In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what is defenseman Dougie Hamilton worth on the open free agent market? Meanwhile, are the Los Angeles Kings going to make a play for a couple of top-six forwards? Tuukka Rask is going back in net for the Boston Bruins in Game 6, but is something off? Finally, players from the Winnipeg Jets talk their season and their futures, while a scribe who covers the Pittsburgh Penguins talks their offseason plans.
Hamilton Could Get $8.5 Million Per Season
There is no doubt that defenseman Dougie Hamilton outplayed his current $5.75 million per season contract. He’s about to get a big bump in pay from either the Carolina Hurricanes or another team if he hits the free agent market. That said, how much is he worth on an extension, especially to the Hurricanes who build their blue line around he and Jaccob Slavin?
Emily Kaplan of ESPN.com believes Hamilton could get as much as $8.5 million per season on the open market but the Hurricanes could be uncomfortable going that high.
Luke Decock of The News and Observer doesn’t seem to think the Hurricanes can get Hamilton signed. He writes:
And there are difficult decisions to be made. Dougie Hamilton has almost certainly played his last game for the Hurricanes, and possibly Jordan Martinook, Brock McGinn and Mrazek as well. Even Brind’Amour isn’t under contract for next season, although owner Tom Dundon would be insane to let it come to that.source – ‘In losing to the Lightning, the Canes learn a painful lesson on where they want to be’ – Luke Decock – News and Observer – 06/08/2021
Kings to Be Big Player This Offseason
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, expect the Los Angeles Kings to be busy over the next couple of months. He writes, “With expansion draft looming, there’s more trade discussion developing around the NHL. The LA Kings could be a big player this offseason and are hoping to acquire two top six forwards through trade or free agency.”
The Kings have been mentioned in a few different trade scenarios already, including one for Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres. Because LA has so many prospects with which to dangle in trade, teams that are looking at moving big names will certainly be looking at the Kings to see if there are any future pieces worth adding to their roster.
Bruins’ Rask Will Start Game 6
There was some talk over the past couple of days that something might have been off between the Boston Bruins and goaltender Tuukka Rask. Insiders were wondering what it meant when head coach Bruce Cassidy said, “There was some maintenance that needed to be done. He wasn’t 100%. He wasn’t himself. He could have been back in. We made the decision not to put him back in.”
Cassidy added he “assumed” Rask would play Game 6 and Steve Buckley of The Athletic points out that there’s a reason Cassidy phrased his response in the way he did. He noted:
“With those four words — “I assume he will” — Cassidy has unwittingly done his part to help create this latest Rask Referendum. He’s not saying Rask will start. He’s saying he assumes he’ll start. Remember, this a man who chooses his words carefully.source – ‘The Tuukka Rask conversation is wide open again with Bruins on brink of elimination’ – Steve Buckley – The Athletic – 06/08/2021
The good news is that Rask will be back in net on Wednesday evening. Cassidy confirmed that the goaltender will start Game 6. So too, Jake DeBrusk will enter the lineup and play with Charlie Coyle and Karson Kuhlman.
Jets’ Players Address Media About Season and Futures
It’s not uncommon to hear that NHLers played through injury during the playoffs. Nikolaj Ehlers of the Winnipeg Jets confirms he was dealing with a shoulder injury and a rib fracture that he played through. He says he felt good and called himself 100%.
Pierre-Luc Dubois said he wasn’t dealing with injuries but says his game never really got to the level he wanted it to be, and has nobody to blame but himself. He noted that this was just one season, and will work hard this off-season and this will be a big important summer.
Paul Stastny was asked about what he plans to do as a free agent. “Whatever happens, I’ll probably just take my time with it.” He noted with the expansion draft, he’ll let teams figure things out and then take a look at his options and they’ll be patient about it. He said that he will certainly include the Jets as a team he’d be happy to play for.
Penguins Offseason Plans
According to Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, a well-placed source in the Penguins organization confirmed, “Tristan Jarry will be protected in the coming expansion draft. So, too, will Evgeni Malkin.” Malkin has a full no-movement clause and it is believed the only place he’d be willing to waive it for is the Florida Panthers.
Kingerski also adds that the Penguins are looking for a veteran goalie with playoff experience and the name that keeps coming up is Frederik Andersen. He writes:
Circle Andersen’s name as someone the Pittsburgh Penguins are already watching. The team could make a solid pitch pending the goalie market, which was a heavy buyer’s market last fall and figures to be again with the flat salary cap.
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.”