NHL Rumors: Canucks, Canadiens, Sharks, Wild, Oilers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Vancouver Canucks have extended J.T. Miller to a long-term deal. Why the change of heart? Why the seven years? Is the organization concerned he can’t produce over the term of the deal? Meanwhile, the New York Rangers are reportedly shopping Nils Lundkvist.

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Are the Montreal Canadiens interested? Logan Couture talks about wanting to stay with the San Jose Sharks, the Minnesota Wild have cap space to weaponize and the Edmonton Oilers have a decision to make after signing defenseman Ryan Murray.

Rutherford Comments on Miller Extension

When asked about the term and size of the contract extension given to Miller, Canucks’ President Jim Rutherford responded that it was a slow process to get the deal done, but the franchise ultimately decided this is a player they must re-sign. He noted the team didn’t want the Miller extension (or possible trade) hanging over the team as camp was getting underway.

J.T. Miller Vancouver Canucks
J.T. Miller, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

As for the length and size of the deal, there is some backlash considering Miller’s age and the fact he’s coming off a career year.” You have to take some risk,” Rutherford said. “For what J.T. has done, what he’s capable of doing, we just felt it was worth that. He’s a good player, he wants to be here. He’ll figure out a way to contribute in the latter stages of that contract.”

Canadiens Interested in Trading for Nils Lundkvist?

Marco D’Amico of Montreal Hockey Now writes that the Montreal Canadiens had previous conversations with the New York Rangers about their prospects and wonders if the Habs could revisit talks with the Rangers involving defenseman Nils Lundkvist. The Rangers are reportedly trying to trade Lundkvist before training camp starts. He has asked for a change of scenery.

Nils Lundkvist New York Rangers
Nils Lundkvist, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

A former first-round selection (28th), Lundkvist is a right-handed defenseman with offensive ability. He moves well, can transport the puck, and pass and shoot. He would fill an organizational need for the Canadiens. There’s also a connection between the Canadiens and Rangers as Canadiens executive VP Jeff Gorton was the GM of the Rangers from 2015 to 2020.

Couture Never Considered Leaving San Jose

Unlike Brent Burns who was a bit older and felt his window to win was closing, Logan Couture did not have any interest in leaving the San Jose Sharks organization when asked by new GM Mike Grier what he wanted to do.

Related: Red Wings Should Trade for Rangers’ Nils Lundqvist

Couture said:

No, not at this stage in my life and where I’m at outside of hockey. I love this area. I’m getting married in this area next summer. I love being a Shark. So I didn’t think twice about it. That’s just my personal preference. I like being here.

source – ‘Logan Couture Q&A: Sharks’ captain explains why he ‘didn’t think twice’ about staying’ – Corey Masisak – The Athletic – 09/01/2022

Wild Could Look to Make Another Move

After having cleared a little cap space with the Dmitry Kulikov trade, the Minnesota Wild could make another move and weaponize their cap space heading into training camp. There are a number of teams still over the salary cap ceiling and Michael Russo of The Athletic notes that GM Bill Guerin might try to take advantage of a team that is a little more desperate as the season approaches.

Ryan Murray Will Play For Oilers

The Edmonton Oilers signed defenseman Ryan Murray on Friday and reports indicate they didn’t do so to only play him occasionally. The idea here is that he’ll compete for a job on a regular basis, be a No. 7 defenseman at worst and maybe a five or six. Bob Stauffer of Oilers Now didn’t think Murray signs with the Oilers if they aren’t in the position they are today as contenders.

The questions in Edmonton now will be what this means for someone like Dmitry Samorukov and how the Oilers will get under the cap by training camp. Both Dylan Holloway and Philip Broberg will need to be on the opening night roster if the Oilers don’t want to get hit hard by salary cap performance bonuses when they call those two players up.