In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news out of Vancouver that Chris Tanev seems to believe his options are limited if he wants to stay in Vancouver. There is speculation out of Detroit as to who the Red Wings might let walk and who they might keep. In Toronto, Maple Leafs players are starting to get tested in preparation for a return to the facilities on Monday. Finally, will the NHL and the players agree on a new CBA before play resumes?
Tanev to Take One-Year Deal?
Vancouver Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev will be heading into the free agent market this offseason and told Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre that he thinks a lot of players, including himself, could sign a one-year contracts.
Tanev mentioned the idea would be to hope the financial situation improves and that the one-year contract is just a short-term gap to keep him in Vancouver long-term. The 30-year-old has spent his entire 10-year NHL career in Vancouver but understands the team has already committed $63 million for next season to just 14 players and the veterans may be the first to go.
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Okposo Undergoes Surgery
Bill Hoppe of Buffalo Hockey Beat reports that Buffalo Sabres forward Kyle Okposo had surgery on his right knee. He’ll be out at least six weeks based on the recovery time required.
Okposo has three years left on his deal that carries a $6 million salary cap hit. There is speculation he’ll be a candidate for a buyout before next season resumes.
Red Wings Free Agency Speculation
Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press said she doesn’t expect Jimmy Howard, Trevor Daley, and Jonathan Ericsson to be back with the Red Wings next season. All are unrestricted free agents the team will let leave the organization.
She writes of Howard’s performance:
What a disappointing denouement for a guy who spent 11 seasons with the Wings, earning two All-Star nods. His last victory dated to Oct. 29, and he was pulled his last two starts.source – ‘Detroit Red Wings’ final grades are in. Here’s who passed and who flunked’ – Helene St. James – Detroit Free Press – 05/30/2020
Despite a terrible season by the team overall, St. James believes a few players will be re-signed. Among them are restricted free agents Tyler Bertuzzi, Anthony Mantha, Robby Fabbri, and Adam Erne.
Ansar Khan is reporting the Red Wings have already signed defenseman Albert Johansson to a three-year entry-level deal. Johansson was drafted by the Red Wings 60th overall in the second round of the 2019 NHL draft.
Maple Leafs Players Getting Tested
Some of the Toronto Maple Leafs who are in town began being tested for COVID-19 on Friday. The idea behind that is to get them cleared for a return on Monday as part of the NHL’s Phase 2 returns.
Kristen Shilton of TSN wrote, “Those who are cleared can voluntarily head to the practice facility on Monday, with an eye on having physicals done ahead of possibly starting those small group workouts.”
As for where Phase 3 is at, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports that training camps won’t take place until after July 10th with David Pagnotta suggesting he’s heard the NHL is hoping to start Phase 3 around July 14th.
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NHL and NHLPA Talking New CBA
According to a few reports, the NHL and NHLPA are working on a new collective bargaining agreement, hoping to have something in place before play is resumed.
“The league wants long-term stability. The players want a cap on escrow, and word is that it is being considered. If the season does not resume, their hit would be 35 per cent. Even if there are games, they are looking at 27 or 28 per cent. I heard rumblings of a 20 per cent escrow cap over the next few seasons — others said they heard slightly less. A flat salary cap of $81.5 million for a few seasons is possible, too.”
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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.”