In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Ilya Samsonov in goal on Saturday. Is there an issue or an injury? Also, would Ryan O’Reilly consider coming back next season at a reduced rate? The Vancouver Canucks want to add a third-line center if they can clear cap space, the New York Rangers have some tough decisions to make with Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, and will Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci come back for another season with the Bruins?
Samsonov and Acciari Dealing With Minor Issues
Maple Leafs’ head coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters in Ottawa that goaltender Ilya Samsonov is still dealing with some minor things and that his wife is expecting soon. As a result, Samsonov will not play versus the Senators. The Leafs have recalled netminder Joseph Woll. Luke Fox says part of the reason was to simply give Samsonov some rest and reward a prospect with some NHL pay.
Matt Murray is also fine but there’s no news yet on Noel Acciari and if he’ll get back on the ice for the team after taking a nasty hit from Jesse Puljujarvi. Keefe said of his status: “He was in the room & handed off the belt tonight to the Reeser. So, he seems like he’s doing alright, but clearly couldn’t come back in the game so that’s concerning.”
Can Canucks Find a Third-Line Center?
Sekeras And Price recently discussed the Canucks need to dump some salary so they can go after a third-line center in free agency. Should the team be able to move the money, they note that off-season targets for the team could include Ivan Barbashev, Alex Kerfoot, Oscar Sundqvist, and Tyson Jost.
Will Kane and Tarasenko Consider Staying With the Rangers?
As per Sportsnet’s Luke Fox, there are some intriguing pending UFAs and their current respective that will need to make some tough decisions. Among them, the New York Rangers and Patrick Kane will have to decide if they want this relationship to continue.
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He writes that Kane will have to take a significant pay cut if he wants to remain with the organization beyond this season. Meanwhile, general manager Chris Drury would also have to make some hard decisions regarding restricted free agents such as K’Andre Miller, Filip Chytil, and Alexis Lafreniere. The Rangers have $16.8 million in cap space with only 13 players signed. They would need to move salary off of the roster to keep Kane around.
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Fox believes Vladimir Tarasenko will be hitting the open market on July 1. He anticipates the 31-year-old winger will be among this summer’s most-pursued UFAs and he’s looking to cash in versus stay with the Rangers making less than he would on the open market.
Will O’Reilly Take a Discount for the Maple Leafs?
Fox speculates that forward Ryan O’Reilly could make more than the $5 million or so that the Leafs might be open to giving him should he choose to re-sign in Toronto. The Leafs like what he’s brought them in limited games and if Jake Muzzin stays on LTIR next season, the team has some room to offer him a contract.
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At the same time, O’Reilly could make as much as $7 million on the free-agent market (similar to Nazem Kadri’s deal with the Calgary Flames). Would O’Reilly leave around $2 million on the table at the age of 32 years old to stay with the Maple Leafs? That might be a long shot considering the St. Louis Blues have also expressed interest in bringing O’Reilly back.
Krejci and Bergeron Could Return for One More Season With the Bruins
Some sources close to the Bruins say they wouldn’t be surprised if Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci returned for another season if the Bruins don’t win the Stanley Cup this season. if Krejci doesn’t re-sign, he’ll likely return to Czechia to finish his playing career.