NHL Rumors: Wild, Oilers, Islanders, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Minnesota Wild have announced that they’ll be buying out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter? What’s next for the team and for both players? Meanwhile, there is still mixed reaction in Edmonton after Oilers GM Ken Holland made a trade to land Duncan Keith but paid full price to do so. The New York Islanders are trying to trade Nick Leddy, the Vegas Golden Knights might be trying to move Reilly Smith and the Toronto Maples could look at trading Alex Kerfoot.

Wild to Buy Out Parise, Suter

Wild general manager Bill Guerin has made a huge decision for the franchise on Tuesday. He’s informed both Parise and Suter that their contracts will be bought out and each will become a free agent on July 28th. The move will save the Wild $10 million on the cap this season, but it will also require the team to take on $13 million in dead cap space in two years time and $15 million in three and four years from now.

Where each will end up isn’t known, but insiders are already connecting Parise to the New York Islanders. Rumors have surfaced the past couple of seasons that GM Lou Lamoriello would have been interested in acquiring Parise and reuniting with him (Parise played under Lamoriello in New Jersey).

Suter will have plenty of interest. He’s a veteran who played 22 minutes per game for Minnesota last season.

Oilers GM Taking Heat For Keith Trade, Not Confident About Larsson

The Oilers finalized a deal for the Duncan Keith, sending Caleb Jones and a conditional third-round pick to Chicago in the exchange. Where fans are really bothered is that Ken Holland absorbed all of Keith’s $5.5 million salary for the next two seasons, not using any leverage to save money on the trade.

The news of Suter’s availability will only frustrate Oilers fans more because this is a player that could have been just as useful without giving up any assets to acquire him and at a likely lower cap hit. Holland was quite defensive during his media available when asked if he could have pressure the Blackhawks more, saying, “What did you want me to do, get him for free?”

Holland suggests this wasn’t a numbers decision, arguing against the idea that analytics played a key role in his decision to add Keith. Instead, he looked at the “record book” and discussed what experience Keith brings and how he can help the team in a more limited role.

Holland also commented on how the Keith deal affects his negotiations with Adam Larsson and said, “I’m not pretty confident, but I’m not not confident.”

Islanders Shopping Nick Leddy

As per Jonathan Willis of The Athletic, the Islanders are shopping 30-year-old LD Nick Leddy. Willis writes, “He has one year left at a $5.5MM cap hit, and played 23 minutes per game for the conference finalists last year. It’s an expansion thing. ” Willis adds that the Islanders aren’t expecting a huge return because the team is needing to shed salary.

Nick Leddy (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Arthur Staple of The Athletic writes:

But two league sources indicated that the Islanders are shopping the 30-year-old defenseman this week so they would not have to leave him unprotected and potentially lose Leddy to Seattle for nothing…. but Leddy is still a useful top-four defenseman, so there almost certainly wouldn’t be any asset included in the deal, which is a plus.

source – ‘Is there interest in Vladimir Tarasenko? Could Nick Leddy be shopped? What we’re hearing about the Islanders as they enter the offseason’ – Arhtur Staple – The Athletic – 07/12/2021

Staple adds in that same article that two sources have indicated that Vladimir Tarasenko would indeed be open to an Islander trade. While his list of teams he’d accept a trade to isn’t small Tarasenko can control where he goes because of his full no-trade clause.

Rielly Smith on Move out of Vegas?

Frank Seravalli of The Daily Faceoff suggests that Vegas Golden Knights winger Reilly Smith could be traded as the team tries to improve their depth at center. He is on Seravalli’s trade list at No. 6 this week. Smith has a year left on his contract with an annual average value of $5 million and posted 14 goals and 25 points in 53 games for the Golden Knights this past season.

Maple Leafs to Move Kerfoot Ahead of Expansion Draft?

Considering the Maple Leafs are likely to lose Kerfoot in the expansion draft, that he comes up as No. 20 on Seravalli’s trade list should not be a surprise. If Kerfoot is left exposed, he would be an attractive option. Seravalli wonders if the Leafs will try to trade him elsewhere before the expansion draft.

Seravalli writes:

“The trick is any return short of future assets would also require protection from Seattle. That may ultimately result in losing Kerfoot from the roster, plus whomever the Kraken decide to then take – which could be defenseman Travis Dermott. Like many teams, the Leafs are weighing that out at the moment.”