In our second installment of the NHL rumor rundown on the day before free agency, there are updates surrounding the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks when it comes to Joe Pavelski. There is news on what the buyout of Andrej Sekera means for the Edmonton Oilers moving forward. It appears the Minnesota Wild are going hard after Mats Zuccarello and, there is news that the Colorado Avalanche might still be in the Artemi Panarin sweepstakes.
Tampa Bay Lightning Ready to Strike?
Caley Chelios reports Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois said he’s confident the team will get the Brayden Point deal done. He met with Point‘s agent while in Vancouver and said they were having an open dialogue.
Still with the Lightning, it is being reported by Andy Strickland that Joe Pavelski is leaning away from the San Jose Sharks and towards making Tampa his first option on a free agency deal.
Pierre LeBrun believes that Pavelski only met with the Lightning and Dallas Stars. having turned down other meeting requests. There were a few other teams that were pushing hard and Pavelski certainly hasn’t committed to anyone.
If Not Tampa, Dallas…
There are other reports that Pavelski may be on his way to Dallas. Michael Russo of The Athletic writes Pavelski might be on his way to the Stars, basically replacing Mats Zuccarello who will likely go elsewhere in free agency.
With Joe Pavelski looking like he’s heading to the Dallas Stars, the Minnesota Wild have once again started to turn their focus onto other free-agent forwards, especially the man Pavelski conceivably could be replacing in Dallas.source – ‘Sources: Wild aggressively pursuing Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman’ – Michael Russo – The Athletic – 06/29/2019
Russo also writes that the Minnesota Wild are willing to offer Zuccarello that long-term deal he wants and will be going after Ryan Hartman. Few other teams are stepping up to the plate on Zuccarello’s ask.
Oilers Going to Pursue Forwards in Free Agency
With the buyout for Andrej Sekera, the Edmonton Oilers are planning on using the $3 million in savings to go after a bigger-name forward in free agency. The early word was that they’d be in on Brett Connolly but one wonders if they’ll take a bigger swing than that.
There is buzz they might also have their eyes on Valtteri Filppula or Gustav Nyquist. Both players will get interest from other teams. Mark Spector writes: “Sekera buy out coming when it does hints that Holland has the extra money already spent on a UFA or two. Should be an interesting day tmw.”
Part of the decision on Sekera was also that the Oilers firmly believe Adam Larsson will be better than he was last season and this is absolutely not the time to move on him in trade or otherwise.
Avalanche Still in On Panarin
Adrian Dater from Colorado Hockey Now reports a source close to Artemi Panarin said the Colorado Avalanche continued to have serious interest in the 27-year-old left winger.
The source also claimed the club met with Panarin personally this week while understanding Panarin also met with the Florida Panthers, New York Rangers, and New York Islanders.
The Avs probably aren’t a favorite here, especially since they acquired Andre Burakovsky, but they have the potential to offer the most money of any team in free agency.
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.”