NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Islanders, Kings, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news on the Toronto Maple Leafs struggles and what it means for the coach and players who might be available, Thomas Greiss out of the New York Islanders organization talks contract extension and what is the latest on in Los Angeles with Ilya Kovalchuk?

Maple Leafs Struggles Tyson Barrie Interest?

As the Maple Leafs continue to struggle, speculation runs wild around head coach Mike Babcock who many believe is finding his seat getting hotter by the game. With Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe ready and waiting, Babcock needs to right the ship in a hurry.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests there has also been lots of recent chatter over Tyson Barrie.

Tyson Barrie Toronto Maple Leafs
Tyson Barrie, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Barrie hasn’t asked for a trade but he’s struggled mightily with the Maple Leafs in a trade that hasn’t worked out at all like anyone had hoped. He’s in a contract year and one would have to assume he wants to get himself into a situation where he can improve his numbers on a future deal.

So far, the Maple Leafs have rejected the idea of moving him, especially considering they are carrying just $2.75 million of his $5.5 million salary-cap hit. Friedman says something has to give here though and Barrie needs to start producing or the Maple Leafs need to consider moving him.

Which goes first, the coach or the players?

Check out the latest headlines from the THW writing team.

Greiss to Play Out Season, Talk Extension Later

New York Islanders’ goaltender Thomas Greiss is in the the final season of a three-year, $10 million deal. And, while his hot start and a great season in 2018-19 means he could be in line for a huge raise, he’s pretty coy when it comes to any extension talks.

Thomas Greiss
OTTAWA, ON – MARCH 7: Thomas Greiss #1 of the New York Islanders looks on during a stoppage in play against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on March 7, 2019 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Greisse tells Newsday’s Andrew Gross that he will save contract talk for the off-season. Although he could take advantage of his current numbers — he sits atop the NHL with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage. and has won his last seven starts and is 8-1-0 overall. — he also knows how quickly things can change.

He says:

“Those numbers can go up or down real quick at this point, so you can’t put too much weight into that. I think I’ve been playing well and Varly has been playing great hockey, too. As a team, we’re playing good hockey and the most important thing is the success of our team. Everybody is chipping in.”

source – ‘Islanders goalie Thomas Greiss will save contract talk for after season’ – Andrew Gross – Newsday – 11/17/2019

Greiss will play out the year before negotiating a possible extension with the Islanders but the Islanders aren’t likely to make him the starter after giving Varlamov a long-term deal. Greiss’ waiting could be about testing free agency.

Related: The Best of the Islanders Draft Classes

Kings to Wait Another Month?

TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports the latest on Ilya Kovalchuk, saying there is little interest in the forward around the NHL right now and his camp has major concerns. Their worry is that if he doesn’t get back into the lineup, no team will be interested.

Los Angeles Kings Ilya Kovalchuk and Vegas Golden Knights Deryk Engelland
Los Angeles Kings Ilya Kovalchuk and Vegas Golden Knights Deryk Engelland (AP Photo/John Locher)

The news gets worse as LeBrun notes that Kovalchuk’s agent J.P. Barry has been told by GM Rob Blake that the Kings aren’t willing to put him back on the ice and may be willing to wait another month before doing so. The key date is December 15 when Kovalchuk’s bonus is paid out and teams begin to value him differently.

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