In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the New Jersey Devils and their goaltending woes, the Pittsburgh Penguins might showcase a goalie and there’s buzz surrounding Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Finally, what is the latest news on two big-time restricted free agents?
Devils to Go Goaltender Fishing
Jared Clinton of The Hockey News suggests that GM Ray Shero should look into improving the goaltending for the Devils while the team continues to struggle. His take is that a bigger move than that of picking up Louis Domingue needs to be made.
A combined save percentage of .880 from Cory Schneider and MacKenzie Blackwood is killing the team and Clinton writes:
If New Jersey is going to take the step forward that was expected – and have a legitimate shot at retaining Hall, a pending free agent who has made clear he wants nothing more than to win – it’s their only hope.
The question is, who would the Devils target?
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Penguins to Showcase Tristan Jarry?
Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry is still on the market, according to Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There is still a willingness to move him but he hasn’t played much, getting only three starts.
That’s a very small sample size, surely not enough to convince another team he has made huge strides in his development. We’ll surely see him in goal this weekend. We’ll see what he does with it.source – ‘Matt Vensel’s Penguins chat transcript: 11.14.19’ – Matt Vensel – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 11/14/2019
Meanwhile, Casey DeSmith has played lights out for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He is likely to stay put over Jarry even though there are rumors of interest in both netminders.
*Author’s Note: We talked about the Devils needs. Could there be a fit here?
Latest on Senators Pageau
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports there is buzz surrounding the Ottawa Senators and Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s contract status. There’s a sense he might want to see what the market will bare when his contract comes due and the Senators aren’t talking at all about how things are going negotiation wise.
McKenzie suggests that won’t change as the team has no intention of speaking publicly about Pageau’s situation until the winger is re-signed or traded. Some are suggesting a trade is more likely.
Rumors are that he’s going to ask for no less than $3.65 million per season and could want over $4 million. His current salary plus his overall effectiveness will make him one of the more attractive options for teams as the trade deadlines draws near. It may be hard to pass up on that if you’re the Senators.
Latest on Pending RFAs Barzal and Dubois
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic is reporting that there have been casual talks between the New York Islanders and Mathew Barzal when it comes to a new contract but nothing that would suggest a deal is close.
It may be that Isles GM Lou Lamoriello decides to wait until after the season to get things rolling on that front, which he’s done in the past with other young players, so that it’s not a distraction for Barzal. Or at least wait until later in the season.source – ‘LeBrun Notebook: Wayne Gretzky considering Spengler Cup coaching opportunity’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 11/12/2019
LeBrun also notes that there have been no official talks between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ agent Pat Brisson but that this is just a matter of the two sides deciding when to get talking.
“Nobody is trying to wait this out,” said LeBrun. He believes sometime in the New Year there will be more news on both contracts.
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.”