In a second edition of the NHL news and rumors rundown, it’s NHL Draft Day so there is a ton of speculation floating around.
This update includes a big trade between the Colorado Avalanche and New York Rangers, plus news about the Arizona Coyotes trying to trade Jakob Chychrun. The Toronto Maple Leafs working on a number of things, including having an interest in Marc-Andre Fleury, the Devils being open to a big trade and what the Montreal Canadiens will do with their pick.
Kuemper Out in Colorado After Georgiev Trade
As per a few reports by trusted insiders, goaltender Darcy Kuemper intends to hit the free agency market after winning the Stanley Cup in Colorado. Because he priced himself out of what the Avalanche could afford with the salary cap situation, the Avs pulled off the trade to acquire Alexandar Georgiev from the New York Rangers.
As for teams that will pitch hard for Kuemper, expect the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs to be in the mix. Frank Seravalli is reporting, “The #Avs never really presented Kuemper with an offer to stay, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to pay the market rate based on his track record. Cordial conversations, but he’s moving on with a Cup ring and a sizable payday in-store.”
Coyotes Likely to Move Chychrun Before the Draft?
As per Darren Dreger, “Lots of speculation linking Chychrun to the 2nd pick and maybe Ottawa’s 7th. Senators seem less likely because of their LD, but anything is possible. Devils could use Chychrun.” This was a follow-up to a report that the teams most actively taking calls or shopping their first-round picks today are Arizona (No.3 ), Ottawa (No. 7), New Jersey (No. 2) and the New York Islanders (No. 7).
Multiple Teams In on Marc-Andre Fleury, Including Maple Leafs
As per Pierre LeBrun, there are a few teams in the mix on goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, now that he’s less likely to return to the Minnesota Wild on a one-year extension. He notes that the Wild are still a possibility, but writes, “Minnesota, Toronto, Colorado (if Kuemper doesn’t sign), Washington, and perhaps Pittsburgh are all possibilities for Marc-Andre Fleury ahead of next Wednesday’s market opening.”
As for Toronto, they are in on this but are also looking at backup plans. Dreger writes, “Toronto continues to scour the goalie market. Kyle Dubas has also poked around on Sens goalie Matt Murray.” When asked about other Maple Leafs’ possibilities, Dubas was asked about the trouble in getting defenseman Rasmus Sandin signed. The idea of an offer sheet came up and Dubas responded, “If there’s going to be an offer sheet, the sooner the better, so we can make the decision and move on.”
Devils to Be Active, Debrincat On the Move?
There’s continued talk surrounding the Devils’ willingness to move the second-overall pick this year. Some reports say they’d like to draft a defenseman and others suggest they are more open to the idea of getting a strong roster player for the pick. Emily Kaplan of ESPN writes, “One of the teams I expect to be active today is the New Jersey Devils. I’ve been told they have a lot of wheels in motion, including potentially acquiring a goalie.”
There was talk that the Devils would be open to making a splash and one player connected to the rumblings is Alex DeBrincat. Kaplan adds, “I also believe there is a good chance the Chicago Blackhawks trade Alex DeBrincat today.”
Sabres Looking at Matt Murray
As per Lance Lysowski, “Can confirm through sources the Sabres have “kicked the tires” — love that phrase — on Matt Murray. Nothing close. Kevyn Adams is looking at all available options ahead of the draft. Murray worked with Sabres goalie coach Mike Bales in Pittsburgh.” He then provided an update and quoted an Elliotte Friedman post that noted the Sabres and Senators went deep into trade talks about Murray but that nothing came of it. Friedman wrote, “Murray — as is his contractual right — stuck to his [no-trade] list.”
Will Canadiens Trade their Pick?
Shane Wright has been the consensus No. 1 for years and it was assumed for a long time that he would be selected first overall. Now, it’s not as clear because Slovakian Juraj Slafkovsky has vaulted up the draft board and other names are getting consideration in what is being called a draft that has no real dynamic top-line NHL talent.
It was believed that the Canadiens would draft No. 1 in front of their hometown fans, but now the thought of moving the pick has come up. What will be intriguing if the Canadiens keep the pick is what happens after. With so much talk surrounding the Devils being open to a trade and the Coyotes going off the board with No. 3, trades could take place in rapid succession following that first-overall selection.
Oilers Expect Update on Duncan Keith Soon
As per Darren Dreger, “The Oilers expect to hear from Duncan Keith in the next few days. Edmonton will be very supportive of the future Hall of Famer’s decision. Obviously, Keith’s decision impacts their cap and other, potential moves.” Ken Holland said during his media scrum Wednesday that Keith is one of the many balls in the air he’s trying to juggle right now and needs to sort of wait on the defenseman’s decision before making other moves.
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.”