NHL Rumors: Gardiner, Gusev, Maple Leafs, Rangers, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are updates out of Toronto, news on Jake Gardiner possibly finding a home and another team that was in on Nikita Gusev before the New Jersey Devils landed him. The New York Rangers have put Chris Kreider’s name out there and are the Tampa Bay Lightning trying to trade Louis Domingue?

Gardiner Finds a Home?

The Athletic’s Michael Russo said episode 204 of the Russo-Souhan hockey podcast, Jake Gardiner may have a handshake deal with an NHL team and is merely waiting to sign his deal.

Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs, Dec. 12, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The unrestricted free agent defenseman may be the biggest name still out there waiting to be signed and speculation was he was asking a lot more than teams were willing to pay. No word on if the team that may have a deal on the table is meeting his ask but on the Russo-Souhan show, they noted this NHL organization is ready to bring Gardiner in, but need to move out a higher price defenseman first.

That has led to speculation as to which team Russo might be talking about with most of the comments leaning towards Buffalo and the Sabres moving out Rasmus Ristolainen. Other guesses might be the New York Rangers or Montreal Canadiens.

One thing to note here is that the market doesn’t move quickly when it comes to shedding high-priced salaries so Gardiner may still technically be a free agent for a while.

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Blue Jackets Were in on Gusev

Jesse Granger of The Athletic writes that before the Vegas Golden Knights traded Nikita Gusev to the New Jersey Devils, they were trying to find homes for Ryan Reaves and Nick Holden in an effort to keep the Russian forward. Unfortunately, no other NHL franchises were willing to help them out.

A source noted there was a potential offer from another team to take Max Pacioretty but Vegas didn’t want to go there and before trading Gusev to the Devils, GM George McPhee had talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets about a trade.

Granger notes a quote from McPhee:

“There were two teams that made offers, and we went back and forth for probably a couple weeks. There’s a certain time when it’s time to pull the trigger. If there were 10 or 12 teams coming hard after us then maybe you take a little more time, but it was two and it’s been two for a long time, so it was time.”

source – ‘Why trading Nikita Gusev to New Jersey was Vegas’ best option’ – Jesse Granger – The Athletic – 07/29/2019

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Maple Leafs and Marner at Standstill

It was also noted on Twitter that David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period and Sportsnet 590 that both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner remain dug in and at a standstill when it comes to negotiations.

Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner
Toronto Maple Leafs right wing Mitch Marner (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

There has been a lot of talk lately about Marner because the belief is he’s holding up all other restricted free agents by not getting his deal done and setting the market. Pagnotta believes the deal isn’t getting done because his terms are quite specific.

Marner is not interested in signing for more than five years and the Maple Leafs are concerned about Marner’s and Auston Matthews’ deal expiring at the same time. The latest speculation is that a three-year deal for Marner at $11 million per season is being discussed.

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Kreider’s Name Is Out There

The New York Post’s Larry Brooks wrote on Twitter yesterday, “Cannot say that there is necessarily anything brewing but a couple of industry sources report that “Kreider’s name is out there everywhere.” Rangers’ buyout window closes at 5 PM tomorrow.”

Essentially, if Kevin Shattenkirk is not bought out sometime on Wednesday, there is a very good chance the Rangers will move Kreider. We reported in previous articles the Rangers are trying to find ways to get under the salary cap ceiling and Kreider is an option, even if not the ideal one.

Lightning to Move Dominque

After moving Ryan Callahan to Ottawa for Mike Condon, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois is trying to trade Louis Domingue.

Louis Domingue Tampa Bay Lightning
Louis Domingue, Tampa Bay Lightning (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Smith writes:

“(The goalie) market is fickle,” BriseBois said. “It can change in a hurry. You can go from no one looking for a goaltender to three teams looking for a goaltender. I’ve had ongoing talks with a couple of organizations, and hopefully something pans out over the next coming weeks here. I’m fairly confident he’ll find a new home prior to the start of the season.”

source – ‘The implications of the Lightning’s cap-saving Ryan Callahan trade and possible destinations for Louis Domingue’ – Joe Smith – The Athletic – 07/30/2019

Speculation is that the teams who might be interested are the Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers, San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche.

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