NHL Rumors: Spezza, Maple Leafs, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that Jason Spezza would be open to a return to Ottawa, updates on the status of things between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent Andreas Johnsson, the Dallas Stars might look at moving a young forward and more.

Spezza Back in Ottawa?

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) spoke with Jason Spezza who will not be back with the Dallas Stars next season and asked him what his plans are for the future. Specifically, he asked him if he would consider a return to the only other franchise he has suited up for.

Jason Spezza
Dallas Stars center Jason Spezza (90) during the NHL game between the Dallas Stars and the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena. (Andy Martin Jr)

Spezza said he definitely wants to keep playing. He added:

It’s still early in this process but I have a good relationship with the people in Ottawa that are still there. It would be high on my list of considerations that’s for sure. I left there on good terms. It definitely keeps the door open. It’s food for thought, for sure. But it’s so early in the process, we’ll see.

source – ‘LeBrun: Jason Spezza contemplates his future — on and off the ice — as his time in Dallas comes to an end’ – The Athletic – Pierre LeBrun – 05/16/2019

As LeBrun points out, Spezza turns 36 next month but in the right situation, he can fill a bottom-six role. He did so for Dallas in the playoffs this season and he’ll be a good help to any power play. While he might not be fast enough to excel in today’s game, his hockey sense hasn’t left him and he can think the game faster than most.

Related: NHL Rumors: Coaches, Buyouts, Kessel, More

Andreas Johnsson Letting Agent do the Talking

Restricted free agent Andreas Johnsson delivered with a 20-goal season and as one of Toronto’s better forwards, he will get a hefty raise over the summer. The question is, ‘What will a Johnsson deal look like?’

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews Andreas Johnsson Kasperi Kapanen
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews celebrates with teammates Andreas Johnsson and wing Kasperi Kapanen (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn)

Jonas Siegel of The Athletic notes that Johnsson is open to negotiating with the Maple Leafs and that he’s not stuck on the type of deal. Johnsson said, “The agents and the organization have to talk about that.” He added, “Whatever would work best for both (sides).”

Siegel writes:

If they can, and yes there’s the cap crunch to consider, the Leafs should go big on a Johnsson deal because he’s an emerging player, a spunky, shifty threat who can score and create for others. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he’s become a more than viable long-term option for Matthews’ line, particularly since the organization’s strength at wing tilts heavily to the right.

source – ‘Andreas Johnsson bet on himself. Can the Maple Leafs afford to bet on him?’ – The Athletic – Jason Siegel – 05/09/2019

According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Leafs made an offer of four years and a $2.6 million cap hit and were rejected. A two-year deal with a $2.1 million cap hit was also turned down. So, while Johnsson isn’t stuck on the length of the deal, it does appear he wants fair value.

Related: NHL Rumors: Marner, Skinner, Short-Term Deals, More

Time for Julius Honka to Move On?

Sportsday’s Matthew DeFranks asks if young defenseman Julius Honka has a future with the Stars? The restricted free agent hasn’t done much for the Dallas Stars of late and DeFranks believes he could “draw at least marginal interest from other teams.”

Stars defenseman Julius Honka
Stars defenseman Julius Honka (Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)

At 23 years old, if he’s not going to crack the lineup for the Stars, he’s probably best to get a shot elsewhere.

Ivan Telegin Looking For NHL Contract

Ivan Telegin told Igor Eronko of Sport-Express that he is looking for an NHL contract after his deal with CSKA Moscow in the KHL recently came to an end. The Winnipeg Jets currently own Telegin’s NHL rights but at the end of June when he will become an unrestricted free agent.

A team looking for an inexpensive contributor for their bottom six might take a look.