NHL Rumors: Quick, Marner, Oilers, Devils, More

In today’s NHL rumors (the Christmas Eve Edition), there are updates on the Flyers search for a goaltender, which apparently includes Jonathan Quick. Meanwhile, the Maple Leafs are chatting with Mitch Marner’s agent and the Oilers realize they have depth issues that might be addressing. Will Ray Shero deviate from his plan to help the New Jersey Devils?

The Flyers in on Jonathan Quick?

Nick Kypreos said on Saturday Headlines the Philadelphia Flyers have spoken with the Los Angeles Kings about goaltender Jonathan Quick. Kypreos did explain that it doesn’t sound like any contract talks have happened, but a conversation has started and he expects the story to gain steam coming into the new year.

Jonathan Quick - LA Kings
Jonathan Quick #32, Los Angeles Kings – December 18, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Quick has four years left on his deal at a $5.8 million salary cap hit but his actual salary declines from $3.5-million to $3-million to $2.5-million in the final three seasons.

It will be interesting to see if these talks pick up what that means for a player like Carter Hart. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet suggests the Flyers are looking for an experienced goalie to help mentor Hart. If not Quick, the Flyers may also look at names like Scott Darling, Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Jimmy Howard, and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Related: NHL Rumors: Kings, Blues, Predators, More

Status on Mitch Marner

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas met with Darren Ferris, the agent for Mitch Marner to discuss a contract extension earlier this week. The two sides were also slated to meet again this weekend.

Mitchell Marner, Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews celebrates with teammate Mitchell Marner (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)

The good news is, the sides are talking. The bad news seems to be that Marner has no desire to sign right now. With a deep 2019 class of restricted free agents, no one seems to want to set the market for the others and Marner stands to gain a lot if he continues to have a strong season. He could hit it out of the park and the threat of an offer sheet means he’ll maximize his value on the market. He and his agent are well aware of what it means to wait things out and it appears they intend to do so.

Meanwhile, Luke Fox of Sportsnet writes the Maple Leafs have lots of salary cap space this season to improve their blue line at the trade deadline if they want. He lists Alex Edler, Jay Bouwmeetser, Niklas Kronwall, Nick Jensen, Ben Lovejoy, and Marc Methot as options.

Related: Maple Leafs’ News: Rentals, Nylander, Hyman, the Cap & Offer Sheets

Oilers Realizing They Aren’t Deep Enough

While the Edmonton Oilers sit in a playoff spot over Christmas, they have now suffered three-straight losses with their loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday. The reason is a lack of depth scoring and a couple key injuries on the blue line. The team doesn’t have much salary cap room to add players and head coach Ken Hitchcock is realizing it.

Drake Caggiula, Mikko Koskinen, Cooper Marody, Ken Hitchcock
Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mikko Koskinen celebrates with left wing Drake Caggiula and center Cooper Marody in front of head coach Ken Hitchcock. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jeff Chiu)

Hitchcock said, “Unless it changes, it’s looking a lot like we don’t have enough support… for our group. We’re going to end up running on fumes if we don’t.” This suggests Hitchcock is speaking to management about ways to find more support for the top lines. Right now he’s trying to connect the pieces they currently have but Edmonton may need to make a trade to get the help they need.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hart, Russell and Quick Hits by Friedman

Senators Looking at New Possible Ownership?

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet said it is believed that Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk turned down a $400 million offer. There is some behind the scene talk about gauging some interest in potential ownership groups. Could Melnyk get an offer that he can’t refuse?

Related: NHL Rumors: Datsyuk, Duchene, Blues, Leafs, and Rangers Updates

Devils Will Veer From Plan if Needed

Abbey Mastracco of North Jersey reports that while the New Jersey Devils continue to fall in the standings Devils GM Ray Shero is actively looking for any short- or long-term deals that could improve the team. The Devils are likely more than one or two moves away from being a contending team.

Ray Shero - Devils GM
GM Ray Shero addresses the media at the New Jersey Devils 2017 Development Camp. (Photo Credit: New Jersey Devils/Patrick Dodson)

Mastracco writes:

Shero is not sitting by idly waiting for the Devils to snap out of this funk and suddenly start playing like a contender. He’s actively looking for deals to better the club in the long- and short-term and everyone knows he’s willing to deal just about anyone, regardless of the emotional connection they may have to the team and the fan base.

source – ‘Why NJ Devils’ Ray Shero isn’t deviating from his rebuild plan’ – northjersey.com – Abbey Mastracco – 12/20/2018

In an effort to right the ship and get back to where they were last season, Shero will veer from their original plan. “I’ll deviate from the plan at the right time for the right reasons. Absolutely,” Shero said. “I didn’t promise this was going to be without some bumps. That’s part of a rebuild.”

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