NHL Rumors: Jets, Rangers, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Bruins, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one scribe notes the New York Rangers would be interested in Mark Scheifele, but would he actually be available? The Edmonton Oilers are negotiating with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins again, but could they run into a similar situation the Carolina Hurricanes have? The Toronto Maple Leafs could be interested in a depth forward out of Montreal. Finally, the Boston Bruins and Taylor Hall have expressed mutual interest in a return, while David Krejci’s future is a bit more uncertain.

Scheifele a Target for the New York Rangers?

This is not to suggest that Mark Scheifele is on the trade block out of Winnipeg, but Larry Brooks of the New York Post wrote that “If Mark Scheifele somehow becomes available out of Winnipeg, he is the player for whom the Rangers empty the cupboard, and the guy in Buffalo becomes Jack Who?”

Mark Scheifele Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele, Winnipeg Jets (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Brooks seems to be hinting that the Jets might contemplate making a change after a playoff series where Scheifele was suspended and sat in the press box watching his team get eliminated. Perhaps with a very deep forward group and a need for help on their blue line, the Jets might see what the market offers. Of course, this appears to be more speculation than any sort of inside scoop.

It would certainly be a risky move to send a point-per-game forward with a history of producing in the playoffs away after a costly mistake. The Jets aren’t likely to get an equal player back in return, which often means losing the deal.

Bruins and Hall Mutually Interested in Return

According to Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney, Taylor Hall has expressed an interest in returning to the team and the Bruins have told him they are interested in having him back. “We’ll have an early conversation with his representatives and see where all the pieces fit together,” said Sweeney.

The GM noted that in David Krejci’s case, the player has asked for a few days to talk to his family and figure out his future. There’s talk he may want to return home (Czech Republic) to finish out his career, but Sweeney believes there’s a good chance the player will want to continue in the NHL and the Bruins have made it known that they would like to be the team he plays with.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Draft Picks That Got Away

Maple Leafs Interested in Corey Perry?

According to Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun, the Maple Leafs might be looking at different depth players this offseason and one player who might be on their radar is Corey Perry. Simmons writes: “Corey Perry and the Maple Leafs have been doing this out-of-step dance for the past couple of years now, never, it seems, with both sides in sync at the very same time.”

He adds:

The Leafs wanted to sign the veteran Perry after he was bought out by the Anaheim Ducks following the 2019 NHL season. That was the plan. And that was Perry’s first choice, too, being a kid from Peterborough, to leave California and wind up in Toronto.

source – ‘SIMMONS: There’s much more to an NHL GM’s job than signing players’ – Steve Simmons – Toronto Sun – 06/13/2021

Simmons walked through how the Perry to Montreal deal went down and noted that it all came about after the Leafs landed Wayne Simmonds. The scribe notes that Perry has been a big part of the playoff pushes for the Dallas Stars and now the Canadiens and writes, “It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to see the Leafs take another run at Perry in free agency this summer.”

Oilers Talking With Nugent-Hopkins Again

As per Kurt Leavins of the Edmonton Journal, contract negotiations have resumed between GM Ken Holland and Rick Valette, the player agent for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Leavins notes that it’s likely to two sides are talking about getting the annual average number per season in exchange for additional term.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Oilers
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Leavins writes:

Sometimes the term of a deal is more important than the big bucks. If the situation doesn’t work out, then a club can get out from under it sooner. But in this case, I think it’s better for the club to preserve dollars for elsewhere in the lineup now in exchange for a little more term. Remember, the NHL will probably be dealing with a flat cap for the next few years. But by the time a longer-term contract for Nugent-Hopkins enters its final phase the cap will have relaxed. So, the dollars on a $5.25-$5.75m contract would then have a relatively smaller impact on the big picture.

source – ‘The Edmonton Oilers will go longer in order to pay less for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins: 9 Things’ – Kurt Leavins- Edmonton Journal – 06/13/2021

The question for the Oilers becomes, can Nugent-Hopkins still perform at a $5 million level into his mid-thirties? If the Oilers have to add a sixth or seventh year on the contract to get the average salary down, that’s a real concern.