In today’s rumor rundown it appears as though one of the big names left on the free agency board is about to come off. So too, the Montreal Canadiens may have gotten more of a prompt that keeping Pacioretty in the fold is the best plan of action and speculation is that the Erik Karlsson delay is having a domino effect on the rest of the NHL, especially for the Dallas Stars when it comes to their plans for Tyler Seguin.
Patrick Maroon Headed to St. Louis
According to Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic and as is being shared by media outlets like The Score, unrestricted free agent Patrick Maroon, and the St. Louis Blues are expected to announce they’ve reached an agreement on a new contract. Terms of the contract have not been revealed.
After two strong seasons in Edmonton with the Oilers and a good showing in a few games with the New Jersey Devils, Patrick Maroon has been waiting in free agency to sign a deal that will earn him somewhere between $3.5 to $4 million per year over three or four seasons. There is some speculation he won’t see that kind of money or term after agreeing to go to his hometown of St. Louis and with 14 forwards under contract, it will be interesting to see what the Blues do after adding Maroon to the roster.
He’s been a consistently underpaid player in the NHL and should see a significant raise over the $2 million he was making but the Blues also signed David Perron and Jordan Nolan to left wing spots and have a wealth of players who can play both center and left wing on the team.
Pacioretty and the Penguins
We reported the other day that perhaps Max Pacioretty is best left in Montreal where he wants to be and where the Canadiens are having trouble getting big-name free agents to consider them as an option and there is more recent news to suggest this is the way the Canadiens may choose to go. Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now notes multiple sources who have said that the Pittsburgh Penguins — one of the teams rumored to have interest in the goal-scoring winger — are not having serious trade talks with the Montreal Canadiens about landing Pacioretty.
Sources did say that the teams have talked about the idea, but the asking price by the Canadiens is too high for Pens GM Jim Rutherford. It sounds like after expressing some interest, things didn’t progress past that step or the preliminary stages of a trade conversation.
If the Canadiens want a huge haul for Pacioretty, it seems logical to think other teams will have the same reaction the Penguins are.
Karlsson Delay Slowing Down NHL Trades
In much the same way John Tavares really slowed the movement of players coming off the board in free agency, Sportsday is reporting the trade status of Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson is affecting the entire NHL’s willingness to make moves. This is especially true for the Dallas Stars who might be in the market for a player like Jeff Skinner or need to make a decision on center Tyler Seguin. Seguin will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
The Stars were rumored to be one of the teams interested in Karlsson and, for a while, were one of the early frontrunners. But, landing and extending Karlsson means a huge salary for a team that won’t have a ton of room if Seguin commands the $11 million he might be worth in free agency. What Stars’ GM Jim Nill has for money to play with changes if Karlsson is in the fold.
Dallas may not be the only team affect. If the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils are the teams rumored to be the third party of any Karlsson trade, they too likely have to wait and see where they fit before making other signficant moves.
Bruins Staying the Course
Despite the noise being made by rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lighting, rumors are the Boston Bruins are not going to waver from their original plans for the offseason. NBC Sports Joe Haggerty writes the team needs to stay the course and not overreact to the whatever the Maple Leafs or Lightning do.
At best, the expectation is that the Bruins will use prospects and pieces such as Torey Krug and Anders Bjork to improve their roster but they won’t risk losing elite young players like Charlie McAvoy and Jake Debrusk to make a splash. The team is not prepared to enter panic mode even if Karlsson winds up in Tampa.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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