NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Stars, Gusev, More

In today’s NHL rumors there are rumblings as to why the Dallas Stars chose Joe Pavelski over Mats Zuccarello, updates on the Vegas Golden Knights and Nikita Gusev, changes to the offer sheet situation with Mitch Marner and questions surrounding Jesse Puljujarvi and if he’s reconsidered his trade request out of Edmonton.

Marner Offer Sheet Situation Changes?

We reported not long ago that teams were eyeing up the idea of submitting an offer sheet to Mitch Marner and The Hockey News Ken Campbell believes two teams might have already done so.

Toronto Maple Leafs' Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews
Toronto Maple Leafs’ Mitch Marner (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Campbell says Marner may have rejected those two offers because he didn’t like the destinations and he suggested the forward is looking for either a one-year deal at $14 million or a five-year deal at just over $11 million.

Campbell suggests that things have changed slightly and there might be a hold on any future offer sheets making it so that both the player and the Maple Leafs don’t have so much time to decide their future. By pitching in July, it gives the Maple Leafs too much time to match the offer or make other moves.

It’s also a case that there are few teams who can outright afford to make an offer without sacrificing some of the internal housekeeping they need to do with their own clubs.

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Jesse Puljujarvi Doesn’t Care About Oilers Changes

As per a report by TSN, Jesse Puljujarvi’s agent, Markus Lehto said the Edmonton Oilers hiring a new general manager and a new coach hasn’t changed Puljujarvi’s mind about his future.

Jesse Puljujarvi, Edmonton Oilers
Jesse Puljujarvi (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Early in the offseason, it was made public that Puljujarvi had requested a trade from the Oilers through his agent who said he didn’t see how the two sides could possibly still be a fit after everything that’s happened. Lehto stayed strong on that stance and said, “Sometimes a player and a team are not a fit. This seems to be the case here. Nothing radical about it.”

The Oilers are sticking with their stance as well that they won’t trade Puljujarvi without getting a decent return and are willing to let him go to Europe if that’s what he decides to do.

There was a report linking Puljujarvi to the Los Angeles Kings but that doesn’t seem likely considering their new head coach is Todd McLellan.

Related: Oilers News and Rumors: Broberg, Chiasson, UFA’s, More

Why Dallas Chose Pavelski Over Zuccarello

Mike Heika of NHL.com believes there were a couple of reasons the Dallas Stars chose to go hard after Joe Pavelski instead of Mats Zuccarello. First was the term given to Pavelski; it didn’t require more than a three-year commitment. Second, the ability to hang onto their 2020 first-round pick was key in their willingness to let Mats Zuccarello walk.

Joe Pavelski Sharks
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks, Nov. 28, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Stars wanted Zuccarello, but when they knew they had a good shot at Pavelski, the focus shifted to the shorter term with less to lose.

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Five Teams For Nikita Gusev?

We’ve touched on the situation between Nikita Guzev and the Vegas Golden Knights before, and according to Jesse Granger of The Athletic, the two sides are still about $2 million per season apart on a two-year deal.

Nikita Gusev
(Nikita Gusev. Photo: Alexander Golovko)

Granger writes that with Gusev wanting $4 million per season the Golden Knights don’t have enough cap space to make that offer:

Not only is the $2.575 million not enough to sign Gusev, but Vegas is also closing in on deals to bring back unrestricted free agent Deryk Engelland, and restricted free agents Malcolm Subban and Jimmy Schuldt.

There’s not enough money to go around, so Vegas has two options.

source – ‘Trade or sign Nikita Gusev? Key factors the Golden Knights are debating’ -Jesse Granger – The Athletic – 07/08/2019

Suggesting either they trade the pieces to make room or move Gusev (which they don’t want to do), The Hockey News’ Steven Ellis names five teams that might be trade partners with the Golden Knights in this situation: the Montreal Canadiens, New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, Ottawa Senators, and Edmonton Oilers. Ottawa, New Jersey, and Columbus don’t have any cap issues and seem like the most logical scenarios.

The Golden Knights are extremely fearful that they might move Gusev and he’ll become a huge explosion on offense for another team.

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