In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Chicago Blackhawks will have to get down to business with restricted free agent Dominik Kubalik. What will that deal look like? So too, in Carolina, the Hurricanes and forward Andrei Svechnikov are ready to talk extension but will a deal get done now or later? Finally, could the Vancouver Canucks be close to getting Tyler Myers back and are the Maple Leafs shifting pieces around in order to make a play for Alex Pietrangelo?
Blackhawks and Dubalik Contract Talks
Chicago Blackhawks winger Dominik Kubalik is due for a hefty raise. He exploded onto the NHL scene this season and had a great play-in round against the Edmonton Oilers prior to being eliminated in the playoffs by the Golden Knights. Now 25, he’s eligible for salary arbitration as a pending restricted free agent.
Kubalik says he hasn’t thought much about his extension options but told Jay Cohen of the Associated Press he anticipates he’ll speak to his agent over the next couple of weeks. He said:
“The season just ended, so I’m really happy to be home. It’s going to be probably a conversation with my agent in the next couple days and weeks.
After this year, hopefully, I’m confident that I’m on a good way and I would love to stay in Chicago. So that’s probably all I can say about it right now.”source – ‘Blackhawks F Kubalik keeping quiet about free agency’ Jay Cohen – 08/27/2020
For the Hawks, things are tight. The team has roughly $7 million in cap space and also has Dylan Strome to sign, plus Bowman needs to figure out the goaltending situation.
Svechnikov Ready to Talk Contract Extension Now
Hurricanes winger Andrei Svechnikov is not just eligible for an extension but he’s ready to talk deal with the team, says NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti. The forward is entering the final year of his entry-level contract and it may serve him better to wait and see what other RFAs sign for since he’ll be among the higher-priced deals. Still, it sounds like he’s open to doing a deal now.
Svechnikov’s out-performed his own rookie numbers in a shortened season and put up 24 goals and 37 assists in 61 games. He exploded in the playoffs with four goals and three assists in six games before suffering a high ankle sprain that took him out of action.
So, do the Hurricanes want to get a deal done with Svechnikov now? It seems so.
Hurricanes GM Don Waddell said he’s working on two deals, one for Svechnikov and one for defenseman Dougie Hamilton who is a year away from UFA eligibility. Waddell notes:
Certainly, they are both important players for this organization, and it makes more sense to get to it sooner than later. You’re looking at two different types of contracts. One (Hamilton) is going to be an unrestricted free agent come next year after the upcoming year. Andrei will be coming off his entry-level deal. So it’s two different kind of negotiations we’re looking at. There’s no timetable. There’s no deadlines. They both have another year left. … We have a good relationship with both players. I fully expect both players to want to stay here.
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Canucks Get Good News on Tyler Myers
He’s not been cleared to play yet since suffering a separated shoulder, but there’s potentially good news when it comes to the status of Canucks’ defenseman Tyler Myers.
According to reports, it sounds like Myers took part in Canucks practice yesterday. There was an optional skate this morning and he won’t play tonight but the good news is he’s making progress and getting closer to a potential return.
The Maple Leafs and Alex Pietrangelo Talk Heats Up
Recently, Alex Pietrangelo noted that his preference is to stay in St. Louis, but he understands players put on different jerseys all the time. In short, he hinted his legacy isn’t stuck in St. Louis. That’s a good thing for other NHL teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs who might be making moves in an effort to make a play for the highly-coveted free agent defenseman.
Sportsnet’s Luke Fox writes that the Toronto Maple Leafs shipping Kasperi Kapanen last week to the Pittsburgh Penguins is one move in what might be a few moves that make it possible for the team to sign Alex Pietrangelo via free agency in the offseason.
Fox notes that the Leafs have identified signing a right-shot defenseman as their top priority and the team has a history of going big-game hunting.
Fox says he expects Pietrangelo will get an offer from the Blues but that it will be lower than what he can make on the open market. If the Maple Leafs find he’s available, expect them to dump more salary in an effort to land him.
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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.”