Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The Stanley Cup Final is history and the Colorado Avalanche have won Lord Stanley’s Cup. Needless to say, leading up to the NHL Draft on July 7th, and free agency on July 13th, there are endless rumours abound. Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. In this edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Tampa Bay Lightning, New Jersey Devils, and the Edmonton Oilers.
Tampa Bay Lightning – Ryan McDonagh
Rumor: Per – Elliotte Friedman – sportsnet.ca. According to multiple sources, the Lightning are working with Ryan McDonagh to see if there’s another team he’d consider a trade to.
TB has some tough choices to make. It's not what they want to do, but what they might have to do https://t.co/TPmWld9PLP
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 30, 2022
The Lightning have retained free agent Nick Paul with a seven-year extension worth $22.05 million. They have yet to address others like Ondrej Palat, and Jan Rutta, which is impossible without painful choices elsewhere. McDonagh has four years left on his $6.75 million AAV deal and he also has a no-trade clause. Gee, how those clauses come back to haunt teams down the road. Yet, it is a negotiating point the player has in his favor.
After signing Paul, they are still OVER the cap limit ($82.5M) by a staggering $5.13 million. So do such players as Alex Killorn ($4.45M), Corey Perry ($1M), and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare ($1M) may need to be traded or bought out to bring the team to cap compliance? It’s what happens when a team overspends. While the Lightning have been adept at using cap space to sign effective players, now they may lose some key players.
Losing McDonagh would be a hard pill to swallow, as he is well-liked by his teammates and has been around since 2017-18. Still, that $6.75 million cap space is awfully tempting to solve some cap issues immediately. If he waives his no-trade clause, teams will line up to add him. He still has what it takes and has a heart of a champion.
New Jersey Devils – Ville Husso
Rumor: Per – Ryan Novozinsky – nj.com. While there are plenty of teams interested in goalie Ville Husso, the New Jersey Devils seem the most intrigued by the possibility of acquiring him. That is, if the St. Louis Blues fail to keep him.
— Ryan Novozinsky (@ryannovo62) June 26, 2022
Husso may have a good relationship with Jordan Binnington, but he also wants to be a starting goalie in the NHL. After Binnington kinda bit the dust for a bit this past season, Husso came in and showed he can be a quality starting netminder. His 25-7-6 record with a .919 save percentage and a strong 2.56 goals-against-average says a lot. Had he not been so stellar in net, the Blues may not have made the postseason. While Binnington redeemed himself in the postseason and Husso played in seven games, that doesn’t mean Binnington’s huge contract dictates that he be the starter again next season.
The Devils really need a goalie who can perform next season. That is why they are inquiring about Husso. He will require a good raise in salary since he only earned $750,000 last season. The Blues have about $9 million in cap space but wish to retain David Perron, who earned $4 million and probably deserves an increase. The Devils are super-rich in cap space to offer Husso a good contract, as a starter. With $25 million in their coiffures, it could become a bidding war for his services. May the best team win!
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Edmonton Oilers – Jesse Puljujarvi
Rumor: Per – Chris Johnston – TSN.ca. The trade winds are blowing towards Jesse Puljujarvi once again. After asking for a trade in the past, it seems he is again unhappy in Edmonton. At least a couple of teams have shown interest in him, including the Ottawa Senators.
“There are discussions as well in Edmonton on Jesse Puljujarvi’s future and it sounds right now as though the trade winds are blowing increasingly stronger,” Johnston said on Insider Trading on Thursday. “There are a couple of teams that have engaged with the Oilers in trade talks on Puljujarvi. One of them is believed to be the Ottawa Senators.”
Another team with cap space looking to fill their roster is the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes. They have $33 million to work with and need to get to the cap basement limit. Puljujarvi is just 24 years old and could fit in well with the young Coyotes. He tallied 14 goals, 22 assists in 65 games this season. He stands 6′-4″, 201 pounds and that fits the mold of what general manager Bill Armstrong is looking for in a young player. Don’t forget, the Yotes have seven draft selections in the first two rounds of the NHL draft on July 7th. Could the Oilers be looking for one of those second-round picks to send Jesse to the desert?
That about does it for this edition of NHL rumors. With all the projected happenings this week, we may do another “special” edition before the NHL draft on Thursday in addition to our regular Wednesday NHL rumors article.
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