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Weekly Rumours – Pending UFAs and Potential Trades

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Photo credit:Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Yaremchuk
1 year ago
Things move fast. Last week, when I hit publish on the rumours blog, it sounded like the Vancouver Canucks were not even close to new contracts for Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. Well, a few hours after the blog dropped, there were multiple reports that the deals were done.
I wonder if that will be the case with Brady Tkachuk and the Senators as well. All the big insiders are basically reporting the same thing right now. The Senators apparently want Tkachuk to commit to a long-term deal, in the seven or eight-year range, while Tkachuk and his camp would prefer a shorter-term deal that would bring him closer to unrestricted free agency.
The other thing to keep in mind with a short-term deal is that the salary cap should start to move up in a few years and that could really change how contracts look. If Tkachuk continues to play like a legit top-line forward, in three years he could be worth a lot more than he would be right now. I can totally understand why he’d want a shorter-term deal. It makes a lot of sense for a young player like him to bet on himself.
If I’m the Senators, the last thing I’d want to do is not have one of my best players not be in the lineup on opening day. That would send a really bad message. I still think this gets done, it’s just a matter of the Senators giving into Tkachuk’s request for a short-term deal.

NEXT YEAR’S FREE AGENTS

There are some big names around the league that could become unrestricted free agents next summer. As the start of the regular season draws closer, I wouldn’t be surprised if he see a couple of big extensions get done. Lots of players don’t like negotiating new deals in season.
One player who I think could end up hitting the market next summer is Johnny Gaudreau. Elliotte Friedman talked about the situation between the Flames and Gaudreau in his recent ‘32 Thoughts’ blog and said that it’s not hard to figure out what would satisfy each side. The Flames would have to commit to Gaudreau long-term and make him their highest-paid player.
Friedman finished the point by saying “how the season goes will determine the outcome”.
Don’t expect this to get done any time soon. There is a lot of pressure on both the Flames and Gaudreau to have a good season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are another Canadian team with a big name that needs a new deal. Morgan Reilly is heading into the final year of his current contract and TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting that the next contract that the 27-year-old defenseman signs could be worth north of $8 million per season.
The Leafs are projected to have about $13.7 million in cap space next offseason and don’t have any other key players that need new deals. They can easily afford to keep Reilly, it’s just a matter of if they think he’s worth the price tag that he can likely command on the open market or if Reilly himself would take a discount to stay in Toronto.
On the RFA front, Friedman says that the Canadiens could take a run at signing Nick Suzuki to an extension soon.

QUICK NOTES

  • The Tomas Hertl trade rumours likely won’t go away all season, unless the Sharks surprise everyone and push for a playoff spot in the Pacific. Fluto Shinzaawa, who covers the Boston Bruins for The Athletic recently wrote on what it might take for the Bruins to acquire Hertl and said that it would likely take a first-round pick and a high-end prospect.
  • I touched on the Flames situation with Gaudreau but they also came up this week in some of the Jack Eichel talk. Friedman and Marek both speculated on Calgary as a fit in the ‘32 Thoughts Podcast’. I think it would make a lot of sense and if Gaudreau walks, the Flames would have more than enough money to fit in Eichel. Friedman said that “Calgary really tried and not once did anyone ever say to me he (Eichel) wouldn’t go to Calgary”.
  • Friedman did say that the Sabres really want futures and that a deal centred around Gaudreau and Tkachuk wouldn’t make sense for Buffalo.
  • I’ve also heard that the Sabres really only want picks and prospects for Eichel. That’s part of the reason I believe Vegas hasn’t been more in on the conversations. They would have to move out salary and Buffalo has no interest in it.
  • Marek also threw out the idea of the Sharks including Hertl in a potential Eichel deal and wondered if San Jose would be a fit. Purely speculation though.

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