In today’s NHL news and rumors, on the day of NHL free agency, there is so much buzz it’s difficult to cover it all. The most effective strategy might be short hits on multiple teams. What are the Edmonton Oilers, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, Minnesota Wild, Buffalo Sabres and others all up to?
Oilers Set to Be Busy
The Edmonton Oilers might be among the busier teams in the first day of free agency. Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer writes not to be surprised if the Oilers add: a top-six impact left-winger (Zach Hyman), a third-line center, a right-shot third-line left wing support scorer, a fourth-line left-winger who can kill penalties, top-four right-side defenseman and point producer (Tyson Barrie), possibly a 4/5 right-side defenseman who can play 16-18 minutes and a third-pairing steady left-side defenseman.
There’s talk Barrie will ink a three-year term between $4 and $5 million, and the Oilers could make a play for defenseman Cody Ceci. This could potentially lead to the Oilers testing the trade market on Ethan Bear since the team would have a surplus of defenseman and could shore up and area like goaltending by moving him.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug believes the Oilers will make the Hyman deal official, sign Barrie, explore a Bear trade, perhaps look at Ceci and go shopping for a third-line center and third-line left-winger, as well as get a depth defenseman and upgrade their goaltending.
Maple Leafs Going to Market for a Goalie
According to a few sources, including Pierre LeBrun, there’s still no offer from the Maple Leafs to Frederik Andersen so the Leafs will be hitting the free agent market looking for a goalie. He writes: “I think Carolina and Colorado (if Grubauer doesn’t re-sign) make sense as potential options for Andersen but we’ll see.” He adds, “All signs point to Freddy Andersen signing with the Carolina Hurricanes when the market opens.”
Darren Dreger adds:”Grubauer, Mrazek, Korpisalo, Ullmark, Holtby, Jones believed to among the goalies of interest in Toronto.”
The goalie market should be fun to watch for other teams too. LeBrun notes: “All signs point to UFA G Jonathan Bernier signing with New Jersey today. As we reported before, UFA G Jaroslav Halak should be signing with Vancouver.” He adds, “I wonder if UFA G James Reimer ends up in SJ or Vegas? Still lots to play out with goalies.”
In other Maple Leafs news, Agent Pat Brisson says client Alex Galchenyuk has decided to go to market.
Jack Eichel Update
LeBrun adds that there’s no imminent news on an Eichel trade but “my sense from talking to a few people around the league is that Buffalo is in serious talks with multiple teams.” He adds that the Sabres don’t feel as though they have to get a trade done today if they don’t get the package they want.
Michael Russo of The Athletic writes: “AS of right this moment (and things change all the time), but I’m hearing the #mnwild are backing out of Jack Eichel trade talks with the #sabres.” The cost to trade for him is simply still too high for the Wild to consider it.
With the Golden Knights having traded Marc-Andre Fleury, they now have some cap space and they could be a team to watch on the Eichel front.
Bob McKenzie Predictions
NHL insider and former TSN panelist Bob McKenzie made a few predictions in the hours before free agency opens. He writes:
Ryan Suter and DAL; Zach Parise and NYI; Michael Bunting and TOR; David Savard and MTL; Jaden Schwartz and SEA; Tony DeAngelo and CAR; Jaro Halak, Luke Schenn and VAN; Jake McCabe and CHI; Andrew Cogliano and SJ; Zach Hyman and EDM; David Rittich and NSH. Many more to come.
McKenzie did say that he’s not reporting any of these as “done deals” yet but not to be surprised if these deals go down.
Elliotte Friedman’s Predictions
A few sources have David Savard as a target for the Montreal Canadiens. Elliotte Friedman has suggested, until someone tells him otherwise, he’s calling Savard to Montreal a done deal. Friedman also believes the St. Louis Blues, the New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins or Los Angeles Kings are in on Brandon Saad, Ryan Suter will go to Dallas, Blake Coleman will go to Boston for $6 million times 5 years and the Tampa Bay Lightning will announce an extension for Brayden Point: eight, just under $9.5 million.
There should be plenty of interest in Savard on the free agent market, but there are also teams concerned about his lack of foot speed and whether or not he’s the right player to gamble on in free agency.
Tony DeAngelo to the Hurricanes
It’s not official, but it’s as close to being official as it can get. Tony DeAngelo is set to sign a contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. LeBrun writes: ”The expectation once finalized is that UFA D Tony DeAngelo will sign for $1 million on a one-year deal with Carolina.”
Does this signal an exit for Dougie Hamilton? The belief is that the New Jersey Devils will be a potential landing spot for Hamilton on a deal that comes in at $9 million per season over seven seasons.
Phillip Danault Chatter
Larry Brooks and Elliotte Friedman are a couple of the sources reporting the Rangers have interest in two-way center Phillip Danault. There are also reports Danault may have had serious discussions with the Vegas Golden Knights, but there are counter reports that a deal between the two sides is not necessarily close.
David Pagnotta of the Fourth Period writes: “Getting pushback/denials from multiple sources close to the Golden Knights on reports that there’s a deal in the works for Phillip Danault. That’s not to say it can’t/won’t happen. But at this hour, sounds like Vegas might be pointed elsewhere.”
Wild Like Bogosian
As per Andy Strickland: “Minnesota has been interested in Zach Bogosian since prior to expansion draft. Have been doing their due diligence on how he’d fit in on and off the ice.”
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.”