In today’s NHL rumors rundown, what is next for the Pittsburgh Penguins after signing Bryan Rust to a long-term contract? Also, with the team-friendly deal the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mark Giordano to, what is next on their agenda?
Does the Boston Bruins’ desire to sign David Pastrnak right away signal adding other players? Finally, how close are Dylan Holloway and Philip Broberg to seeing playoff action for the Edmonton Oilers?
Penguins Plans After Rust Deal
According to Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the fact the Penguins signed Bryan Rust to a long-term contract extension is confirmation the team isn’t going to be rebuilding under new ownership. He also believes there’s room to bring back both Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang if each is willing to take a bit of a discount to stay. But, it could affect other contracts.
It will definitely have an impact down the depth chart. It could close the door on a return for deadline pickup Rickard Rakell. Evan Rodrigues might also be affected; he has certainly earned a pay bump. And while Kasperi Kapanen should receive his modest qualifying offer, that situation could get dicey in arbitration.source – ‘Six thoughts on Bryan Rust’s new contract and what might come next for the Penguins’ – Matt Vensel – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 05/23/2022
Vensel also writes that any speculation Ron Hextall’s job might be on the hot seat is now gone with the Rust extension. He explains that ownership (Fenway Sports Group) never would have let him sign a $30.75 million with a player if the plan to was get rid of the GM.
Maple Leafs Plans After Giordano Deal
The Maple Leafs extended defenseman Mark Giordano on a very inexpensive two-year contract worth $800K per season. Clearly a hometown discount, the deal was finalized because Giordano didn’t want to play anywhere else. Kyle Dubas knows that the veteran defenseman wants to put a winning team on the ice and make it easier for other guys to sign. He said of Giordano’s new deal, “Everything he does is done to help the team win and that includes a tremendous sacrifice in this contract negotiation.” Talk is that Giordano had a deal done with Toronto for $1 million per season and informed the team he’d drop his ask.
The question now is what the Maple Leafs do about their goaltending situation. According to Elliotte Friedman, negotiations are not going well with Jack Campbell. Friedman recently stated, “My guess would be that Campbell is looking for something in the 4-5/season range, or almost double what the Leafs initially offered.” The Leafs believe that Campbell doesn’t have as much negotiating power as he thinks because of his health concerns and lack of total games in the NHL. At the same time, having the dollars available because they saved elsewhere is huge.
The Giordano deal also hints that the Maple Leafs might be comfortable moving Jake Muzzin to free up even more cap space. If Morgan Rielly and Giordano can play in the top-two slots, the Leafs can try to shed $5.625 million off the team’s payroll by trading Muzzin in the offseason. He has a 10-team no-trade list that kicks in on July 1, 2023, so there’s nothing restricting a deal beyond finding another interested team.
Bruins Want to Extend Pastrnak As Soon As Possible
According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, the Bruins want to try and finalize a deal with David Pastrnak as soon as they are eligible, which will be this offseason. GM Don Sweeney said, “we’ll dive right into it the earliest possible time that we’re allowed to and get that indication.”
Sweeney has not gotten an indication that Pastrnak is looking to leave the Bruins. The GM did say that he knows the player wants to win, thus hinting that the Bruins will be adding to the club in an attempt to stay competitive and make Pastrnak feel like they aren’t folding their hand despite some of the key players getting older.
Holloway and Broberg On Oilers Radar
If the Oilers need them, both forward Dylan Holloway and defenseman Philip Broberg will be on speed dial for head coach Jay Woodcroft. Both players took the warmup with the team ahead of Game 3 and Woodcroft said, “Those two players are a part of our team,” when describing where they are at in terms of priority to see ice time. He added, “I thought it would be a great experience for them, especially in this building. We felt they were ready for it. That’s why we did it.”
It doesn’t mean either is pegged to play in Game 4 of 5, but both are ready in case they get the call.
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.”