In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are comments from the coach of the Arizona Coyotes on Taylor Hall likely staying with the team, the Montreal Canadiens may have to decide what they can afford to pay Tomas Tatar, and the Vancouver Canucks have some options for their blue line. Finally, what happens to some of NHL records if the NHL regular season doesn’t resume?
Hall to Stay With the Coyotes?
Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet told ESPN On Ice that winger Taylor Hall told him that he’d like to find a team to settle in with. After comments that Hall wasn’t interested in a short-term deal just to maximize his value in free agency, there were questions about where he might end up. The Coyotes are “a team he’s very interested in staying with” according to the Arizona coach.
I’m not saying he is going to sign here, but I definitely think we’re a team he’s very interested in staying with,” Tocchet told the ESPN On Ice podcast this week. The coach is aware that the current pandemic has changed the thinking of a lot of top-tier free agents but Hall seems to be a little different. Tocchet explained:
“You’re talking about a guy who, before this, was going to make a ton of money. With this whole pandemic, like he told me, he doesn’t want to go through another year trying to play on a one-year contract. He wants to get settled somewhere. So he’s got a lot of different options that weigh.”
Arizona Sports writer Matt Layman reports Hall believes he has a good relationship with Coyotes management and the coaching staff. It is expected the winger will ask for around $9 million per season on a long-term deal.
Canucks Targets on Defense
We mentioned yesterday that Tyson Barrie commented on what next season might look like and listed the Vancouver Canucks as a team that might have some interest. The Canucks, however, have other options.
The Athletic’s Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal recently listed seven additional defensemen for the Vancouver Canucks to target via free agency. They include Calgary’s Travis Hamonic, Washington’s Radko Gudas, Winnipeg’s Dylan DeMelo, Philadelphia’s Justin Braun, Florida’s Mark Pysyk, San Jose’s Tim Heed, and Tampa Bay’s Jan Rutta.
That said, they don’t have a ton of room on their salary cap. They explain:
And with the organization keen on retaining two key pending unrestricted free agents of their own in Jacob Markstrom and Toffoli, things will get tight in a hurry unless the club can find creative ways to carve out some additional flexibility under the salary cap.source – ‘Rebuilding the Canucks’ defence: 8 defencemen to target in free agency’ – Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal – The Athletic – 05/15/2020
Still with the Canucks, Elliotte Friedman writes that a return for Micheal Ferland is still iffy at this point. “No skating yet,” Ferland said Wednesday, “but I’ve been training and I’m feeling good. Symptom-free.”
Noting the last time he didn’t take enough time away, he would like a “mini-training camp” to make sure he’s ready this season.
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What Can Canadiens Afford to Pay Tatar?
While it might night not be a big concern this offseason, Tomas Tatar will be an unrestricted free agent after next season. If he keeps playing well, he’ll likely be too expensive for the Canadiens to hang onto says Eric Engels of Sportsnet.
The flattening of the salary cap and how long that lasts could rule out a four- or five-year deal for Tatar. It was rumored he could have made around $6 million for that term before everything went on pause.
Oilers Have a Couple Reasons to Be Upset
With the talk of a 24-team playoff bracket gaining steam, the Edmonton Oilers have a couple of good reasons to not like it. First, they are not a team with a bye which means they’d play the Chicago Blackhawks. While inconvenient, other teams are in the same boat.
Personally, for Connor McDavid, it could have a huge influence on his personal records. All the talk of a playoff suggests the regular season won’t resume. That means McDavid would finish with 97 points in 64 games not reach 100 points. Had he played those last regular-season games he would have become the 13th player to reach 100+ points in four consecutive seasons. More than that, it will steer him off his course to try and catch Wayne Gretzky’s seven consecutive seasons.
Leon Draisaitl also won’t reach 50 goals and 100 points for the second-straight season. Only 15 NHL players have ever done that.
Guys like Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews, David Pastrnak (almost reached 50 goals) will be stopped in their tracks as well.
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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.”