In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is talk the Toronto Maple Leafs are more likely to work out an extension for defenseman Morgan Rielly than they are to trade him. Meanwhile, Mattias Ekholm and the Nashville Predators have a mutual interest in getting an extension done. The Arizona Coyotes haven’t talked to Conor Garland at all about his extension since he submitted a couple of contract proposals, and could the Philadelphia Flyers move Jakub Voracek?
Rielly and Maple Leafs Likely to Work Out Extension
Rielly has one more season left on his six-year, $30 million contract and as his current deal comes to an end, there is talk about what GM Kyle Dubas will do. Is Rielly central to the Maple Leafs future plans? Or, is he a possible trade piece that can be used to reshape the roster in ways that many fans are calling for?
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic writes:
My sense is while the Leafs absolutely want to try and extend Rielly this offseason — he’s got one year left on his deal — that negotiation is going to wait until August after the July fireworks are done. Which will give Leafs management a better idea after they’ve made other moves, and seen the NHL landscape, to know what they can do with Rielly.source – ‘LeBrun: Which defencemen could change addresses, or stay put, this upcoming offseason?’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 06/23/2021
LeBrun did note that Dubas has not really been open about talking contract when it came to Rielly so there’s a sense that, behind the scenes, there might be some discussion about a trade. LeBrun said, “Personally, I think the Leafs find a way to extend Rielly.”
Noting he’s easily worth $6.5 million on the open market, what Rielly makes if he stays will be interesting to watch.
Ekholm and Predators With Mutual Interest in Extension
Another defenseman might be staying with his team. LeBrun reports that both Ekholm and the Predators are interesting in finding a way to work out a extension. LeBrun says “Here’s what I do know. Ekholm’s agent, Kurt Overhardt, told me that his client is interested in signing an extension. The feeling is mutual, according to a Preds source.”
Ekholm is finishing a very team-friendly $3.75 million contract so he’ll get a big bump in pay, and there will have to be some consideration for the NHL Expansion Draft, because if the Predators want to keep their top four in tact — Ekholm, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Dante Fabbro — they might have to expose a good forward.
Every Team Has Reached Out to Hamilton
Elliotte Friedman reported that pretty much every team has reached out the Carolina Hurricanes about defenseman Dougie Hamilton. While the Hurricanes are letting Hamilton shop around and are hoping he may see the market and ultimately decide to stay with the team, Hamilton will have choices.
Friedman also noted that the Oliver Ekman-Larsson deal could be a lot trickier to pull off because of the term and money involved. As for Seth Jones, the NHL insider believes that trade will happen before the NHL draft because picks will be involved.
No Talk Between Garland and Coyotes
As per Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff, there’s been no recent contract discussions between the Arizona Coyotes and restricted free agent winger Conor Garland. The player was asked to give the Coyotes two possible contract proposals and they did so on May 20. The Coyotes have not responded.
A trade could be possible as Seravalli points out the Coyotes nearly moved Garland leading up to this season’s trade deadline. It wouldn’t be shocking if they’ve determined that he’s too expensive or they can get a strong return by moving him this summer.
Flyers Willing to Move Voracek?
Seravalli also notes that the Flyers might be willing to trade Jakub Voracek as part of their big offseason moves. He writes, “This is going to be an enormous offseason for GM Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers, who are eager to improve.”
Seravalli explains that Voracek has been a staple as part of the Flyers team, “but clearing out his contract also represents the cleanest path to cap flexibility.” He wonders if the Seattle Kraken could be a team that shows interest.
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.”