Welcome to another Sunday edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The NHL Draft is history, and every team has high hopes for the prospects they added. Needless to say, leading up to the NHL Draft, rumors were abound. Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. In this Sunday edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks, Washington Capitals, and Ottawa Senators.
Chicago Blackhawks – Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews
Rumor: Per – Shane Seney – nhltraderumors.me. With both Alex DeBrincat and Kirby Dach traded, it may be time to discuss Kane & Toews trades. Are they next in the rebuild plans?
Leading up to the NHL Draft held in Montreal this year, both Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews were mentioned in NHL rumors. After all, with their identical $10.5 million contracts expiring after this upcoming season, it makes sense to discuss ways to move those contracts. It’s not easy to conduct a rebuild with aging players who possess huge contracts.
The Chicago Blackhawks were very active the day of the draft. All the speculation of Kane’s linemate DeBrincat being dealt came to fruition. Now, the two players need to think over their futures on a team that won’t be very good and have hopes to land Connor Bedard or other such talents in next year’s draft.
With the free agency deadline coming this Thursday, could one or both of these Chicago legends be heading out of Windy City? It may not happen that soon, but general manager Kyle Davidson has the wrecking balls out and it was also released that the team will not send a qualifying offer to forward Dylan Strome. Will Kane and Toews want to stay? Unlikely.
Kane could have multiple suitors. They could include the Toronto Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers, and the Carolina Hurricanes. For Toews, his health may dictate his future. If he does go anywhere, it could be the Winnipeg Jets, close to home.
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Washington Capitals – Darcy Kuemper
Rumor: Per – Pierre LeBrun – theathletic.com. Per LeBrun: No way the Capitals make that trade Friday without having a decent idea about a replacement in goal. I believe the fit there potentially is Kuemper.
The NHL goalie market has been busy this offseason. Both Darcy Kuemper and Jack Campbell are being courted by teams in need of a quality netminder. When GM Brian MacLellan dealt Vitek Vanecek to the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, one can only assume that he has someone in mind to replace him. That someone could be Kuemper, a proven Stanley Cup performer. MacLellan needs to address his goalie status soon since Ilya Samsonov is a restricted free agent and qualifying offers are due Monday, July 11th. A goalie tandem of Kuemper and Samsonov could be a winning combination for the Washington Capitals going forward.
Now, the other part may be dicy. The money. It always is. The Caps only have about $8.9 million in cap space so some creativity would be in order. They could, of course, put forward Nicklas Backstrom on LTIR, but what happens when he comes back? Backstrom’s $9.2 million cap hit would definitely be enough to cover Kuemper’s proposed salary of over $5 million. Let’s see how this one works out.
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Ottawa Senators – Christian Dvorak
Rumor: Per – Marco D’Amico – montrealhockeynow.com. The Ottawa Senators pro scouts loved what they saw from Dvorak in the second half of the season. While there was some trade interest at the NHL draft, that didn’t happen. Dvorak has a reasonable contract of $4.45 million good through 2024-25.
There were all kinds of rumors concerning the Senators’ 7th overall pick in Thursday’s draft. As it turned out, the Sens used it to gather in a great offensive weapon in Alex DeBrincat from Chicago. Even after the DeBrincat deal, the Sens still have about $20.7 million in cap space. They could pursue free agents, but they seem to like Dvorak too. He tallied 33 points, and 11 goals in 56 games. He does have a history of injury issues and that must be factored into any deal. Dvorak does have a no-trade clause that kicks in for the 2023-24 season.
The Senators are definitely going to be better next season. Whether Dvorak will remain in Montreal, or be headed to Ottawa is yet to be determined.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. We may have another article out soon in an attempt to keep all our devoted readers apprised of the latest happenings around the NHL.
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