In today’s rumor rundown Patrick Maroon has a number of interested teams including two cities he’s already familiar with, Michael Grabner has been contacted by a team that is pitching to John Tavares and Tobias Rieder is being viewed as a player who can offer some additional help in a number of areas to a handful of teams. Plus, we take a look a handful of quick hits as July 1 and free agency approaches.
Patrick Maroon Looking at Places He Knows Well
Both Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reports and Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch note that the St. Louis Blues have reached out to Patrick Maroon in hopes that the St. Louis native might be interested in playing for his hometown team. Maroon is a popular option for free-agent left-wingers in this year’s crop of UFA’s and multiple teams have expressed interest. There are also rumblings the Edmonton Oilers are considering offering a deal to Maroon who said he would absolutely talk to them again when the time came to make a decision on the next few years of his playing career.
Maroon scored 43-points this past season between the Oilers and the New Jersey Devils and will likely be seeking something in the neighbourhood of $4 million per year for three or four years. For fans in Edmonton who are hoping to see Maroon back in an Oilers jersey, they got a bit excited to see Maroon playing mini-golf at West Edmonton Mall on Monday at a time it was rumored the Oilers might be interested in talking a contract. This doesn’t mean Edmonton and Maroon are close, it could simply be that he was visiting the home he still owns and making other arrangements.
Bruins Aren’t Just Working On Tavares
While the Boston Bruins were making their scheduled pitch to John Tavares, the club was also making supplemental moves by reaching out to Michael Grabner’s camp. Mark Divver of the Providence Journal says the Bruins have “checked in” on Grabner thanks to their need for another veteran right-shot who has speed. Some are also speculating that Boston may have noted this during their pitch to Tavares seeing as the two have history playing together with the New York Islanders.
Tobias Rieder Growing in Popularity
Tobias Rieder may not be the most flashy name now available in free agency, but he is a popular one, especially when it comes to speed, penalty killing and depth on a roster that could use a two-way forward who can score. There are plenty of teams rumored to be interested after the Los Angeles Kings declined to give Rieder a qualifying offer. Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal states that the Vancouver Canucks are interested but that at least four or five other suitors are as well.
Scott Cullen has him at the top of a list of the most interesting names to keep an eye on. Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal said, “If I’m Oilers and price is right I’m trying to bring Rieder back as UFA after trading him once before. He’d be solid 3rd line player and he can skate.” Rieder and Leon Draisaitl have a history of playing together in international competitions. Whether it be Edmonton or another team, it will likely cost a franchise two or three years at around $2.5 million per season to get him under contract.
- With the re-signing of J.T. Miller by the Tampa Bay Lightning, it seems like a guarantee the Lightning can’t afford John Tavares who they were scheduled to pitch to this week. Nikita Kucherov is still high on their list of players that need a new contract in the future and he’s eligible for an extension on July 1, 2018. The Lightning will have to work magic just to get Kucherov’s deal to work with their existing roster and a $10-million-plus contract to Tavares doesn’t seem feasible.
- Pierre LeBrun is reporting that Joe Thornton is expected to remain in San Jose. The Sharks have plenty of cap room and feel that they aren’t in a rush since Thornton wants to stay in San Jose. The team can add pieces like Tavares or others and then talk to Thornton about a new deal.
- Bob McKenzie is suggesting that Tomas Plekanec could wind up back in Montreal when everything is said and done.
- Calvin de Haan is drawing interest from the Los Angeles Kings. Kings beat writer Dennis Bernstein reports that Los Angeles is just one of many teams interested (as many as 10 are).
- Craig Custance reported that goaltender Robin Lehner was in Detroit meeting with the Red Wings about a possible deal. Custance also says that Detroit has interest in Mike Green, Valtteri Filppula, and Thomas Vanek.
- According to Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Penguins have been speaking with Jack Johnson who is a good friend of Sidney Crosby. The Pens are looking for a stable veteran defender this offseason.
- As per TSN, the Montreal Canadiens are among several teams reportedly with interest in Jets center Paul Stastny.
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.”