NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Panthers, Bruins, Capitals, Canadiens, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, the Florida Panthers were interested in hiring a candidate to potentially become the NHL’s first female general manager, the Boston Bruins are rumored to be in for a major shake-up, the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin could be on the verge of something big the Montreal Canadiens made a trade, taking a bit of a gamble in the process.

Finally, Brian Burke has ranked his top Canadian NHL franchises and guess who ranks at the top? Is he right?

Ovechkin and Capitals Working on New Deal?

According to Metaratings.ru (translation required), the Washington Capitals may be working on an extension with Alex Ovechkin and one that would likely see him retire a Capitals forward.

Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Ovechkin’s current 13-year contract will expire at the end of the 2020-21 season. Reports are, he may be negotiating other contract with the team and one that would see him get a bump, likely ending up somewhere in the $9.5-10 million range over three to five seasons.

It’s an interesting deal if accurate because that would put Ovechkin at the age of 40 by the time a five-year deal was over. That said, there’s no denying his impact on the game, his 706 regular season career goals and how dynamic a scorer he still is.

Related: Ovechkin, His Milestone Goals & the Goalies He Beat

Panthers Reach Out to Angela Ruggiero About GM Job

During Sportsnet’s Headlines segment on Saturday night, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman discussed the process that was the Florida Panthers hiring new general manager Bill Zito. Among the list of candidates for the job was former female Olympian Angela Ruggiero.

Friedman said, “During their search, the Panthers contacted four-time U.S. Olympian and member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Angela Ruggiero and asked her if she wanted to interview.” He noted that she wanted a few days to think about it and by the time she was ready to interview, Zito had already been hired.

The timing didn’t work out here but Friedman added that Ruggiero is now quite interested in the idea of taking a key executive role on an NHL team. He said,

“This has kind of piqued her desire to get back into the sport and be a member of a front office and pursue these kind of jobs so I think we might hear her name again sometime in the future for potential openings around the league.”

Canadiens Make Risky Trade

The Montreal Canadiens and Carolina Hurricanes completed a trade on Saturday. The Canadiens picked up the negotiating rights to unrestricted free agent defenseman Joel Edmundson, while sending and 2020 fifth-round pick back to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Joel Edmundson Carolina Hurricanes
Joel Edmundson, Carolina Hurricanes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal but the Canadiens have had no prior discussions with Edmundson about signing with the team, he could test free agency and that would mean the Habs gave up a draft pick in a deep draft for absolutely nothing.

So too, there was speculation the Hurricanes weren’t going to sign Edmundson anyway so getting a fifth is seen as a real win for Don Waddell here.

Related: Top 5 Czechs Who Played For the Pittsburgh Penguins

Bruins Prepping for Major Shake-Up?

A handful of NHL insiders suggest the Boston Bruins might be getting ready to make some significant changes to their roster.

On the latest episode of the 31 Thoughts podcast, Friedman discussed at length the idea that the Bruins could be among the busier teams with some significant turnover. Meanwhile, Shinzawa writes that Brandon Carlo could be made available in a trade and that GM Don Sweeney said, “We actually have the space to do the things necessary to do internally. Whether or not we do those or execute those, that still remains to be seen.”

Brandon Carlo - Bruins
Brandon Carlo, Boston Bruins, September 17, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Sweeney added:

“I’m pretty aware of how teams are valuing players on our roster. So I have to look at it and say, ‘OK, does that mean we have the internal growth available to fill that spot?’ Anytime you look at moving players in and out, you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul in that situation.”

sources – ‘Trade winds? Bruins are all ears prior to free agency’ – Fluto Shinzawa – The Athletic – 09/09/2020

There’s already speculation that Torey Krug won’t be back, that the team might move Jake DeBrusk, that Zdeno Chara’s future with the franchise is uncertain and there are always talks surrounding the future of Tuukka Rask. How different could this team look next season?

Maple Leafs Ranked Top Canadian Team

Sportsnet’s Brian Burke was asked to rank all of the Canadian NHL clubs during the first intermission of the Vegas Golden Knights versus Dallas Stars game on Saturday. He did, and his list is stirring up debate.

His rankings were as follows:

  • No. 7: Ottawa Senators
  • No 6: Montreal Canadiens
  • No. 4 & 5 (Tie): Winnipeg Jets and Calgary Flames
  • No. 3: Vancouver Canucks
  • No. 2: Edmonton Oilers
  • No. 1.: Toronto Maple Leafs

Not surprisingly, the Leafs being ranked at the top of his list is striking up conversation. He said he believed the team was set in net, which is surprising considering all the talk surrounding Frederik Andersen being traded. He also said he believes the team should bring back Kyle Clifford.

That Vancouver was ranked No. 3 is also interesting considering they went farther than any other Canadian club this season.

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