NHL Rumors: Canucks, Blackhawks, Islanders, More

A very Merry Christmas to NHL fans and rumor followers across the world!

There’s not a ton of news on Christmas Day but a few tidbits for those who need their holiday rumors fix.

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Vancouver Canucks and what they’ll do with goaltender Jacob Markstrom, the Chicago Blackhawks might have to convince one of their netminders to sign at a discount and a prospect out of the New York Islanders organization was surprised of rumors he was being shopped.

Canucks Looking to Extend Markstrom?

Harman Dayal of The Athletic reports the Vancouver Canucks have a tricky decision to make when it comes to the future of goaltender Jacob Markstrom. He is in the last year of his deal and in most situations, the Canucks would like to extend him. There may, however, be a catch.

Jacob Markstrom Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson)

Both the Canucks and Markstrom are interested in getting a deal done but it could be easier said than done trying to figure out workable terms. Dayal quotes GM Jim Benning who said of Markstrom:

“We brought him up and worked with him every year and watched him grow into a No. 1 goalie. He’s an important guy for us and we’re gonna do our best to figure out a deal that works for him and works for us.”

source: ‘What a Jacob Markstrom extension could look like and how it affects the Canucks’ oncoming goalie dilemma’ – Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 12/12/2019

Proposed Markstrom deals range from four to five years, and from around $5.5 to $6 million per season. The Canucks are hoping for a lot less than that. A three-year deal in the $4.5 million range would work but it might require adding a no-movement clause. Should they, that brings the expansion draft into the conversation and then that forces the Canucks to possibly have to choose between Markstrom and Thatcher Demko.

Related: The NHL’s Best Farm Systems Ranked

Crawford to Take Discount in Chicago?

Based upon Robin Lehner’s play, his age and what the Chicago Blackhawks think of him, it appears certain that Corey Crawford is destined to become the backup netminder behind Lehner. Despite the fact the Blackhawks see Lehner as the future, does that mean Crawford is on his way out? Not necessarily.

Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

If Crawford is willing to stay at a reduced salary, there might be something the two sides can work out. Crawford has made it clear that isn’t out of the realm of possibility and that he would prefer to remain in Chicago.

“I’d love to stay in Chicago,” he said. “I’ve made a life here, and I’ve had a lot of good times here. And I want to win another championship here. That would be my No. 1 choice, for sure.”

Stan Bowman told Mark Lazerus of The Athletic:

“But, sure, they could both be back. Certainly. If they want to help us with the math, then yeah. We haven’t had those conversations yet, but there’s no reason that they couldn’t stay as a tandem. But until you start having those discussions about salaries, I don’t know if that’s possible, right? There are a lot of variables in that. I’m not ruling anything out at this point, but also, we haven’t chosen our path forward.”

Source – “He’s our goalie, you know?: on Corey Crawford’s future and the eventual demise of the core.” – Mark Lazerus – The Athletic – 12/23/2019

Related: 10 NHL Oddities We’ll Never See Again

Islanders Prospect Shocked by Trade Rumors

New York Islanders prospect Ilya Sorokin was surprised to hear about rumors he’d requested a trade from the Islanders organization.

“It’s the first time I’m hearing of this. My only current focus is on CSKA and this season.”

Friedman wrote in his 31 Thoughts article:

A couple of my Russian contacts reached out after last week’s note about Islanders goaltending prospect Ilya Sorokin — who is considering an extension in the KHL. They think he’s trying to force a trade from New York to someplace with a clearer path to start. There would be interest — he’s very talented. We’ll see where this goes.

Related: NHL Rumors: Senators, Maple Leafs, Panthers, Oilers, More