In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is new out of Vegas where the Golden Knights have reportedly agreed to a deal with Robin Lehner on a five-year extension. The only problem? The goaltender is denying it. Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Toffoli reveals his priority as a pending unrestricted free agent, and there are updates as it pertains to Frederik Andersen and a possible trade out of Toronto.
Does Lehner Have a Five-Year Deal Waiting for Him?
Reports surfaced Friday morning that goaltender Robin Lehner had a deal done in principal on a new five-year extension with the Vegas Golden Knights. Apparently, the deal had been tabled back in June and both sides had agreed to it but nothing had been officially signed yet.
When news made its way back to the organization, specifically Lehner, he denied it when speaking to media on Friday afternoon. He said, “Nothing has been finalized. It’s kind of annoying. We’re here in the conference final, and people are saying things they don’t know.”
Essentially, everyone took that to mean the deal was out there, it leaked and Lehner was doing his best to squash conversation about it and remove any possible distraction that could come as a result of a deal being announced. And, that makes sense. If Lehner is under contract for five more years, immediate questions about Marc-Andre Fleury’s future in Vegas will follow.
If the terms of the deal are accurate, this is a steal for the Golden Knights, assuming they can move Fleury.
Toffoli Says He Wants to Stay in Vancouver
It wasn’t long ago that reports suggested Tyler Toffoli was interested in talking an extension with the Vancouver Canucks to see if anything might come of those talks. Things have ramped up here in the past couple of days as Toffoli now says his priority is to stay in Vancouver.
In fact, the forward is so eager to get a deal done, he’s not interested in testing the free agent market for his services.
In an NHL.com article, Toffoli said, “I want to stay in Vancouver and that’s my No. 1 priority as of right now.” He added, that he’ll go to free agency if he has to, saying, “If things progress and not in the right direction, then that’s when I have to think about going to a different place.” That’s certainly not what he wants to have happen though.
Maple Leafs Not Actively Shopping Andersen
According to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, the Maple Leafs haven’t been actively shopping goaltender Frederik Andersen, but general manager Kyle Dubas is listening to offers. Koshan hints that the Leafs may wait until they’ve got another goaltender locked in as a replacement.
Impacting the final decision Dubas makes on Andersen, maybe, will be the wide-open goaltending market. Finding a capable netminder in the brief off-season (as long as the National Hockey League hits its target of starting the 2020-21 season in December) won’t be difficult, considering a group of unrestricted free agents that is set to include Robin Lehner (though an extension with the Vegas Golden Knights could be in the works), Braden Holtby, Jacob Markstrom, Thomas Greiss, Cam Talbot, Corey Crawford and Anton Khudobin.source – ‘Leafs pass relatively quiet first month of their off-season, but expect that to change’ Terry Koshan – Toronto Sun – 09/09/2020
In other Maple Leafs news, Sportnet’s Rory Boylem wonders if Dubas might try to flip his recently-acquired first-round pick (15th overall) to improve the blue line. This was something Dubas said he was open to considering when he first made the Kasperi Kapanen trade and there will be a number of teams looking to move salary for picks, namely Arizona.
That won’t relieve Dubas of the pressure to move players like Alexander Kerfoot ($3.5 million), Andreas Johnsson ($3.4 million) and Pierre Engvall ($1.2 million), however.
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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.”