In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Friday was a busy day when it comes to discussion about Alex Pietrangelo. What is the latest and are the Toronto Maple Leafs involved? It was also a big day for the Minnesota Wild who continued to stay busy making plans for next season. A surprising team has potentially shown interest in Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi and the Tampa Bay Lightning got good news on the Steven Stamkos front.
Pietrangelo Talks with Blues Break Down
On Friday, there was news that defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was open to taking meetings with other teams. That news came from Blues media insider Jeremy Rutherford, who noted the defenseman was realizing things might be moving further away from an extension in St. Louis than closer to it.
Hours later, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that contract talks between the St. Louis Blues and Pietrangelo were officially done. Dreger wrote:
Sources say contract talks between the St Louis Blues and Blues captain, Alex Pietrangelo have broken off. The team has advised Pietrangelo to pursue unrestricted free agency.
Dreger also added that he spoke to Pietrangelo personally and the blueliner confirmed things had gone a negative direction with the Blues and that he believed he’d be headed to free agency on October 9.
The Maple Leafs Have Interest
The Pietrangelo news, of course, led to speculation out of Toronto that the Maple Leafs might be on the defenseman’s radar in terms of a meeting. In fact, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun hinted that there might be mutual interest between the two parties to see if a deal could be worked out.
LeBrun said, “I do believe there is mutual interest there if he doesn’t re-sign in St. Louis — and that is a big if because I think the Blues are going to put their best foot forward here between now and October 9th.” Of course, once the news leaked that Pietrangelo was walking away from the negotiating table with the Blues, talk of the Maple Leafs working their way into the picture ramped up.
In fact, there was so much talk in Toronto, apparently Cap Friendly’s Maple Leafs page saw a huge spike in visitors, many of which were likely trying to wrap their head around how the finances would work.
Speculation was the Leafs were already trying to move pieces to find the cap room.
Wild Announce Mikko Koivu Won’t Return
The Minnesota Wild stayed busy as far as their offseason moves go. They publicly announced on Friday that they will not be re-signing captain Mikko Koivu. As part of their statement, they wrote, “We thank Mikko for everything he has done for our organization and wish him and his family the best in the future.”
Koivu is a pending unrestricted free agent and it will be interesting to see what he decides to do next. He’s well respected around the NHL, but he could head overseas or retire.
Blue Jackets Interested in Puljujarvi?
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Columbus Blue Jackets may be interested in Jesse Puljujarvi from the Edmonton Oilers. While answering a question about moves no one might see coming this offseason, during an interview on Oilers NOW, Friedman noted the Blue Jackets are “looking to add some skill.”
He then said he had someone text him to tell him that the “Columbus Blue Jackets were one team that had interest in Jesse Puljujarvi.”
It’s a little odd considering the Blue Jackets could have drafted him but chose not to.
Lightning Could Get Stamkos Back
As per Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Tampa Bay Lightning good some potentially good news heading into the weekend. General manager Julien BriseBois says Steven Stamkos hasn’t been ruled out for the Stanley Cup Final.
It doesn’t sound like he’ll be available for Game 1, but the team believes he could be in not long after that. It would be a huge boost for the Lighting.
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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.”