Rumour Roundup: Three teams to keep an eye on for Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos speculation, and more
By Cam Lewis1 month ago
An interesting early-season storyline is where future Hall of Fame winger Patrick Kane will wind up.
The soon-to-be-35-year-old underwent hip surgery back in June following a season that saw him score 21 goals and 57 points across 73 games with the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers.
There’s obviously no certainty that Kane will be the game-changing talent he used to be following the surgery but he’s a worthwhile risk for contending teams who might want some scoring depth. The expectation is that Kane will sign somewhere in November and Frank Seravalli listed three teams that could be ideal fits.
“I’m going to give you three teams to keep an eye on, definitely not a surprise: the Buffalo Sabres. A hometown team makes a lot of sense, a team certainly on the upswing. Could you imagine Kane as one of those guys who could end this crazy long Sabres drought? I think the Sabres are in the mix, you mentioned the 0-2 start, so we will see where it goes from here.The New York Rangers are also a team that are paying attention to Kane, and for good reason. You saw what they had to give up last year to get him. They knew at the time he wasn’t fully healthy. It didn’t quite come together like it probably should have, but I think they were really impressed with the way he entered and was a leader. They were just kind of hoping, wishing and praying he’d be at the Kane 88 showtime level we are used to. I think in the back of his mind, he’s also certainly intrigued on what it would be like to go back there. Maybe sort of finally put that piece back together.I’ll toss you a third team. This is by no means an exhaustive list, these are not the only teams on Kane’s radar. I’ll give you another thought that those close to him have noticed he’s been keeping an eye on. That’s the Detroit Red Wings. Certainly, a surprise to me when I first heard it, but I have to tell you that the idea of getting Kane and Alex DeBrincat relinked has stood out to many. But the Red Wings are another team. Let’s see how this season develops before we make any judgments.”
Could the Boston Bruins pursue a trade for Steven Stamkos?
The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a 1-2-1 start with three consecutive losses following their season-opening win over the Nashville Predators. This usually wouldn’t be a cause for concern for the perennial Stanley Cup contenders, but the Lightning are without star goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy for a few months and the backup tandem of Matt Tomkins and Jonas Johansson have combined for an .893 save percentage.
Another cloud looming over Tampa is the long-term status of captain Steven Stamkos. The all-time goals and points leader for the Lightning will see his eight-year, $68 million deal expire on July 1 and the two sides weren’t able to agree to a contract extension during the off-season.
“It was something that I expressed at the end of last year that I wanted to get something done before training camp started,” Stamkos told Tampa media members on Sept. 20. “There haven’t been any conversations. I guess that was something that I didn’t see coming, but it is what it is.”
Stamkos has missed two games this season because of a lower-body injury but has two goals and four points in the two games that he did play. It’s difficult to imagine the Lightning trading a franchise icon like Stamkos away but his name will be in the rumour mill so long as the team is struggling and he isn’t signed beyond this season.
Both Larry Brooks of the New York Post and Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now speculated that Stamkos could be a player that the Boston Bruins pursue to give the team some much-needed depth down the middle. Boston lost veteran pivots Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to retirement in the summer and the team pushed hard for Stamkos when he reached free agency in 2016.
Insider says 90% chance William Nylander re-signs with the Toronto Maple Leafs
Another big name scheduled to reach free agency next summer is Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander, who’s reaching the end of the six-year, $45 million contract he signed back in December of 2018.
Nylander reached a career-high in goals with 40 and points with 87 last season and he’ll undoubtedly be able to command a significant raise on his $6.9 million annual salary. According to Chris Johnston of The Athletic, Nylander is happy in Toronto and it appears likely he’ll sign an extension considering the Leafs can offer him eight years on his next contract.
“I don’t think there’s any reason to think Nylander won’t sign an extension in Toronto. Here’s the dirty secret of that negotiation in my opinion, the Leafs know he doesn’t want to play anywhere else. They’re the only team that can sign him to an eight-year deal. What the Leafs can pay him over eight years and what another team can sign him for over seven years is not really that different.I just think if you have a player who wants to be here, and the team really really wants to sign him, I think ultimately cooler heads will prevail and he will be a Leaf. I’m willing to put it at 90 percent that Nylander is a Leaf next season.”
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