In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the free agency interview period is underway and there are some updates. The Washington Capitals might have some interest in a former forward, the Edmonton Oilers attempts to trade Jesse Puljujarvi aren’t going well and the Vegas Golden Knights have a few things on the cooker.
Capitals Interested in Johansson?
Tom Gulitti notes Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan said of reports that they might have interest in pending free agent Marcus Johansson:
“We monitor the whole free agent market. Obviously, we like Marcus, we’re familiar with him, but it’s going to come down to cap space and the contract.”
But Tarik El-Bashir has been told there might be more to it than that as the Capitals do like Johansson and did some tire kicking. Unfortunately, the team would need to trade out a big contract. Nick Kypreos thinks Johansson will command a $5-$6 million AAV as a UFA.
Oilers Having Trouble Moving Jesse Puljujuarvi
The Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins reports that the Edmonton Oilers haven’t had much success trying to trade winger Jesse Puljujarvi. It’s no secret by now that the forward has asked for a trade and new Oilers GM Ken Holland said he would trade him if the return was right, but so far, nothing.
Leavins writes that the Oilers have a quick conversation with the Pittsburgh Penguins but that general manager Jim Rutherford wasn\t about to give up Bryan Rust. Leavins adds:
If Ken Holland can’t engineer a deal the club will still qualify Puljujarvi. But the player’s agent has signaled that if that happens his client will instead go to Europe. After years of agents dealing with former player agent Peter Chiarelli in Edmonton they had better get used to Ken Holland. There’s a new sheriff in town.source – ‘This year’s Amateur Draft is Exhibit “A” of how Ken Holland will operate The Edmonton Oilers differently : 9 Things’ Kurt Leavins – The Edmonton Journal – 06/23/2019
There is some belief the wrong people, people who don’t have Puljujarvi’s best interests at heart are in his ear. The Oilers are still hoping he’ll have a change of heart and return to the team.
Golden Knights Have a Few Things Brewing
Jesse Granger of The Athletic writes the Vegas Golden Knights are getting prepared to make multiple moves.
First, the team is close on an extension with restricted free agent William Karlsson. As per a tweet by TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, once signed this week, the deal will be an 8-year max term, which was really important to him. Karlsson loves it in Vegas. The deal should pay somewhere in the range of $6 million per season.
“Those are the things that we’re working on. William (Karlsson) is a priority for us, and hopefully sooner than later we can have him under contract past this year…
Every team has things to work through, and we’re no different. We are doing that, we will do that, and that’s where our efforts will go next.”source – ‘After a calm draft and with William Karlsson still to sign, a trade appears imminent for the Golden Knights’ – The Athletic – Jesse Granger – 06-22-2019
McCrimmon suggested their salary cap issues were not as bad as some made them out to be, but the team will still have a lot of work to do to clear up room. Darren Dreger called the Golden Knights are a team to watch.
Trade options include Nikita Gusev (RFA), Colin Miller ($3.875 million), Cody Eakin ($3.85 million), Erik Haula ($2.75 million), and Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million).
Florida Panthers to Be Aggressive
We already reported that Sergi Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin were flying into Florida to meet with the Panthers. The newest update comes from Mike Zeisberger of NHL.com who says Panthers GM Dale Tallon will be aggressive in free agency.
“We’re going to be aggressive. We’re going to do the right thing and hope the chips fall where they may. But we’re going to make sure we’re in there and be aggressive.”
Tallon says he’s got the full support of owner Vinnie Viola to spend to the cap ceiling and everyone is happy with that plan.
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.”