NHL Rumors: Islanders, Wild, NHL GM Meetings, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Islanders negotiations with some of their own internal unrestricted free agents, the Minnesota Wild addressed their fans to make sure they knew the team would add this summer and be competitive and NHL GMs are getting together again at their annual March meetings and some interesting topics are being discussed.

Latest on Brock Nelson and the Islanders

From the sounds of a report by Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post, center Brock Nelson has yet to have any real negotiations with the New York Islanders about an extension. A pending UFA at the end of the season and with 43 points in 65 games, he’s looking for an increase on his $4.25 million annual salary.

Islanders center Brock Nelson
Islanders center Brock Nelson (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

It sounds like the fact he’s not really talked to the team about a new deal is bothering him, however. “There hasn’t really been any talks or any indication one way or the other. That’s a good thing for all parties, take it day-by-day. Everybody wants to win and we’re in a good spot to do that right now,” he said.

As for what that eventual deal might look like, Cyrgalis suggests that the Islanders want to avoid a long-term extension, hinting that the team would like to offer something much shorter than Josh Bailey’s six-year term. That would mean the Islanders increase the annual average salary and Nelson could get somewhere around $6 million per season.

On the same note, the Islanders haven’t really spoken with Jordan Eberle’s camp either.

Part of the reason some insiders think the Islanders haven’t spoken with their own players is that it is believed they might make a play for some really big-name free agents, namely Artemi Panarin and defenseman Erik Karlsson.

Related: NHL Rumors: Senators, Red Wings, Franchise-Altering Moves

Minnesota Wild Will Not Rebuild

Despite some uncertainty around the future of the Minnesota Wild and what players they’ll be moving or keeping, Michael Russo of The Athletic is reporting that Wild owner Craig Leipold created a video and emailed it to season ticket holders last week saying that they won’t be going through a rebuild.

YouTube player

In the video, Leipold explains how excited he is to have a number of promising 22-year-old or younger players on the team to build around. He also touts how excited he is to have veterans like Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter who have been great for the franchise. “We plan to make some noise this summer. Just so we all understand, this is not a rebuild. To look at our team, we are ready to play right now. We are building on the fly.”

Heading into the offseason, assuming the salary cap ceiling is somewhere around $83 million, the franchise will have just under $20 million in cap space to make additions. It sounds like the No. 1 goal of the team is bring value to ticket holders and make a splash that fans can be excited about.

Related: NHL Rumors: Brown, Simmonds, Canucks, Oilers, More

What Hockey-Related Items GMs are Talking About

As per a story by Pierre LeBrun on The Athletic, the NHL GM meetings in March may bring about some interesting items as far as changes or alterations to the game go.

Among the topics of discussion appear to be having clocks in the corner boards so that defenders, penalty killers and other players could see the time without having to look up. Adding more value to regulation wins than overtime wins as far as determining tiebreakers in the standings as well as items on the Seattle expansion and signing players out of the KHL.

Overall however LeBrun notes the NHL is pleased with the game. He explains:

But by and large, the NHL is in a good place. It has a game that’s fast, its got goals, its evolution has seen smaller, quicker players find a prominent place where 15 years ago that was next to impossible. Simply put, the on-ice game is fun to watch. Which is why when the GMs have met here the last few years it’s become about so much more than minor tinkering. There’s little desire for a facelift anymore.

source – ‘LeBrun: A look at the agenda items for the NHL GM meetings’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 03/04/2019

Listen to the Latest Version of The Hockey Writers Podcast