In today’s NHL rumors rundown, are the Colorado Avalanche and Valeri Nichushkin close on an extension? How much interest is still out there in a trade for J.T. Miller? Is Jack Campbell going to wind up with the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Edmonton Oilers? And, are the Chicago Blackhawks trying to send a message to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews? Has that message reached the New York Rangers?
Nichushkin and Avalanche Close
Kevin Weekes tweeted, “The situation is fluid between the Colorado Avalanche and pending UFA forward Valeri Nichushkin. Own speculation is that if they can get a deal done it would be between $5 and $6 million.” That’s a huge pay raise for Nichsuhkin and it makes sense that the Avs would let Darcy Kuemper walk away in free agency if that’s the kind of money the forward is going to get on a new deal.
Andy Strickland also said during the “Cam and Strick podcast” that the two sides were getting closer on a deal.
Down to Oilers and Maple Leafs for Campbell
As per James Mirtle of The Athletic, “Edmonton heavily rumored to be after Jack Campbell. May come down to Leafs versus Oilers.” GM Kyle Dubas went back to Campbell this week with his newly freed-up cap space and the plan was to make one final push to see if a deal could be worked out. Some believe the two sides have missed their chance to make it work.
Tom Gazzola of TSN also said he was told a few weeks ago the Oilers were hot and heavy in pursuit of Campbell and that things went so poorly in talks between the Leafs and Campbell that the bridge is burned and that while Campbell is nice enough to listen to what Dubas has to say, but Dustin Nielson says that he was told it is “very encouraging” that Campbell winds up in Edmonton next season.
If Toronto winds up being out on Campbell and Kuemper goes to the Washington Capitals as some are expecting, will they try to revisit trade talks with the Ottawa Senators about Matt Murray? Could they look at John Gibson out of Anaheim?
** Update: Elliotte Friedman reports that the Maple Leafs have circled back to trade talks involving Matt Murray out of Ottawa. It appears they’ve had talks with Campbell and there’s nothing new to report.
Interest in Miller Continues
Despite not being traded at the NHL Draft like many believed he might be, J.T Miller is still getting a lot of interest according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. As of right now, the Canucks are sitting back and watching the market. They are taking a wait-and-see approach.
“Maybe they look at free agency and the guys that are shopping for unrestricted free agents that don’t land the forward that they’re hoping maybe they circle back to the Vancouver Canucks. And if the Canucks do not get the return that they need to move J.T. Miller, they’re happy to have him back in camp going into next season, the final year of his contract.”
Are Blackhawks Trying to Force Patrick Kane’s Hand?
With the trades of Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach, some are wondering if Blackhawks’ GM Kyle Davidson is actively trying to send a message to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews that the team isn’t going to get them any help this season and that they’ll be so bad the two veterans stars should ask for a trade. Pierre LeBrun of TSN reports, “Asked agent Pat Brisson about his client Patrick Kane and his NHL future in lieu of today’s trades by the rebuilding Blackhawks. Brisson said they’re not “going to make any decisions or comments at this point.”
While it will be difficult to trade Toews, there will be plenty of interest in Kane around the NHL. Frank Seravalli said that there are only a few clubs out east Kane would probably want to go to and that it was too early to mention them by name, but his situation will be fascinating to watch.
Larry Brooks writes that the New York Rangers should consider pivoting and instead of being focused on acquiring J.T. Miller, should go after Kane. He asks, ” First question: Are the Rangers close enough to rent a blue-chip property? And the second: If so, shouldn’t Patrick Kane be Target 1?”
Islanders Not Shopping Bailey
According to Kevin Kurz of The Athletic: From understanding, the Islanders are not shopping, nor interested in trading forward Josh Bailey. Things can obviously change, but at this time there is no interest in moving him.
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.”