In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is speculation Taylor Hall might sign a deal similar to the one Marian Hossa did years ago, the New York Rangers have no idea which goaltender to start for the play-ins, and what is the plan for Tuukka Rask in Boston? Finally, how big a role will Kailer Yamamoto pay with the Edmonton Oilers this coming season?
Hall to Chase Stanley Cup?
TSN’s analyst Craig Button looked at a few of the big-name UFA’s for this summer, among them Torey Krug, Alex Pietrangelo, and Taylor Hall. Button says Pietrangelo will likely stay with the St. Louis Blues and Krug will stick with Boston. As for Hall, Button thinks Hall will wind up with the Colorado Avalanche.
Choosing to chase the Stanley Cup as Marian Hossa did in 2009 when he headed to the Detroit Red Wings and then with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, Hall may elect to go to a team with strong odds of winning. Go “Cup hunting” says Button who suggests Hall should sign a one-year deal.
Button also wonders if goaltender Robin Lehner will wind up back in Ottawa where he sees a good fit because of his history with the team and the Senators pipeline lacking good netminders.
Rangers Unsure of Who To Start in Net
The New York Rangers are set to meet the Carolina Hurricanes during the play-in portion of the NHL’s return-to-play postseason. That doesn’t mean they know which way to lean when it comes to their goaltending.
Between Igor Shesterkin, Alexandar Georgiev, and Henrik Lundqvist, the Rangers have options but splitting the net between three capable goaltenders is not the greatest plan and could pose issues for head coach David Quinn, who couldn’t say who he’ll start when asked by reporters.
While speaking to Dan Rosen of NHL.com, Quinn explained:
“You can make a case for all three guys. There’s a lot of reasons to take Shesty, there’s a lot of reasons to start Hank, and there’s reasons to start Georgie. This is such an uncertain time that that will play out over the course of the two-and-a-half weeks that we’re going to have before we drop the puck.”
“Hank’s history factors in, Shesty’s season factors in, everything factors in. We’re going to consider everything when we make that decision. For every player, the time that we have between when we start practicing and the start of the games is going to be pivotal, but none more so than our goalies.”
What Will Rask Be Seeking on an Extension?
Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports Boston recently pondered Tuukka Rask’s future with the Bruins and noted Rask can become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. With that in mind, a flat salary cap will negotiations with Rask interesting.
Rumors have swirled about Rask’s possible retirement, but he set the record straight when he said, “I haven’t thought about retirement at all.” He added, “I know that this [offseason], I can start talking to the Bruins about a possible extension. When that day comes, we’ll see what happens.”
The Bruins have around $35 million currently invested in their 2021-22 payroll. How much of the $52 million and change Rask will need to take up is unclear but a two-year, $10-million deal ($5 million annually) might do the trick if Rask decides to stay.
Yamamoto to Get Extra Responsibility This Coming Season
Considering his value contract, his chemistry with Leon Draisaitl, and his potential future production, Edmonton Oilers forward Kailer Yamamoto might see increased responsibility this coming season with the team. Allan Mitchell of The Athletic writes:
Yamamoto made a major impression on his coach, team, management and fans. His even-strength performance was nothing short of brilliant. You can argue that a skill player placed in a similar position would deliver strong results, but the results with Yamamoto on the No. 2 line tower over those delivered by previous unproven candidates.source – ‘Lowetide: How Oilers winger Kailer Yamamoto can increase his value’ – Allan Mitchell – The Athletic – 07/02/2020
Yamamoto’s cap number for the season is $894,166, with $230,000 in bonuses, so the Oilers will probably be paying close to $1.1 million for him. He’s a lock for the Oilers top-six and makes squeezing in players next season under a flat salary cap much more manageable.
McKenzie Has More CBA Updates
As per Bob McKenzie of TSN:
NHL and NHLPA will be back at it today, trying to finalize the tentative agreement on Phase 3/4 RTP protocols, a CBA extension, transition rules and critical dates calendar. They’re trying to tie up remaining loose ends and finalize language, especially on the CBA MOU.
All dates are tentative and highly subject to change. If getting an agreement or ratifying drags on, changes can and will be made, but it’s my understanding these are target dates:
July 13: Training camps (Phase 3) open
July 26: Teams report to Hubs
Aug 1: Games begin (Phase 4)
Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors
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.”