NHL Rumors: Lee, Kravtsov, Maple Leafs, Coyotes, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the focus is on the New York Islanders and an extension with Anders Lee, the Rangers are not bringing over one of their KHL prospects, the Toronto Maple Leafs have their eyes on an under-the-radar college free agent and the Coyotes are still looking for new ownership.

Lamoriello Deal With Anders Lee Done?

Brett Cyrgalis of the NY Post is reporting that it sounds like an announcement that Anders Lee has signed an extension with the New York Islanders is coming. He says the deal is pretty much done, and just the final details need to be hammered out.

New York Islanders Anders Lee
New York Islanders’ Anders Lee celebrates with teammates (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Lou Lamoriello will then need to turn his attention to re-signing Brock Nelson and Jordan Eberle so that the team doesn’t lose them for anything come July 1st. There is speculation that Islanders may have interest in pending UFA’s Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Erik Karlsson so if the Islanders don’t sign some of their own key players, it could be a sign they are saving money in an attempt to land someone with a much higher salary.

Related: NHL Rumors: Hughes, Coyotes, Rangers, Oilers, More

Don’t Expect Playoff Format Change

Elliotte Friedman had a Friday morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 and said fans shouldn’t expect that the NHL will change their playoff format despite some widespread desire from many to do so. Friedman believes TV rights could be the big reason behind a lack of desire to change.

“I believe it was NBC because we were told at the time they liked the more predictability of knowing who the matchups were going to be,” Friedman explained. He also added that the television rights holders weren’t thrilled about the re-seeding last time they did so because it was much harder to prepare for.

KHL Team Won’t Terminate Kravtsov’s Contract

Despite an earlier report that the Rangers might be bringing over Vitali Kravtsov from the NHL, Igor Eronko tweeted this is not the case and the GM of Traktor of the KHL said that they won’t terminate Vitali Kravtsov’s contract. As a result, don’t expect Kravtsov to sign with the New York Rangers this season.

Vitali Kravtsov, KHL
Vitali Kravtsov, KHL, 2017. (Photo: HC Traktor)

Maple Leafs and College UFA Joseph Duszak

Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in college free agent defenseman Joseph Duszak. A report from College Hockey News suggests that it may already be a done deal.

Chris Peters added that at 21 years old Duszak would be one of the younger college free agents. He also says that Atlantic Hockey hasn’t produced a ton of NHLers, but as a low-risk add he could be a win for the Leafs. Duszak has 47 points in 37 games for Mercyhurst this season.

Scott Wheeler figures that the fact where Duszak comes from is an under-the-radar program, it may reduce the number of suitors. As Bob McKenzie noted, Most of the NHL is currently focused on Max Veronneau, Ryan Kuffner from Princeton, Taro Hirose from Michigan State and Joe Snively from Yale who has received interest from at least 20 NHL teams

Related: NHL Rumors: Rangers, Oilers, Canucks, Kings, More

Coyotes Ownership Questions

There have been various reports the Arizona Coyotes have been moving forward on finding someone to add to their ownership group. A recent report by Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic suggests that isn’t necessarily true and no new ownership has presented itself and the arena situation is ongoing.

Morin writes that the Coyotes did approach the Phoenix Suns regarding a possible partnership of a downtown area but they were turned away by Suns owner Robert Sarver.  Morin also writes that the team will likely put the arena deal on the backburner for now and owner Coyotes owner Andrew Barroway will continue to look for someone to add to the ownership group.