In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is a report that Evgeni Malkin gave the Pittsburgh Penguins an ultimatum, the Philadelphia Flyers are still working on deals for Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny, the New Jersey Devils are going to sit down with Taylor Hall and there are some quick hits on the Tampa Bay Lightning, Buffalo Sabres, and New York Rangers.
Evgeni Malkin Forced a Kessel Trade
According to a report by Matt Teague of The Score, Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Evgeni Malkin may have influenced the Penguins’ decision to send Phil Kessel to the Arizona Coyotes. Team sources told The Athletic’s Rob Rossi, Malkin told the organization they should trade him if the Penguins had intended to keep Kessel.
Malkin wasn’t a fan of being caught in the middle of the conflict between Kessel and coach Mike Sullivan and that the belief was that by the end of last season, everybody in the organization knew it was a “him or me” situation.
Malkin declined to elaborate on how his on-ice relationship with Kessel fell apart. But it’s clear he grew tired of feeling caught between the ongoing Sullivan-Kessel rift, according to multiple team and league sources. Those sources also say Malkin had come to believe Kessel was content with two titles and mostly interested in his statistics. Malkin was worried he’d be seen the same way if Kessel remained his winger.source -‘In Moscow, Evgeni Malkin opens up about his lost season, loneliness and NHL future’ – Rob Rossi – The Athletic – 09/10/2019
Malkin also figured that for the Penguins to get back on track and have a winning season with a postseason appearance, players like Kessel, who were already satisfied with having won two titles, needed to go.
Flyers Restricted Free Agent Updates
There is some news out of the Philadelphia Flyers organization as the team tries to get Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny signed to new deals.
Bill Meltzer of Flyers.nhl.com writes that Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said that he spoke with both the agents for Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny yesterday. In respect to Konecny’s situation, Sam Carchidi notes that Konecny’s agent said that contract negotiations with the Philadelphia Flyers are “ongoing” and that “both sides are committed to trying to get things done.”
In terms of Provorov, Carchidi says a source is saying that the Flyers and Provorov had been working towards a six-year contract but after Zach Werenski‘s three-year deal, that may no longer be the case. Provorov wouldn’t sign a three-year deal at only $5 million a season though.
Bob McKenzie notes on Twitter that it is believed both Provorov and the Flyers are open to a three-year, five-year or a six-year deal. A seven- or eight-year deal seems unlikely.
Related: Every NHL Team’s Top Prospect
Devils to Sit Down With Taylor Hall
According to NHL.com’s Mike Morreale, New Jersey Devils GM Ray Shero plans to sit down with winger Taylor Hall at some point during training camp to discuss a potential contract extension.
A 33-game that came after a Hart Trophy-winning season has left some questions as to what Hall might be worth, but the expectation is that he’ll fall somewhere close to what Artemi Panarin just signed for ($11.64 million) with the New York Rangers back in July. There is also speculation the Devils are doing as much as they can this offseason to entice Hall to consider staying.
Point and Tampa Bay Not Close
Even though a number of insiders predicted Brayden Point to be the first bi-ticket RFA to come off the board, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports talks between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Point do not appear to be progressing well. He says a deal between the two sides is still not close.
Pominville Back to Buffalo?
According to Lance Lysowski of The Buffalo News, there is still a chance that Jason Pominville comes back to the Buffalo Sabres. The rumors of Pominville to Montreal were shot down and the player doesn’t want to uproot his family so there might be a chance he stays put.
Beleskey to the Minors?
Larry Brooks is reporting that he’s heard the New York Rangers will assign Matt Beleskey directly to their AHL camp and he won’t be at their main camp at all. He would carry a $825,000 cap hit for the Rangers.