NHL Rumors: Wild, Coyotes, Predators, Blackhawks, Red Wings, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Minnesota Wild GM Bill Guerin provides an update on the status of contract negotiations with Kirill Kaprizov. Meanwhile, according to one source, Phil Kessel is officially on the trade block out of Arizona. Nashville Predators GM David Poile talked about why he traded Viktor Arvidsson. The Chicago Blackhawks have clarified why they are willing to trade Duncan Keith and finally, could the Detroit Red Wings be big movers this offseason, using draft picks to pick up good, but more expensive player contracts?

Wild’ Talks with Kirill Kaprizov Still on Track

There was talk last week that the Wild were starting to get a little nervous that contract negotiations with rising star forward and Calder winner Kirill Kaprizov were off the rails a little. At the time, Guerin tried to suggest that was not the case. He’s doubled down on those comments, providing a bit more detail as to where things are at now.

In speaking with the media, Guerin said, “Kirill’s agent reached out to me” and added, “We have plans to talk next week and it has not gone cold, contrary to what some people have reported.” Finally, “I think it’s just a matter of finding the fair middle ground and what works best for both sides, I think that’s true in any deal.”

Guerin also said he’s already working on a new deal for Kevin Fiala. If Guerin can get all three of his big-ticket players signed this summer, that’s a big step for the organization.

Kessel on the Trade Block

As per a report by David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, now that the Coyotes have paid Kessel a $5 million bonus due on July 1st, he’s officially on the trade block to see if a team would be interested in picking him up and only paying the $1 million he’s owed in real dollars for this upcoming season. He carries a $6.8 million salary cap hit but for a team that needs to get to the cap floor, he would be an extremely attractive player.

Phil Kessel Arizona Coyotes
Arizona Coyotes Phil Kessel (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

If the Coyotes really want to move him, retaining 50 percent of his cap hit would almost guarantee they find a taker. If a team could pay only $1 million salary and have him be a $3.4 million cap hit for one more season, he’d be an easy sell. This is a player who has consistently scored wherever he’s been and this past season put up 20 goals and 43 points in 56 games.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Andersen vs. Hyman, Rittich & Marlies Goalies

Poile Admits He Had to Trade Arvidsson

The Predators GM didn’t want to trade Arvidsson, but he felt like he had little choice. Poile said he spoke with Ron Francis of the Seattle Kraken and it became clear which direction the Predators would have to go. He noted, “I had a couple of conversations with Seattle, if Viktor Arvidsson was not protected that’s who we would’ve lost.”

While speaking with Darren, Daunic, and Chase of 102.5 FM, Poile seemed to hint that the ask from the Kraken to not take Arvidsson was too high. “Two picks is better than losing Viktor for nothing,” said the Predators GM.

Blackhawks Say Keith Trade Not Their Idea

As per a report by Scott Powers of The Athletic, trading defenseman Duncan Keith is not their idea. The club was happy to hold onto the player and Powers cites a source who said, “We weren’t looking to move him, but it was initiated by Duncan.”

The reason Keith would like to go has nothing to do with the team and how successful they will be on or off the ice. The source added: “He’d like to be closer to his son. He’s getting older, and Duncan didn’t get to see him much last season. We understand that.” So too, perhaps part of the reason the Blackhawks are comfortable moving Keith is because they’ve come along with negotiations on the contract of another player, Nikita Zadorov.

Nikita Zadorov Chicago Blackhawks
Nikita Zadorov, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Powers writes:

We previously reported Zadorov was asking for five years with a $5.85 million cap hit. The Blackhawks were never going to pay that. What the Blackhawks are likely willing to pay is something closer to $4 million.

One league source thought Joel Edmundson’s latest contract would be comparable to what Zadorov will likely get. Edmundson agreed to a four-year contract with a $3.5 million cap hit.

source – ‘Could Duncan Keith be traded?: What I’m hearing about the Blackhawks’ offseason’ – Scott Powers – The Athletic – 07/02/2021

Red Wings Could Pick Up Smart Contracts For Good Players

Detroit Hockey Now’s Kevin Allen speculates the Red Wings could be a team to watch as they have tons of cap space and their aim might be to acquire good contracts for players that teams have little choice but to move because of salary cap concerns. Specifically, he suggests the team call the St. Louis Blues about Vince Dunn. He also notes that Detroit might reach out to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild about some of their players.

Allen writes:

The Pittsburgh Penguins, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild are other teams that might move a defenseman they don’t want to move to clear cap space or because they can’t protect him. Detroit GM Steve Yzerman will explore all of these options.