NHL Rumors: Rangers, Oilers, Tavares, More

In today’s rumor rundown, John Tavares should start letting teams know what’s going on as early as today, the Rangers and Oilers might have some plans ready for July 1 and there are a few other notes from around the league.

New York Rangers Busy

The New York Rangers are “supposed to be” a rebuilding team this season but it would be nieve to think they won’t be active in free agency on some level. The Rangers are always one of the most active teams on July 1.

Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs
Leo Komarov needs a wake up call from Mike Babcock and the coaching staff. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

David Pagnotta suggests the Rangers have talked to Leo Komarov about a multi-year contract and thinks that might be as close to a lock as any deal so far this offseason. Komarov has seven goals and 19 points last season with the Maple Leafs but won’t be back due to salary cap restrictions in Toronto.

Larry Brooks of NY Post reports the Rangers are really interested in free agent Forward Ryan Reaves who has a number of teams contacting him about a contract. Reaves finished off last season with the Golden Knights after being a St. Louis Blues forward for many years. It sounds as though he’s looking for term and visiting cities to find the right fit.

Related: NHL Rumors: Nash, Bernier, Lucic, More

Oilers In on Depth Players

The Edmonton Oilers are not likely to be in the conversation on any big-name free agents this offseason, especially since all those involved in the Milan Lucic saga continue to say he’s not going anywhere and will be back with the team, but the Oilers could make moves on depth players like Blake Comeau and/or Jason Chimera.

Jason Chimera, New York Islanders
Jason Chimera will add more veteran presence to a Ducks team fighting for a postseason berth. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ryan Rishaug mentioned Jason Chimera‘s name has come up with the Oilers and he would love to play again in his hometown.

On Lucic, his agent Gerry Johannson said again, “He’s coming back to play for the Edmonton Oilers. That’s not exactly a fancy storyline but that’s what it is. I have no idea how this story got out there.”

Related: NHL Rumors: Maroon, Rieder, Grabner and Much More

Tavares Purchasing Insurance?

John Tavares may start letting teams know as early as Friday if they are still in the running for his services and a variety of options have started to get out there as to what direction he might go.

John Tavares, New York Islanders
John Tavares has 57 points in 50 games this season – deserving of an all-star nod. (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Arthur Staple of the Athletic wrote that the Islanders should know right away so they can do what’s needed to finalize his contract as part of their roster and while still under contract should he choose them. Staple wrote:

In fact, the Islanders will almost certainly know by Friday whether Tavares is staying for eight years and somewhere between $92-100 million. That sort of contract takes time to finalize, so with the midnight deadline on Saturday looming — after that, Tavares is considered an unrestricted free agent and cannot get the eighth year from the Isles anymore — Tavares and his camp will let Lou Lamoriello know on Friday to either start the contract process or say goodbye after nine seasons.

source from Staple: Tavares flies home to Toronto as contract decision looms – The Athletic – 06/29/18

If not the Islanders, Dave McCarthy suggests the Toronto Maple Leafs might be frontrunners and a one-year max deal is not off the table.  To do this, it would be likely that Tavares would purchase insurance to cover any future losses should he be injured this coming season. How much insurance Tavares could get might depend on certain circumstances but likely not enough to cover the entire amount of an eight-year contract.

Related: NHL Rumors: Karlsson, Tavares, O’Reilly, More


  • Fox Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland reports that Carter Hutton is expected to sign with the Buffalo Sabres once the free agency period officially opens up on Sunday.
  • Carolina Hurricanes GM Don Waddell confirmed that the team is not pursuing contracts with pending unrestricted free agents Cam Ward, Derek Ryan, and Lee Stempniak and expect all three to hit the open market on July 1st.
  • Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets that the Montreal Canadiens have “kicked the tires” on Xavier Ouellet since his buyout in Detroit.
  • Derek Ryan visited the Calgary Flames according to Frank Seravalli of TSN, and may reunite with coach Bill Peters.
  • Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch reports the Islanders are among the teams looking at Craig Anderson who requested a trade out of Ottawa.
  • As the Boston Bruins wait for John Tavares’ decision, Steve Conroy reports they’ve contacted the camps of James van Riemsdyk and Michael Grabner.