NHL Rumors: Flyers, Avs, Blackhawks, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Philadelphia where the Flyers are working on a deal for Ivan Provorov, the Colorado Avalanche might be looking to sign a veteran d-man, the Columbus Blue Jackets are rumored to have gone hard after Mitch Marner and the Chicago Blackhawks are trying to bring one of their college defensemen over sooner than later.

Contract Talks and Ivan Provorov

NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman noted that when asked about discussions for defenseman Ivan Provorov, GM Chuck Fletcher suggested that it could take a little while for a deal to get done. Fletcher said, “Everything’s cordial and amicable, but I think until the market settles out a bit it may be difficult to move forward on Provorov.”

Ivan Provorov Flyers 2016
Ivan Provorov, Philadelphia Flyers, Dec. 6, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Fletcher might want to see some of the bigger-name restricted free agent blueliners — such as Charlie McAvoy and Jacob Trouba — sign deals first so he can get a better sense for the market for Provorov.

The challenge is that Provorov had a breakout 2017-18 season but took a sizable step back in 2018-19.

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Avs to Go for a Veteran Defenseman

NHL.com’s Rick Sadowski suggests that the Colorado Avalanche could use another veteran blueliner. Some insurance for youngsters like Bowen Byram and Conor Timmins would be wise but it doesn’t have to be a big-name, expensive get.

The Avalanche might look to the PTO market later this summer to bring in some depth that way.

Blackhawks Have Opening for Ian Mitchell?

According to a report by Scott Powers of The Athletic, the Chicago Blackhawks plan to speak with defenseman Ian Mitchell at their upcoming development camp to see if he will reconsider his plans to remain in college for next season. There perhaps wasn’t room before the Henri Jokiharju trade, but his exit changes things.

Powers writes:

Now that the Blackhawks have traded Jokiharju, Mitchell should benefit — though whether that’s in the present or the future is yet to be determined. According to a source, Mitchell and the Blackhawks will talk next week at development camp about where he fits into their defensive landscape and whether he might reconsider turning pro for the upcoming season.

source – ‘Powers Points: Ian Mitchell, Blackhawks to discuss future next week’ – The Athletic – Scott Powers – 07/11/2019

Mitchell has played well and GM Stan Bowman will try to dangle the chance to win a spot on the main roster to see if the 20-year-old will forego the rest of his college eligibility.

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Blue Jackets Offer Sheet for Marner?

TSN noted a tweet by The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline suggesting the Columbus Blue Jackets were among “many teams” that spoke to Mitch Marner about an offer sheet. Portzline said he’s seen no indication Marner wants to leave Toronto, which is why he believes he declined the offer.

Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner
BOSTON, MA – APRIL 11: Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitchell Marner (16) was the target of an offer sheet pitch by the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This is a report backed by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman who said he also believes the Columbus Blue Jackets were thinking about targeting Marner after the whispers of the New York Islanders going after the star winger surfaced. Friedman went as far as to say the reason the offer sheet wasn’t signed was the term. The Blue Jackets wanted seven years and Marner wanted less than that.

Friedman did say if anyone was going to pursue hard for Marner via an offer sheet, he believed it would be the Blue Jackets.

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