NHL Rumors: Golden Knights, Panthers, Oilers, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Vegas Golden Knights acquired goalie Adin Hill from the San Jose Sharks. Is this their move to solve a goaltending issue they said they didn’t have? Joe Thornton has said goodbye to the Florida Panthers. What will be his next move?

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Are the Edmonton Oilers positioning themselves to make another series of deals before the start of the 2022-23 season? Finally, one scribe hits the Toronto Maple Leafs fan base with a dose of reality.

Vegas Adds Goaltender Adin Hill

Everyone seemed to know the Golden Knights needed a netminder. Well, all except the Golden Knights who’d publicly said their intention was to run with Laurent Brossoit and Logan Thompson, after news that Robin Lehner was going to miss the 2022-23 season due to injury. Perhaps rethinking their position, Vegas picked up Adin Hill from the Sharks in exchange for a 2024 fourth-round pick.

When it comes to their salary cap, the trade puts Vegas $10.24 million over the cap ceiling, but with the ability to put Shea Weber ($7.86 million) and Lehner ($5 million) on LTIR, they will effectively have just over $2.6 million with which to work and make other moves.  

McCrimmon was asked if he was interested in creating competition in goal and he said it was important for them to have another NHL-caliber goalie. They didn’t think as recently as a week ago that the team might have a chance to do something. He wouldn’t confirm if the team was prepared to carry three goaltenders into the season. All he would say is that it wasn’t a factor in the decision to trade for him.

Joe Thornton Not Returning to Panthers

Joe Thornton will officially not be returning to the Florida Panthers this coming season. It was a goodbye post by his wife on Instagram that caught people’s attention this past week where she wrote, “South Florida, I loved our time together! This breakup hurts and I will miss you.”

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Sandin, Nylander, Kerfoot & Spezza

It’s not clear if Thornton intends to keep playing but if he wants to try his hand in the NHL, he may have to hope that he’s offered a PTO with at least one club. There is some chatter he may play professionally in Switzerland where he and his family reside during the offseason.

Oilers Could Make a Series of Moves In Early Fall

Jonathan Willis of The Athletic talked about the Edmonton Oilers’ unwillingness to go all-in every season and trade first-round picks as other teams have. He gave GM Ken Holland credit for taking a measured approach to his signings and trades, even if not every move has worked out. He also believes the Oilers have got the depth on this roster to make this an offseason where Holland does elect go all in.

Ken Holland Edmonton Oilers
Ken Holland, Edmonton Oilers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Willis predicted that Holland might not be done. He explained:

…the Oilers are rapidly approaching the moment where it will actually be time for imprudent moves, for sacrificing prospects or first-round picks in the right deal, for pushing the chips to the centre of the table. They might be there already. There’s typically a flurry of moves in the early fall, right before the season begins. If Holland judges the time is right, it could and should be a busy window for Edmonton.

source – ‘Willis: The Edmonton Oilers are rapidly approaching their ‘all-in’ moment’ – Jonathan Willis – The Athletic – 08/27/2022

Willis wasn’t specific on the moves he thinks Holland would make, but a quick look at the team’s salary cap situation shows that there would need to be a series of moves to make even one deal that could improve the roster. That would mean either trading a player like Warren Foegele and picking up other depth at a lesser cost or making a trade that sees money go out as new money comes in.

Don’t Take Kane to Maple Leafs Talk Seriously

During The Chris Johnston Show, Johnston was asked for his thoughts on the Patrick Kane to Toronto rumors. Johnston didn’t believe there was anything to them and challenged fans to look at the reality of the Maple Leafs’ current situation and find a way for the club to actually add Kane to the roster.

Johnston said, “I guess I understand where it comes from but I don’t really understand how anyone thinks that’s going to work in a salary cap world.” He added, “I mean, we’re talking about the Leafs signing all these free agents for $1 million, bargain guys to fill out their roster and Patrick Kane carries a $10.5 million cap hit.”