In today’s rumor rundown, there is some uncertainty as it pertains to the future of winger Jordan Eberle, the Dallas Stars may be forced to try and sign Tyler Seguin part way through the season, the Flames and Noah Hanifin appear to be extremely close on a contract extension and there is a team still interested in unsigned forward Rick Nash.
Jordan Eberle Uncertain About Future?
James O’Brien of NBC Sports writes there are some “interesting, prime-age” players whose futures with the New York Islanders are uncertain. One of those players is Jordan Eberle who might consider moving on from the team when his contract comes up at the end of this season. O’Brien speculates that Eberle might not want to be on a rebuilding team having gone through that process in Edmonton with the Oilers.
Eberle has one more season at a $6 million cap hit and will be an unrestricted free agent this coming summer. He, along with Anders Lee, Brock Nelson and goaltender Robin Lehner will be eligible to move on and with the loss of John Tavares and some major questions about how successful the Islanders will be without their top-line center, there may be an exodus of players. Another strong 20-plus-goal season by Eberle would put him in line for a similar, if not better, long-term contract.
Eberle could have some strong value on the trade market near the deadline if the Islanders are out of the playoffs. That said, if he has a good season, he stands to make the most money with the Islanders on an extension. Whether Eberle stays or goes will likely depend on the team’s success this season.
Agreement Between Seguin and Stars Unlikely
Sean Shapiro of The Athletic writes the Dallas Stars and Tyler Seguin are continuing to talk extension but there has been no progress on a new deal. He adds the reality is, it is unlikely the team and Seguin will be able to reach an agreement on an extension before the season starts. This is not great news for the Stars who will feel a great deal of pressure during the season, especially if Seguin has a good year.
If the team struggles under new head coach Jim Montgomery, the numerous changes in coaches may make Seguin feel like the future in Dallas is questionable. From a Stars’ perspective, the team would rather not lose Seguin for nothing. If a trade happens, things in Dallas have not gone as according to plan.
Even if we assume he doesn’t have a contract before this season, trading Seguin is likely a sign that Jim Nill is on his way out the door — he’s only trading Seguin if things have gone terribly wrong. With that in mind, such a trade would be a white flag that the team has failed and I don’t think Nill will be willing to send that message.
source – “Stars Mailbag Vol. 22: Breakout candidates, realistic expectations, and Karlsson?” – The Athletic – Sean Shapiro- 08/23/2018
Noah Hanifin Deal Close
There is word out of Calgary that the Flames and young defenseman Noah Hanifin are extremely close to signing a new contract extension. NHL.com’s Dan Rosen says things are “super close” and there should be no worries that something won’t be in place by the time players report to camp on September 9th.
Hanifin indicated he wants at least a five-year deal versus a short-term bridge deal. A five-year contract would take Hanifin into unrestricted free agency so it might serve the Flames better to actually pitch a longer term than five years, removing some of those free agency years on the back end of the deal. Some are speculating Hanifin might actually get something similar to what Dougie Hamilton is being paid.
Blue Jackets Still Want Rick Nash
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic writes the Columbus Blue Jackets are still very interested in 34-year-old Rick Nash. Nash hasn’t decided what his NHL future looks like but if he decides to return, the Blue Jackets are prepared to make a pitch and the two sides are reported to be in regular communication.
Nash, 34, asked NHL teams for space during free agency, and he apparently has yet to decide whether he’s going to continue playing due to an accumulation of injuries. He’s spent a lot of time in the crease during his career. But if he does sign with a club, look for it to be with Columbus or with another team that has a decent shot to win the Stanley Cup.
source – “Scratch Pad #4: Updates on Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin, Rick Nash and other Blue Jackets topics as summer ends” – The Athletic – Aaron Portzline -08/22/2018
For Columbus, it could be important to get some offense added to the lineup, especially if they are forced to move Artemi Panarin. Obviously, Nash does not replace Panarin’s production, but if Columbus has to trade Panarin — who is refusing to talk extension with the team — they’ll be removing a huge chunk of their offense from the lineup and not likely to get it back in any trade. Panarin would be a likely be a rental and no team is going to trade a top-tier player without some indication Panarin will re-sign.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”