NHL Rumors: Laine, Hayes, Panarin, More

In today’s NHL rumors, there is news coming out of Winnipeg that forward Patrik Laine might consider accepting an offer sheet. Kevin Hayes might be a target for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Florida Panthers are the favorites to land Artemi Panarin.

Laine to Look at Offer Sheets?

The Fourth Period is writing that contract talks between the Winnipeg Jets and restricted free agent winger Patrik Laine are expected to pick up soon. But, David Pagnotta has been informed by his sources that if talks don’t go well, Laine will look at other options including signing an offer sheet or asking for a trade.

Patrik Laine, Bryan Little
Winnipeg Jets’ Patrik Laine (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

Laine wants a quick and easy negotiation with the Jets and depending on the term, is looking for as high as $10 million per season.

This means the Jets will have to let certain salary leave the team, including this next player…

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Blackhawks Interested in Kevin Hayes

Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports wrote in his mailbag segment that there are reports the Chicago Blackhawks are doing their homework on free agent center Kevin Hayes.

Justin Williams, Kevin Hayes
Winnipeg Jets’ Kevin Hayes looks to shoot while Carolina Hurricanes’ Justin Williams defends (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A former draft selection of the Blackhawks, if they were to sign Hayes, they would likely either trade one of their current centers, or move one to the wing. There were already whispers of the Blackhawks trying to moveArtem Anisimov. It’s not likely they would trade any of David Kampf, Dylan Strome, and Jonathan Toews.

Anisimov, if he moves, would be traded after his no-trade clause and bonus go away on July 1st.

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Mike Condon on the Move

The extension of goaltender Anders Nilsson in Ottawa has prompted speculation that Mike Condon’s days are numbered with the Senators.

Senators goalie Mike Condon
Senators goalie Mike Condon (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

Now considered an overpaid third-string goaltender, The Ottawa Sun’s Bruce Garrioch writes:

With backup Anders Nilsson agreeing to a two-year extension Wednesday, it would appear the club will likely either try to deal backup Mike Condon or buy him out of the final year of his contract. The 29-year-old has one year left on a deal that pays him $3 million in salary and he essentially didn’t play last season because of a hip issue.

source – ‘Mike Condon’s days with the Senators are numbered after Nilsson signing’ – Ottawa Sun – Bruce Garrioch – 05/29/2019

Garrioch says that the cap space is not a problem for the Senators, but the team would prefer to trade Condon and all or part of his $2.4 million salary rather than buy him out at the cost of $400K next year and $1 million the year after. 

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Canucks Blue Line Rumors

Sportsnet 650’s Mike Zeisberger spoke with Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning. Benning said he’d like to add to his blue line this season but won’t sacrifice draft picks or young players to get what they need.

He also doesn’t expect the team will go after any big fish. That would rule out someone like P.K. Subban.

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Panarin and the Panthers

Dan Rosen of NHL.com started listing reasons he believed the Florida Panthers are the favorites to land free agent forward Artemi Panarin. Among them, he lists Panarin being familiar with coach Joel Quenneville, the chance to play with either Aleksander Barkov or Vincent Trocheck and being a teammate of good friend Evgenii Dadonov.

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

One can’t ignore the fact that the weather and no state tax in Florida are excellent reasons to play the next six-seven seasons there.

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