In today’s rumor rundown, Josh Morrissey’s new deal should set the bar for Darnell Nurse’s contract in Edmonton, the Carolina Hurricanes got bad news when it was reported Victor Rask might be out for “months” with a hand injury, there are updates as to which teams were interested in securing Rick Nash’s services and some details as to why Steve Yzerman stepped down as suddenly and unexpectedly as he did.
Morrissey Just Set the Nurse Bar
With Josh Morrissey now signed in Winnipeg, there are many NHL insiders suggesting the bar was just set for Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse and that a deal should come in the next few days.
Signing restricted free agents is often about comparables and the numbers of these two defensemen are extremely similar. Morrissey played 81 games last season, scored seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points while Nurse played in 82 games, scored six goals, 20 assists and 26 points. Morrissey played an average of 20:27 per game while Nurse played 22:15.
There was a report by Oilers radio analyst Dustin Nielsen that he’d heard Nurse’s camp was asking for $4 million and while the Oilers were/are never going to pay that, Edmonton can now use Morrissey’s deal to show Nurse isn’t worth more than the $3.15 million per season Morrissey signed for. If the Oilers up him a little, Nurse might come in around $3.25 million per season.
Victor Rask Out Long-Term
After cutting his hand in his own kitchen, Victor Rask will miss significant time this NHL season due to an injury he suffered that required surgery. It is now being rumored that Rask will much of the season with an injury that was reported as much more serious than originally anticipated. Rask cut tendons in his hand and management has said he could “be out months.”
A former 25-goal scorer with some expectations placed upon his shoulders — the team traded Elias Lindholm and Jeff Skinner during the offseason — it will be interesting to see what the Hurricanes choose to do now. Speculation will be that Carolina may look at what kind of offensive help they can get for Justin Faulk considering they have a surplus of good defenseman and rumors were the Hurricanes were considering trading Faulk this summer.
One team that could be interested in Faulk is the Edmonton Oilers who just admitted they were unhappy with the fact the San Jose Sharks signed Erik Karlsson and the rest of the Pacific Division got much stronger this offseason.
Rick Nash Update
According to Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts column, there has been no real update on Rick Nash’s future other than naming some of the teams that were rumored to have made pitches to the veteran forward. Vegas and Toronto were said to have made offers and one GM indicated one club was willing to offer $16 million over three years.
Still, Nash’s agent Joe Resnick has said, “Nothing has changed since July 1. Status quo.” Nash’s wife Jessica recently gave birth to their third child, and he’s still dealing with multiple concussions that have him seriously considering retirement.
Tampa Was Concerned About Losing Julien BriseBois
Friedman also explained that while it is likely true Steve Yzerman stepped down as GM of the Lightning to be closer to his family that lives in Detroit, part of the reason he did so as quickly and unexpectedly as he did was that the Tampa Bay Lightning were worried about losing Julien BriseBois to another team.
It was also reported that Yzerman didn’t let anyone know what was coming with other GM’s texting him their shocking reactions to his decision. One GM asking “Are you drunk?”
Dubas Wants Nylander Long-Term
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was on TSN 1050 radio a couple days ago and said that despite any talk in the media that the team and Nylander might settle on a short-term bridge contract, Dubas is focused on a long-term contract. “The whole time I’m here until they kick me out one day, William is a part of the group. That’s been our focus,” Dubas said. He then called Nylander a good young player and they hope things get sorted out and he’ll be back with the team soon.
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.”