In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is an update on contract negotiations between the Carolina Hurricanes and Dougie Hamilton, the Pittsburgh Penguins have said they’ll be moving on from one of their defensemen, and are the Edmonton Oilers a team that could make a deal with the Penguins for an available goaltender? Finally, Torey Krug seemed to say goodbye to Boston in a media call after confirming he won’t take a one-year deal.
Dougie Hamilton Watching Pietrangelo’s Situation Closely
The Athetlic’s Pierre LeBrun notes that Carolina Hurricanes’ defenseman Dougie Hamilton will be one of the more interesting free agent situations to watch and what happens with his deal in Carolina could be largely based on what goes down with another high-end defenseman.
LeBrun writes that the two sides will talk a new deal, but adds:
But that won’t be soon. I think it makes sense for both parties to sit back and wait and see how the free-agent market plays out this fall to get a sense of where things are economically before figuring out what might or might not make sense contract-wise for Hamilton.source – ‘LeBrun rumblings: Laine trade talk, Canadiens moves, the goalie market and more’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 09/02/2020
LeBrun adds “no doubt in my mind, for example, that Barry will watch closely what Alex Pietrangelo gets paid in his new contract.” He says Hamilton and his camp see the Blues defenseman as a good marker or comparable.
If Hamilton asks for Pietrangelo type of money — should Pietrangelo sign for $9 million or more — the Hurricanes might choose to move on because they have the horses on defense that losing Hamilton wouldn’t obliterate their blue line. It could be for that reason that Hamilton made Frank Seravalli’s TSN Trade Bait Board at No. 20.
Penguins to Let Justin Schultz Walk
Speaking with Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford confirmed the team won’t be retaining the services of defenseman Justin Schultiz. Rutherford said:
“We’ll move on from Justin. He’s going to do better in the marketplace than what he can do here, based on our cap situation.”source -‘GM Jim Rutherford on how he plans to retool the Penguins’ – Mike Defabo – Pittsburgh Post Gazette – 08/31/2020
What that means for Schultz is unclear because he’s had a couple of very unproductive seasons for a player who’s been making $5.5 million per season. He’s been anything but the 51-point defenseman the Penguins thought they were signing.
If he’s able to land another contract, it would likely be a short–term one with a team who’s blue line is very weak and would be alright with taking a chance that Schultz could find his game again.
Oilers Interested in Matt Murray
According to TSN’s Frank Seravalli: “The Pittsburgh Penguins are believed to have one standing offer on the table for Matt Murray. The Maple Leafs, Oilers, Flames, Senators, Sabres and Avalanche are among the potential suitors for Murray’s services – a list that may soon grow.”
It is not clear if the Oilers are the team who has made the offer, but that they are interested is somewhat telling of how GM Ken Holland views his netminding situation in Edmonton. Murray is certainly not just a backup and if he’s going to cost the Oilers somewhere between $3.75 and $5 million on an extension, he’s much more expensive than Mike Smith was at $2 million last season.
Is this a sign the Oilers have doubts Mikko Koskinen can carry the load and are looking for a goalie who can surpass his number of games as the starter? Or, could the Oilers be thinking about flipping Koskinen if they land Murray?
Torey Krug Won’t Take One-Year Deal
Pending unrestricted free agent Torey Krug told Boston media in a video chat Wednesday that he is “very opposed to that” when asked if he might consider a one-year deal with the Bruins to stay with the team. He added, “I’ve bet on myself and I’ve taken shorter-term deals and less amount of money my whole career now, so this is my time in terms of my value at its peak.”
It appears Krug is ready to move on and noted that conversations with Bruins management has been few and far between. He says anything could happen but seemed to hint he’ll not be in a Bruins’ uniform next season.
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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.”