In today’s NHL rumors rundown, one report suggests the Montreal Canadiens scrambled to figure out a plan after the Jesperi Kotkaniemi offer sheet was tendered. How many different options did they look at? The Edmonton Oilers are saying goodbye to forward Dominik Kahun. The Ottawa Senators are prepared to match any offer sheet for Brady Tkachuk and the Vancouver Canucks were/are worried about an offer sheet for Elias Pettersson. Finally, what’s the update on the Bruins (and another team’s) interest in P.K. Subban?
Canadiens Looked at Multiple Options Before Dvorak
On the most recent episode of the 31 Thoughts podcast, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Canadiens and general manager Marc Bergevin scrambled to find a center after they knew it wasn’t likely they were going to match the Kotkaniemi offer sheet.
“[Bergevin] spent a week scrambling, or figuring out, what he was going to do at center. We said last Saturday when we taped the podcast that we thought there was a legitimate chance that Montreal wouldn’t match. As the week went on I began to believe more and more that they weren’t going to match, which is what they obviously did, but then you know you’re sitting there and you’re looking at your roster… you can’t just say ‘Ok we’re letting Kotkaniemi go and we’re done’ they had to have an alternate plan.”
Friedman added, “I think they went after a few guys, I think they asked about obviously [Tomas] Hertl, obviously Dvorak, I wouldn’t be surprised if they asked Washington about [Evgeny] Kuznetsov but it didn’t make any sense because they are in win-now mode… I’m sure they asked Calgary about [Sean] Monahan.”
Kahun Leaving the Oilers and NHL
It was announced Monday morning that former Oilers forward Dominik Kahun was leaving the team and the NHL and had signed a three-year deal with SC Bern of the National League. He’s committed until 2024 but each season has an out clause to return to the NHL if the opportunity arises.
When the Oilers added a number of pieces this offseason and became a much deeper team, Kahun was left without a spot on the roster and it became clear after a somewhat disappointing season he wasn’t going to be re-signed. It’s a bit surprising that he wasn’t offered another opportunity with another NHL club, but this could have been about his familiarity with the SC Bern team where he’d been practicing.
Senators Will Match Any Offer Sheet For Tkachuk
Friedman also noted during his podcast that Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk would match an offer sheet for RFA forward Brady Tkachuk. The team still hasn’t come to terms on an extension, but they aren’t about to let another organization come in and try to pry the player loose.
“I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say he won’t pay, he paid Chabot 8×8 and I’ve got to think they offered Tkachuk the same, I find it very hard to believe they haven’t offered Tkachuk the same kind of deal.”
According to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, Tkachuk has said he’s open to a long-term deal if the Senators are as well.
Canucks Were Nervous
While the Senators might not have been concerned, apparently the Canucks were. Friedman also reported the Kotkaniemi offer sheet had the Canucks’ front office nervous about another club coming after Elias Pettersson. Unlike the Senators who have the cap space to match any offer, the Canucks don’t have the luxury of being able to afford long-term deals for both Pettersson and Quinn Hughes.
One thing to remember is that any team that wants to offer sheet Pettersson would have to offer at least $9 million or more per season, which would equate to at least two first-round picks, a second, and a third-round pick as compensation. One, not every team has that to offer. Two, not every team is willing.
Bruins and Maple Leafs Have Reached Out About Subban
Boston Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy did finally offer up an update on his report that the Bruins might be among the teas interested in defenseman P.K. Subban. He reports that multiple sources confirmed the Bruins, on more than one occasion, explored a Subban trade but hoped to convince the Devils to pick up half of his $9 million cap hit for this season.
Murphy also said the Toronto Maple Leafs had “more than lukewarm interest” in Subban. They too would need some serious salary retention involved in the deal.
It doesn’t make much sense for Devils’ GM Tom Fitzgerlad to consider retaining half of Subban’s salary unless the team Subban is going to offers up nice compensation for doing so. The defenseman is only on the books for one more year and the Devils have the cap space to absorb his deal.
A trade deadline deal seems to be what makes more sense.
Leafs Lose Malgin
In other Maple Leafs News, Swiss team ZSC announced that Maple Leafs RFA Denis Malgin has signed a four-year contract with their team that runs through the 2024/2025 season. The Leafs will retain his RFA rights but it seems clear they aren’t terribly interested.
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.”