a matter of time before they reach terms on a contract extension. He suggests a two- or three-year bridge deal seems more likely than a long-term deal.

Related: Canadiens 2022-23 Training Camp Predictions

The comparables are Kaapo Kakko of the New York Rangers (two years at a $2.1 million cap hit), Robert Thomas of the St. Louis Blues (two years at a $2.8 million cap hit) and Isac Lundestrom of the Anaheim Ducks (two years at a $1.8 million cap hit.)

Sharks Second Hearing with Evander Kane

According to a report from Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now, there still hasn’t been a date set for the second arbitration hearing between the San Jose Sharks and former forward Evander Kane. The delay was that the arbitrator wasn’t available in July, but this is now late August and there’s still no progress there. The season starts for both the Oilers and Sharks in less than 50 days.

The Sharks are just under the $82.5 million salary cap ceiling and have 13 forwards, seven defensemen, and three goalies projected for their 23-man roster. There is talk the team is looking to move a goalie and Peng notes the team might have better luck moving James Reimer or Adin Hill a month or so into the season.

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