In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that the Pittsburgh Penguins might be willing to make additional roster moves to add one more NHL free agent. Who do they have their eyes on? In Ottawa, the Senators might have gotten more potentially bad news when it comes to prospect Tim Stutzle. Is there a way for the Chicago Blackawks to move Brent Seabrook? Finally, could the Vancouver Canucks buy out Brandon Sutter?
Penguins Looking at Erik Haula?
Despite not having the cap space or the roster space to necessarily add him, according to Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, he’s citing league sources that suggest the Pittsburgh Penguins might have their sights set on Erik Haula in NHL free agency.
Speculation is that Haula, thus far, has rejected below-value offers but the Penguins are prepared to offer a three-year deal in the neighbourhood of $9 million and Kingerski writes, “One source with knowledge of Haula’s free-agent talks circled the Penguins as ‘one of five or six teams’ where Haula would fit.”
The Penguins would be looking to trade salary to make any deal with Haula work and that could mean a combination of Aston-Reese being placed on LTIR, moving a player like Colton Sceviour to the AHL, and maybe moving seventh defenseman Juuso Riikola, who is a luxury at $1.15 million this season.
Could the Senators Not Have Access to Tim Stutzle?
According to a report by The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian, the Ottawa Senators might be getting more bad news beyond the early injury suffered by newly-drafted prospect Tim Stutzle. It’s non-injury related, but they could actually lose the player for the upcoming NHL season.
As per Salvian’s report, thanks to his contract with Alder Manheim in Germany and a European rule that says a player with a valid European contract for the 2020-21 season cannot be signed to an NHL contract after Aug. 15., the only way he comes to the Senators for 2020-21 is if Mannheim’s general manager Jan-Axel Alavaara releases him from his contract and the German Federation signs off on it.
This means that Stutzle’s signing window has closed and will not open until either the end of the DEL season or the World Championships, which could be as late as June 2021.source – ‘Can Senators draft pick Tim Stutzle play in the NHL next year?’ Hailey Salvian – The Athletic – 10/21/2020
There are some questions about where Stutzle is best to develop next season anyways and there is still plenty of time for Senators general manager Pierre Dorion to negotiate with Mannheim so, for now, there’s not a huge reason to be concerned.
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Can the Blackhawks Move Seabrook?
It seems near impossible to imagine the Chicago Blackhawks being able to move the contract of defenseman Brent Seabrook, but Blackhawks insider Mark Lazerus seems to believe there’s a way. He thinks the Blackhawks could send the expensive veteran off to Seattle franchise during the expansion draft.
The idea is that Seattle might be attracted to the notion of adding veteran leadership and former Stanley Cup Champions to their locker room. Lazerus notes in a recent article:
A source close to Seabrook said he has no intention of waiving his NMC, but that same source didn’t rule out the idea of Seabrook going to Seattle in the expansion draft, if the Blackhawks can swing a side deal with the Kraken to make that happen.source – ‘Could the Blackhawks really trade their core? Evaluating the possibilities’ – Mark Lazerus – 10/22/2020
He adds that cap space won’t be a concern but it still seems like a long-shot at this point.
Canucks to Use Second Buyout Window on Sutter?
Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province looks at the likelihood the Canucks would use their second buyout window to help fix their salary cap situation. He specifically lists Brandon Sutter as a name the team might be willing to move in that regard since he has one-year left at $4.375 million.
It doesn’t sound like the franchise will go that route even if a buyout would save them $2.333 million next season. GM Jim Benning thinks losing Sutter could hurt the team. Instead, he said he’d rater send guys down and risk losing them on waivers. He explained:
“I’m OK with having extra guys that we might send down,” said Benning. “In a flat-cap world, I don’t think there’s any risk of anybody getting picked up (waivers) and if they do, good for them. Those are things that are on the table.”source – ‘Ben Kuzma: Canucks GM Benning bullish on retaining Sutter instead of buyout option’ – Ben Kuzma -The Province – 10/26/2020
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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.”