In today’s NHL news and rumors rundown, the Ottawa Senators have locked defenseman Jake Sanderson into a huge new contract after only 77 NHL games. Why did they choose to take such a risk on a young, but talented star? Meanwhile, word out of Buffalo is that the Sabres are about to sign blueliner Rasmus Dahlin to a massive extension. Is a Phil Kessel reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins possible? Finally, are the Boston Bruins kicking tires on Shane Pinto out of Ottawa?
Senators Avoid Unwanted Negotiations Next Summer With Jake Sanderson
Jake Sanderson, despite his youth and limited NHL experience (just 21 years old and 77 games played), has already garnered attention for his exceptional skills. His remarkable skating, precise puck-handling, and strong defensive prowess have significantly bolstered the Senators’ lineup. It’s why the Senators chose to sign him to an eight-year extension on Wednesday, a deal that has some fans outside the Ottawa area wondering what the team is doing.
The short answer is, that Sanderson’s offensive potential remains largely untapped, promising even greater growth. So too, the Senators wanted to get out ahead of later negotiations.
Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic suggests that while Sanderson may not be an $8 million defenseman at present, he has the potential to justify that salary midway through his contract. Meanwhile, Bruce Garrioch of The Ottawa Sun, speaking on TSN, reveals the Senators’ ambitious plan for Sanderson: to swiftly surpass Thomas Chabot as the team’s top defenseman, assuming pivotal roles and significant ice time. The decision to secure this deal early reflects the team’s commitment to avoiding potentially challenging negotiations as Sanderson approaches restricted free agency next summer, emphasizing their determination to secure his future in Ottawa.
Rasmus Dahlin About to Sign Big Deal With Buffalo Sabres
In a recent episode of the “After The Whistle” podcast featuring former Sabres players Andrew Peters and Craig Rivet, it is reported that Buffalo’s star defenseman, Rasmus Dahlin, is on the verge of signing a massive new extension with the organization. According to a reliable source, Dahlin is on the cusp of finalizing a significant eight-year contract extension that will anchor him in a Sabres’ jersey for the foreseeable future. The reported estimated value of this extension is an impressive $10.5 million per season, positioning Dahlin among the highest-paid defensemen in the NHL.
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The only remaining uncertainty revolves around the precise dollar figure. It was noted, “That’s why they haven’t announced it, if this is done.” Consequently, fans and pundits are eagerly awaiting official confirmation from the Buffalo Sabres organization.
Could Phil Kessel Return to the Penguins?
Phil Kessel is exploring his options in free agency, and reports of him being willing to take a lesser role to help a team are out there, even if it means jeopardizing his Iron Man streak. Speculation among fans has centered on the possibility of a reunion with the Pittsburgh Penguins, where he spent four of 17-year career seasons, securing two Cups in his initial two years with the team. Dave Molinari of Pittsburgh Hockey Now, suggests the odds of such a reunion are rather slim.
Molinari notes that Pittsburgh’s current roster strategy is centered around strengthening their bottom-six players and wonders if Kessel’s style of play aligns with Pittsburgh’s emphasis on a checking-line approach. He also writes, “Just how strained Kessel’s relationship with Mike Sullivan was by the time he was traded to Arizona in 2019 might never be known — both parties insist their differences were overblown by outsiders — but it’s hard to imagine Sullivan lobbying Dubas to bring Kessel to camp.”
Bruins Showing Interest in Shane Pinto
Jimmy Murphy, a contributor to Boston Hockey Now, suggests that the Boston Bruins have their sights set on acquiring the Ottawa Senators’ rising star, Shane Pinto. Pinto, 22, finds himself at the center of contract negotiations that are capturing considerable attention. Reports hint at a disparity between the Senators and Pinto regarding the terms of a new deal.
To secure Pinto’s services, the speculated cost is expected to be steep, as Ottawa seeks a top-tier prospect who is on the cusp of making an impact in the NHL. Murphy goes on to propose that Boston may consider offering prospects such as Fabian Lysell or John Beecher as part of a potential deal.