NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Devils, Islanders, Flames, More

In today’s NHL rumors, it looks like the New Jersey Devils are going to be scrambling now that Corey Crawford has announced his retirement. The New York Islanders have signed Mathew Barzal, but what took so long to get the deal done? Could the Calgary Flames be in on Pierre-Luc Dubois and could the Chicago Blackhawks be a team that gives away a good young piece for the disgruntled center?

Devils Left Stuck After Crawford’s Retirement

We wish Corey Crawford well in whatever is causing him to officially retire from the NHL today. That said, if the New Jersey Devils aren’t forced to scramble in a major way after today’s announcement, it will be shocking.

Corey Crawford Chicago Blackhawks
Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks hoists the 2015 Stanley Cup. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

While the new amended rules to the MOU — a backloaded deal and one that doesn’t contain any signing bonuses in year two — means there is no cap hit penalty to the Devils and they won’t be left holding the bag on Crawford’s two-year $3.9 million contract because he signed it after the age of 35, they still don’t have a second goalie now. He’ll retire never having played a game for the team and the organization now has to find a second goalie for the season and a third to satisfy the taxi squad rules. They’ll need to do all of this while hoping MacKenzie Blackwood can carry the load.

It wouldn’t be shocking the Devils sign a low-cost backup option like Jimmy Howard.

Could the Blackhawks Be Interested in Dubois?

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun named the Chicago Blackhawks as one of the potential seven teams that could be interested in disgruntled Columbus Blue Jackets center Pierre-Luc Dubois. While Dubois sounds like a great fit on the surface, the problem for the Blackhawks is that the conversation likely starts and stops with Kirby Dach, who LeBrun says the Blue Jackets would want included in the deal.

It would be unlikely that the Blackhawks would want to give up on Dach already but LeBrun notes:

“He’s [Dubois] the kind of young, core piece that would fit the vision of what’s going on now in Chicago so I would expect the Blackhawks to at least inquire. But if I’m the Jackets, the conversation must start with Kirby Dach and that might be tough for Chicago to contemplate given his place in the Hawks’ rebuilding plans. Still, Kekalainen and Hawks GM Stan Bowman have made a few big trades before.”

Related: New York Islanders Re-Sign Mathew Barzal

Islanders Long-Term Deal With Barzal Fell Through

The New York Islanders announced on Saturday that they signed Mathew Barzal to a three-year bridge deal with an annual average salary of $7 million. This was only after a six-year extension fell through, reports TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Mathew Barzal New York Islanders
Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Apparently, GM Lou Lamoriello wasn’t able to move enough money to make that deal work. Just before camp the negotiation shifted to a three-year bridge deal which keeps Barzal an RFA at the end of the term and gives him arbitration rights with a huge salary at the end of the term.

Flames a Good Fit for the Blue Jackets?

Elliotte Friedman was on Oilers Now on Friday and in talking about the issues between Dubois and the Columbus Blue Jackets, he mentioned that the Blue Jackets may be looking at a one-for-one type trade since GM Jarmo Kekäläinen has seen those big four-for-one type trades not work out. This has opened the door to some thinking the Calgary Flames might be a fit.

Sean Monahan Calgary Flames
Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Pierre LeBrun noted in his Athletic article that the Flames could be an attractive trade partner for the Jackets if they seek a return that can help them right away. LeBrun notes that despite trade speculation, the Flames didn’t move either of Sean Monahan or Johnny Gaudreau and explains:

This could be an appealing trade partner for Columbus if a Dubois deal is more about getting players back who can help the Jackets now. Is there something here around Dubois and Monahan? Again, this is just me spit-balling. But I’d be surprised if the Flames didn’t check in.


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