NHL Rumors: Hurricanes, Maple Leafs, Panarin, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown there are interesting things happening in Carolina with the Hurricanes, the Toronto Maple Leafs make Mitch Marner a serious offer and Artemi Panarin is getting some love outside of the Florida where the Panthers have been considered the favorites to land the scoring winger.

What’s Going on with the Hurricanes?

First, the Carolina Hurricanes trade for an overpriced, problematic contract in Patrick Marleau, then they dump salary when moving Calvin de Haan and finally, it seems they’ve drawn a line in the sand when it comes to Sebastian Aho.

Sebastian Aho Hurricanes
Sebastian Aho, Carolina Hurricanes, Mar. 1, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

NHL insider John Shannon was on OilersNow (630 CHED Edmonton) and said that the Carolina Hurricanes’ offer to Aho currently comes in at just $6 million x 8 seasons. That’s pretty low considering what other talented stars are being paid during their RFA years.

Shannon said, “I think if, and that’s a big if, there’s still an offer sheet to come, I would put the offer sheet to Aho at the top of the list for me.” Comparing that kind of contract to Marleau’s (who the team just acquired), Shannon added, “you know darn well that somebody could come in and buck that number way up, for what Sebastian Aho is.”

GM of the Hurricanes, Don Waddell said, timelines on an Aho deal are false and that technically the Hurricanes have until September to get this done and they will. That changes if an offer sheet is forthcoming.

Related: William Karlsson Signs 8-Yr Extension With Golden Knights

Marner Offered $10 Million Over 8

Brian Burke says the Maple Leafs have made Mitch Marner a significant offer: “My understanding is that a very significant offer was made; a full eight-year term and $10 million a year was what one of our guys told me — a guy on our staff who talked to the agent.”

Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Mitch Marner (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

Burke went onto to say that it sounds like Marner’s camp doesn’t want an eight-year term. Like Auston Matthews, Marner wants the right to walk away in five but for Marner, it’s about the idea that if he has to take less money than Matthews, he’s certainly not taking on the longer term. He’s been the team’s leading scorer.

Everyone believes Marner will wait until July 1 to see if there is an offer sheet. Burke said, “I’d do the same thing if I was representing this player. It is already June 24th.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Capitals, Oilers, Golden Knights, More

Interest in Panarin Outside of Florida

We already know Artemi Panarin is in Florida ready to meet with Dale Tallon and see what the Panthers are willing to offer the free agent. Another team is getting into the bidding.

Artemi Panarin, Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blackhawks moved Panarin in the midst of cap issues. (Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports)

Adrian Dater reports Panarin’s agent met with the Colorado Avalanche yesterday in Denver. The Avs have a significant interest in the forward.
Dater also adds that while he’s not positive, the New York Islanders are rumored to have some interest in Panarin. It is believed that Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is looking to make a splash.

Mike Smith Talking to Several Teams

Goaltender Mike Smith has spoken to several teams now that the free agent interview period has opened according to Frank Seravalli of TSN. Seravalli says the door isn’t closed to him returning to Calgary and that perhaps the Hurricanes might have an interest.

Calgary Flames Goalie Mike Smith
CALGARY, AB – APRIL 13: Calgary Flames Goalie Mike Smith (41) skates back to his net after a stoppage in play during the first period of Game Two of the Western Conference First Round during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs where the Calgary Flames hosted the Colorado Avalanche on April 13, 2019, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, AB. (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Considering the Canes’ just added Anton Forsberg in the Blackhawks trade, that would be an interesting team to have interest in Smith and would mean both their pending free agent goalies are expected to leave the organization.