NHL Rumors: Capitals, Flames, Bruins, Blues

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is more talk about where Jake Virtanen might end up accepting a tryout. Meanwhile, there is an update straight from the source (the player himself) about how likely an extension between the Boston Bruins and David Pastrnak is going to be.

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Finally, the St. Louis Blues are going to take a wait-and-see approach to extensions for their marquee pending UFAs.

Capitals and Flames Interested in Virtanen

The Washington Capitals are believed to be one of the many teams that have shown an interest in Jake Virtanen this offseason. He is a free agent winger coming back from the KHL and there were links to the Edmonton Oilers, but recent news suggests he’s not going to Edmonton. The expectation is that he’ll accept a PTO and 630 CHED’s Bob Stauffer says the Capitals are having discussions.

Jake Virtanen Vancouver Canucks
Jake Virtanen, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

There is also talk that the Calgary Flames are in the mix and Tom Gazzola of the Oil Stream podcast notes that Virtanen has emotional ties to playing there having played for the Calgary Hitmen.

Virtanen spent last season in the KHL and didn’t shine with his production. He has 100 points over 317 career NHL contests, so there is some belief that he could produce in the right environment.  

Flames Likely to Give Stone a One-Year Deal

Steve Macfarlane of Calgary Hockey Now writes that Michael Stone will likely sign a one-year deal with the Calgary Flames, even though he’s only been extended a PTO offer coming into camp. The 32-year-old defenseman has a history with general manager Brad Treliving and there is talk that the Flames could shop a defenseman or two in return for more forward depth.

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If that happens throughout the season, Calgary will need a depth defenseman on a low-cost contract that can fill in should roster changes take place.

Pastrnak Expects Contract With Bruins to Get Done

Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now tweeted with respect to the status of negotiations between the Boston Bruins and forward David Pastrnak and noted the player commented that he expects a deal to get done sooner than later. He was asked about if he thinks he’ll extend, and he responded “Of course. We love it here. This is our home. This is where I became a man. I’ve spent unbelievable years here with Rebecca and we are really happy. But my focus moving forward is to be ready for Game 1.”

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There is some debate online about what Pastrnak will take. He could be worth double digits per season on a long-term deal but there’s also a chance he takes around $9 million to help the Bruins out salary cap-wise.

Blues Going to Wait on Contract Extensions for UFAs

As per a report by Lou Korac of NHL.com, St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong said that the Blues aren’t taking an aggressive approach to get all of their big-name UFAs locked up to extensions before the end of the season. When it comes to names like Ryan O’Reilly, Vladimir Tarasenko, and others, the Blues will wait.

While the tendency this offseason by other NHL clubs is to get their stars locked up before things get questionable in a contract year, Armstrong said, “O’Reilly, Tarasenko, Barbashev, Mikkola, these guys are all going to be UFA’s. Right now, we’re going to just let the season play itself out, have these guys play.” He added, “The players I just spoke of are going to be very good players next year and the year after and we’re going to see if we can find a way to keep this band together, but I think we all know the salary cap is the salary cap. It is what it is.”