NHL Rumors: Sabres, Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of the first round of the NHL Entry Draft on Friday with some teams having tried to do more than took place and others happy the way things fell for them.

Sabres Tried to Move Up

GM of the Buffalo Sabres spoke to the media after the first round of the draft and he made a number of comments on the day.

Joe Yerdon reports Botterill said the team attempted to move up from the No. 7 on Friday but they couldn’t find a deal. That said, he was happy the way things turned out.

Lance Lysowski reports Botterill said the Sabres intend to talk to some free agents, but they are more likely to use trades to change and improve the team. “Yeah, there is certainly some high-end talent , but I don’t think there’s the quantity in there.”

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Hurricanes Shopping Justin Faulk

The Carolina Hurricanes are shopping Justin Faulk according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic. The two sides met on Friday morning and things apparently did not go well. Faulk has one year remaining on his current contract and carries a $4.83 million cap hit.

Justin Faulk, Patrice Bergeron
Carolina Hurricanes’ Justin Faulk and Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

More teams talking to the Hurricanes are interested in right-handed defenseman Brett Pesce but the Canes aren’t budging on him.

After potting 35 points in 82 games last season, the Hurricanes might finally move him after rumors surfaced last season he’d be on the go.

One potential return could be Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers, who Winnipeg is willing to trade to Carolina in return for one of their right-handed defensemen, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli

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Maple Leafs and Free Agents

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, it sounds like Kasperi Kapanen and the Maple Leafs are getting closer on an extension.

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews Andreas Johnsson Kasperi Kapanen
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews celebrates with teammates Andreas Johnsson and wing Kasperi Kapanen (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

And, according to Darren Dreger: “Told Leafs Kyle Dubas met with Jarrett Bousquet, agent for Andreas Johnsson on Friday and there are more discussions to come.

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More on Tyson Barrie

There was already news that Tyson Barrie might be on the move out of Colorado. When the Avs selected offensive-defenseman Bowen Byram at No. 4 overall, Barrie leaving the organization now feels like a foregone conclusion.

Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie
Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports)

There was lots of chatter about Barrie but the most interested team seemed to be the Vancouver Canucks. Adrian Dater said, “More buzz I’m hearing about Barrie and Canucks. Tanev name has bubbled up. More rumblings as I hear them.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Canucks, Penguins, Jets, Senators, More

Minnesota and Jason Zucker Story Getting Strange

This will be an interesting week for Jason Zucker. After being in trade talks and that news going public, things are starting to get a little strange in Minnesota.

Jason Zucker Claude Giroux
Jason Zucker, Minnesota Wild and Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers, Nov. 11, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The GM admitted he’d been talking with others but there’s nothing on the table yet. GM Paul Fenton said about the talks, “I don’t plan to get rid of Jason unless the right thing came to me. I listen to offers and I make offers. It doesn’t mean that he’s pigeonholed into something. I love Jason as a player.”

That led to his wife Carly going on social media and responding with, “I totally get it. I’m not planning to get rid of him as a husband, but I’m always open to offers if the right thing comes along…”

This is, of course, all after he wins the King Clancy Awards at the NHL Awards ceremony the other night. At this point, it’s looking like the Wild will need to move Zucker and the team most recently rumored to be interested are the Boston Bruins.