NHL Rumors: Devils, Canadiens, Oilers, Avalanche

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the New Jersey Devils were a team that went hard after a big name this offseason. It’s being reported they went after two former Calgary Flames players. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers are starting to extend PTO offers to a number of players. Why so many?

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There is talk about why the Montreal Canadiens are interested in extending Jake Allen and Nathan MacKinnon speaks about his contract negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche.

Devils Are Making Pitches to Sign Big Names

According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the New Jersey Devils not only pushed to sign Johnny Gaudreau, but general manager Tom Fitzgerald also tried to acquire Matthew Tkachuk from the Calgary Flames. It didn’t pan out because the Devils weren’t on Tkachuk’s trade list and he ultimately went to the Florida Panthers, but LeBrun believes the Devils will be players in the market for years to come.

Tom Fitzgerald, general manager of the New Jersey Devils
Tom Fitzgerald, general manager of the New Jersey Devils (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He writes:

But I would keep an eye on the Devils again for next offseason. They’ve got up to $25 million in potential expiring UFA contracts that could come off the books. They’ll want to re-sign some of those players, but still, there’s big-time cap flexibility coming if that’s what the Devils want.

source – ‘LeBrun: How close the Devils got on Gaudreau and Tkachuk, inside Nill’s extension and more offseason nuggets’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 09/16/2022

Why Are Canadiens Trying to Re-Sign Jake Allen

LeBrun also asked and answered the question about why the Montreal Canadiens would be looking at an extension for goaltender Jake Allen. After all, the Canadiens are essentially rebuilding and Allen is 32 years old. LeBrun notes that GM Kent Hughes wants to have some quality veterans around his young players and Allen makes sense considering the Habs current goaltending situation.

Related: Canadiens News & Rumors: Ads, Allen, Edmundson & More

LeBrun reports, “Allen’s agent, Allain Roy, began preliminary contract discussions with the Habs in mid-August, and both sides hope to get back at it soon.”

Oilers Will Have Another PTO at Camp

Head coach Jay Woodcroft was on Oilers Now with Bob Stauffer and discussed the likelihood that the Edmonton Oilers bring in at least one more player on a PTO to camp. Woodcroft said it’s extremely likely. According to Daniel Nugent-Bowman, former Oiler Riley Nash has been offered a PTO and he writes in a separate tweet, “D Jason Demers, 34, will be coming to camp on a PTO. He played 5 KHL games and w/ Canada’s Olympic team last season. EDM is also discussing the idea of extending a PTO to former Flames RW Brett Ritchie.”

Woodcroft said that the reason the Oilers wants these bodies at camp is because they like the idea of NHL level competition, but also because they are required to dress a certain amount of veterans in NHL training camp/pre-season games and they have five games in eight days at one point. Having vets compete for jobs in a high-stress environment, plus ensure they are not overplaying their stars is important.

Elliotte Friedman also reports that Tyler Ennis denied rumors he could be headed to the KHL. He has been skating in Edmonton and going over all of his NHL options.

MacKinnon Says Deal With Avs is Close, Just Not Cheap

Nathan MacKinnon spoke at the NHL Player Media Tour with media and passed along an update about his negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche. He says his extension with the Avalanche is “pretty close” and he’s hoping it’ll get done “soon.” He noted that he intends to sign before training camp this year and should it not get done, he’s unlikely to negotiate during the season.

He relayed that the deal will be “fair” but “not going to be a single digit.” In other words, his long-term extension is guaranteed to be higher than $10 million per season.