NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Oilers, Malkin, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is speculation as to what exactly the Toronto Maple Leafs will do to address their salary cap issues, Milan Lucic might be ready to move on from the Edmonton Oilers and the Anaheim Ducks are interested in keeping one of their goaltenders on an interesting-style contract.

Maple Leafs Rumored Options

What the Maple Leafs will do to address their salary cap concerns will be a hot topic over the next few weeks to months and one NHL writer is already discussing some theories. Luke Fox of Sportsnet wrote that there are five possible ways the Maple Leafs and GM Kyle Dubas alleviate some of their salary cap issues.

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas
Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

They could let their free agents walk as pending UFAs include Jake Gardiner, Ron Hainsey, Tyler Ennis, and Martin Marincin. They could trade a big contract, namely William Nylander, Patrick Marleau or Nazem Kadri. They could go the bridge contract route with pending RFA’s like Andreas Johnsson or Kasperi Kapanen. They could find someone to take on Nathan Horton’s contract or they could fill half the team will cheap contracts and lesser-quality players.

None of these options come without consequences but they are needed because the speculation is that Mitch Marner is going to get somewhere in the neighbourhood of $10.5 million per season and Marleau has said he has no plan to leave the Maple Leafs.

Related: NHL Rumors: Golden Knights, Oilers, Rangers, More

Lucic and Canucks a Fit?

David Staples of the Edmonton Journal writes that Milan Lucic is open to the idea of playing for the Vancouver Canucks. “That’s definitely something I wouldn’t rule out,” he said and added that it’s something that potentially could happen.

Milan Lucic Oilers
Milan Lucic, Edmonton Oilers, Oct. 21, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Lucic is well aware that things have not gone well for him since joining the Oilers. He had one good year when he first arrived but since then has been completely snake-bitten. Lucic understands that one of the things the new GM will likely try to do is move his salary.

Lucic added:

“I remember doing an interview back in ’07 before the Mem Cup and I said it would always be a dream of mine to some day play for the Canucks. You still have that kid inside of you. You still have that dream of playing for your home town team. And like I said you never know what the future has in store and what potentially can happen.”

source – ‘Milan Lucic speculates on one day playing for Vancouver Canucks: “That’s definitely something I wouldn’t rule out.”‘ – Edmonton Journal -David Staples – 05/01/2019

Ducks Interested in Keeping Ryan Miller?

According to Andy Strickland of Fox Sports Midwest, the Ducks might be interested in retaining the services of Ryan Miller on a bonus-laden contract, and for only one season.

Anaheim Ducks Ryan Miller
Anaheim Ducks goaltender Ryan Miller (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Such a bonus contract is only possible because of the short-term and age of Miller if signed. Miller is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer after his current two-year, $4 million deal expires.

Oilers Not Only Team Affected by McCrimmon News

It is speculated that Kelly McCrimmon being kept on and promoted by the Vegas Golden Knights put a bit of wrench into the Oilers plans for a new GM. More than the Oilers may have been affected.

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic adds that the Seattle expansion franchise is “willing to be patient” now that McCrimmon is off the market. The Seattle group “would have gone hard” this summer to hire McCrimmon, but with him out of the equation, could now wait until next year.

Something to the Malkin Rumors

With the name Evgeni Malkin out there in trade rumors a number of people are going to suggest these rumors are just made up for the sake of something interesting to talk about. Elliotte Friedman isn’t so sure.

Evgeni Malkin Penguins
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins, January 2, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This week’s 31 Thoughts podcast is Friedman talking with Jeff Marek about the Penguins, specifically addressing the Evgeni Malkin rumors and he said:

I did get a call last night from somebody who has heard the rumors, and he thinks that they are not media make-up. He thinks they are legit. Malkin didn’t have a great year. He wasn’t up to Malkin standards. And [this source] is wondering if they’re trying to rattle [Malkin’s] cage a little bit. Just to say, “you know Evgeni, last year wasn’t you. We want you to be you,” and maybe this is a way of doing it. Malkin has a no-movement clause, and the word is he’s at least thinking about would he agree [to waive it].