NHL Rumors: Blues, Canadiens, Bruins, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown what’s next for the St. Louis Blues after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Colorado Avalanche? Are the Montreal Canadiens thinking about not taking Shane Wright first-overall in this year’s NHL Entry Draft?

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With news that Brad Marchand is going to be out of action for six months, what does that mean for the Boston Bruins and their offseason plans? Finally, two scribes from The Athletic looked at which members of the Toronto Maple Leafs are most likely to stay and who is most likely to go.

What’s Next For Blues?

As she often does when teams are eliminated from the playoffs, ESPN.com’s Kristen Shilton took a look at what comes next for the St. Louis Blues after being eliminated by the Avalanche on Friday night. She believes the team will re-sign goaltender Ville Husso before he can hit the unrestricted free agent market. They like him and don’t want him to take offers from other teams who might like him too.

Ville Husso St. Louis Blues
Ville Husso, St. Louis Blues (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

From there, the team will need to speak with Vladimir Tarasenko about his previous trade request. That got swept under the rug as the team found success this season but it was often reported that he was still looking to be moved.

How much is 33-year-old David Perron worth on an extension? He’s likely to sign a short-term deal with the team after another successful season. The Blues are hoping Perron likes it in St. Louis and will sign for something similar to what he did on his last deal. They don’t have a ton of cap space to go up much more than the $4 million he was making per season.

Might the Canadiens Choose Someone Other Than Wright?

The Athletic’s Corey Pronman and Max Bultman sat down with Montreal beat writers Arpon Basu and Marc Antoine Godin on The Athletic Hockey Show and there was some disagreement as to whom the Canadiens might select with the first-overall selection at this year’s NHL Entry Draft. Wright is the consensus top pick, but USNTDP standout Logan Cooley was said to have potentially more elite upside.

Juraj Slafkovsky Team Slovakia
Juraj Slafkovsky Team Slovakia (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Interestingly, winger Juraj Slafkovsky was voted the most likely alternative to Wright for the Canadiens. He is considered to be the most dynamic forward in this upcoming draft class and his draft stock has skyrocketed this season. He is a big Slovakian forward who has great offensive skill. He scored 10 points in 31 games plus seven points in 18 playoff games with TPS in the Liiga, Finland’s top pro league. He added 18 points in 11 games with their U-20 team. Slafkovsky was also named MVP of the Olympic tournament with seven goals in seven games for Slovakia.

Perhaps most importantly, he recorded nine points in eight games at the World Championship and Canadiens GM Kent Hughes was there, reportedly scouting him.

Marchand Out For Six Months

The Boston Bruins announced on Friday that forward Brad Marchand underwent successful hip arthroscopy and labral repair on both of his hips. He’s expected to be out of action for six months, meaning he will miss nearly two months at the start of the 2022-23 regular season.

Related: Bruins Pros and Cons to Moving 3 Veterans

If Patrice Bergeron doesn’t return to the Bruins this coming season and Marchand is out of action, the Bruins could find themselves in a huge hole to start next year, one that’s too deep to dig themselves out of. Will that affect their desire to build a competitive roster and maybe shift towards more a rebuild?

Who Isn’t Back With Maple Leafs Next Season?

Mentioning Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly are the “untouchables” on the Maple Leafs roster, Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle of The Athletic took a look at some other names that could be leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason. They also mentioned William Nylander and John Tavares as unlikely to be moved.

Ilya Mikheyev Toronto Maple Leafs
Ilya Mikheyev, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Gerry Angus/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

In the “So Long, Farewell” category, Ilya Mikheyev and Petr Mrazek made the list. Of Mikeyev’s future, they wrote:

A big payday is coming, and the Leafs probably aren’t the team willing, or able, to pay it. Is it a lock that he’s gone? Maybe not. Perhaps Mikheyev doesn’t quite find the market he desires in free agency and the Leafs lure him back with a deal that’s heavy on security (with a lower cap hit).

source – ‘Which Maple Leafs are most likely to return next season? Who stays? Who goes?’ – James Mirtle and Jonas Siegel – The Athletic – 05/25/2022

When it comes to Mrazek, both writers agree that it “makes no sense to dedicate $3.8 million to such a big wild card in a pivotal season for the franchise.”