NHL Rumors: Stars, Canucks, Maple Leafs, Senators

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, NHL insider Kevin Weekes is hinting that something is going down with the Dallas Stars. What might that be? Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks apparently aren’t close in their offers to Bo Horvat.

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There are some predictions about what Auston Matthews’ next contract is going to look like and the Ottawa Senators are trying to get an Alex DeBrincat deal done.

Stars to Make a Move Today?

Multimedia Broadcaster and Analyst for ESPN, NHL Network, and TSN, Kevin Weekes tweeted to keep an eye on the Dallas Stars today. The assumption here is that it can only mean a Jason Robertson extension is going to get done, Robertson is going to get traded, or the Stars are going to make a different trade to free up room to sign Robertson.

There has been a lot of speculation as to what’s going to happen in Dallas with most insiders believing a bridge deal around $7.5 million per season gets the two sides close, but it could be more than that. In fact, if this goes long-term, it could be a lot more than that.

Canucks Lowballed Horvat

Frank Seravalli was on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer yesterday and was asked about the Matthew Barzal contract. He said it seemed high considering Barzal’s drop in production over the past few seasons. That led to discussions about where Bo Horvat might come in with the Vancouver Canucks on his new deal.

Bo Horvat Vancouver Canucks
Bo Horvat, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Seravalli said that he heard the original offer to Horvat from the Canucks was the same deal that Ryan Nugent-Hopkins signed with the Edmonton Oilers (8 years at $5.125 million per season) and that “it wasn’t even in the ballpark” for what it’s going to take to get Horvat signed.

Donnie & Dhali had Elliotte Friedman on as a guest and when asked about Horvat he responded that he thinks Sean Couturier’s deal at $7.75 million per is more comparable. He adds that Canucks have established what they’re willing to do at this time and obviously it’s not that.

Still with the Canucks, but on a different note, Seravalli predicts that Vancouver Canucks coach Bruce Boudreau will be the first coaching casualty of the season. He write, “Still can’t shake the apparent friction that existed between Boudreau and the front office last spring when he asked for and did not receive an extension. The Canucks’ stars haven’t impressed in the preseason and that might mean a slow start.”

Projecting Auston Matthews’ Next Contract

Rory Boylen of Sportsnet took a look at the rising salary cap projections and plugged Auston Matthews‘ specific situation into the conversation. He projected a couple of options for the star of the Maple Leafs and tried to determine his next salary.

Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Boylen projects that if Matthews signs a long-term extension next season at 20 percent of $83.5 million, Matthews will earn an annual average salary of $16.7 million. If he waits until he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2024, he could get an AAV of $17.6 million. Boylen writes that Matthews might try to go with a shorter-term deal.

He notes:

So this time, we must again consider the possibility that Matthews signs another shorter-term deal instead of going the full eight years. If he were to sign another five-year pact with Toronto, it would expire after his 31-year-old season, and potentially set him up for another big score in 2029, when the cap should be even higher. This might end up being the best way for him to truly maximize his career earnings, with the added risk of injury of course.

Senators Trying to Lock DeBrincat Into a New Deal

Despite previous reports that Alex DeBrincat is not yet ready to commit long-term to the Ottawa Senators, Weekes is reporting that the organization is “actively working to sign F DeBrincat to a Contract Extension. Situation remains fluid.”

It’s not clear if DeBrincat’s position on his contract has changed or if the Senators are bumping up their offer as projections around the salary cap change what these younger players are getting on long-term deals. It could be that the Senators are trying to get ahead of where DeBrincat could go if he has another 40-goal season.


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