Welcome to the Wednesday edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The Stanley Cup Final is here and two powerful teams will compete for Lord Stanley’s Cup. Other clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. In this edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Anaheim Ducks, Montreal Canadiens, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Anaheim Ducks – John Gibson
Rumor: Per – Steven Ellis – thehockeynews.com. While Ellis is reporting that the Ducks could consider moving Gibson, Chris Johnston of of TSN Hockey stated no one knows for certain just how available Gibson is but that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could be traded.
Gibson has been a decent netminder over his nine years in Anaheim. His career record of 166-148-51 reflects some success but not since 2018-19 when the Ducks stopped making the postseason. He has a .915 save percentage with a 2.67 save percentage even with the poor seasons the Anaheim club experienced. Gibson has also been an All-Star elected to the team in 2016, 2019, and 2022. On a better team, he could really show his talents much better than wallowing in Anaheim.
He has an expensive $6.4 million contract through the 2027-28 season. Who even knows if the Ducks will see the postseason again before then? Many NHL teams are on the search for a good quality goalie, could Gibson be on the move? Be sure to check in with us here at Full Press Hockey to keep track of things.
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Montreal Canadiens – Josh Anderson
Rumor: Per – Marco D’amico – montrealhockeynow.com. Marco D’Amico recently reported Canadiens general manager Kent Hughes is getting lots of calls from some rival GMs expressing interest in Josh Anderson.
And why not? Anderson is a decent, good-sized (6-foot-3, 227-pound) forward. He had 19 goals and 13 assists in 69 games on a bad 2021-22 Montreal team. The sticking point, as always, might be his $5.5 million contract good through the 2026-27 season. D’Amico cited Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman telling Oilers Now host Bob Stauffer that Anderson is a hot commodity right now.
Could new GM Kent Hughes be tempted enough to tank some more next season by trading Anderson? The prize could be Connor Bedard, and lots of teams are going to be jockeying for a chance to draft this transformational talent.
A high-ranking NHL executive also shared with D’Amico that the Canadiens haven’t floated Anderson in trade talks. However, they are willing to listen in case a team is willing to meet their high price. It seems likely that Anderson will remain in Montreal for now.
Yet another option according to David Staples – edmontonjournal.com, suggested if the Edmonton Oilers fail to re-sign Evander Kane, that Anderson could be a good replacement. Seems like that wouldn’t be a bad option for the Oilers, except that Kane was much more productive than Anderson.
Pittsburgh Penguins – Tyson Barrie
Rumor: Per – Dan Kingerski – pittsburghhockeynow.com. Dan Kingerski suggested the Penguins should consider Tyson Barrie as a replacement for Kris Letang if the latter departs this summer via free agency.
This could truly be more of an economic move by the Oilers considering all the players’ contracts they must address or lose. For one thing, they only have Mike Smith in the net as Mikko Koskinen signed to play in Switzerland for the next two years. We don’t even know if Smitty will retire or try to keep his deflating skills in tact for another season. Then, they still need to determine how to sign Jesse Puljujarvi (or trade) and Kailer Yamamoto. That all costs cap space and the Oilers only have $7.13 million to work with.
Barrie is signed through the 2023-24 season at a $4.5 million rate. For the Pens, if Letang leaves, they could grab Barrie and save some money. Keep in mind the Penguins have lots of players they need to sign or determine how to move forward. Evgeni Malkin ($9.5M), Kasperi Kapanen ($3.2M), Rickard Rakell (3.79M), Evan Rodrigues ($1M), and finally Casey DeSmith ($1.25M). The Pittsburgh club has $23.2 million in cap space, but it will go fast. In fact, if the players mentioned receive a contract equal to their last one, and including adding Barrie’s $4.5M, they would only have like $760,000 left! How do NHL GM’s do it?
How this will end is both clubs need to make some moves to free up cap space. Where Barrie falls in that pile of contract negotiations is anyone’s guess.
That wraps up NHL rumors for this edition. Be sure to catch our Sunday article!
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