NHL Rumors Weekly: Rangers offseason plans, Matthew Tkachuk, Wild, Golden Knights, and Sabres
NHL Rumors Weekly is our newest feature thanks to The Daily Goal Horn. Every Sunday we bring you the most comprehensive rumors update in the game today. Updating the top rumors of the week and the latest buzz around the league.
In this edition, we kick off with the hometown Rangers.
New York Rangers Rumors
The Rangers, much like many teams will try and copy what the current final four have done with their rosters. All the remaining teams are big and hard to play against. Tampa being the epitome of what a GM would like to model their lineup to be. Two scoring lines, a third line that can defend and chip in offensively, and a fourth line that can crash with the best of them.
Currently, the Rangers just don’t have the players to fill out bottom six roles properly. Last season for example, Vitali Kravtsov was deployed on the third and fourth line which is not who he is. The young prospect is projected as a top six right winger in the NHL, and the Rangers already have Pavel Buchnevich and Kaapo Kakko occupying those spots. Changes are coming this summer for the Blueshirts.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve the lineup, to add different pieces, just like every team in the league, and every team in the league is watching these playoffs,” Drury said last week. “You know we all want harder players to play against and we’re no different.”
Several players are believed to be high on their radar in the Islanders Casey Cizikas, Hurricanes Jordan Martinook, and Lightning players Blake Coleman and Barlcay Goodrow.
No truth to rumors Matthew Tkachuk wants out
Add another counter report to what Shane O’Brien said just a week ago that he heard Matthew Tkachuk wants out of Calgary. First it was Ryan Pinder of The Fan960 who went directly to his sources with the Flames. “In reaching out to some folks around the organization, they described this rumor in two words,” he began. “The first one being bull and the second one sounding a lot like shirt.”
Now, Darren Dreger weighed in on a recent appearance on Buffalo’s WGR550 and revealed that his contact with the Flames immediately refuted the report. The 23 year-old winger currently earns $7 million per season and will be a RFA with arbitration rights in 2022-23. He has a year left and the Flames own his rights until he’s 27.
NHL Rumors: Nothing Wild going on with Kirill Kaprizov
Last weekend the buzz was about the prospect of Kirill Kaprizov using the only leverage he had and signing with a KHL team. While the two sides have not made any headway towards a new deal, GM Bill Guerin wants Wild fans to know he isn’t overly concerned.
“I don’t know how to take it. I mean, there hasn’t been a threat,” Guerin relayed to Michael Russo. “So I think it’s more built up in the media.” The two sides continue to work on a deal with the Wild looking long term but Kaprizov only interested in a bridge deal. As far as the the threat to sign in the KHL Guerin was pretty direct, “They haven’t said anything about the KHL, so I have nothing really to get worried about.”
Buffalo Sabres Rumors and yes it’s about Jack Eichel
There’s still plenty of noteworthy buzz surrounding Jack Eichel. Although Darren Dreger believes that it will die down because GM Kevyn Adams has the framework for a trade.
In a new report in The Athletic it states Buffalo is now looking for all futures. Here’s the problem with that, most teams do not have the cap space to take on Eichel’s $10 million AAV without sending significant money the other way.
If this is what Adams is looking for, he is only going to continue to reduce the number of suitors. As of right now the Rangers, Kings, and Blue Jackets are all considered not interested at the moment. That leaves the Ducks and to a lesser degree the Blackhawks and Wild as the only teams believed in.
Vegas Golden Knights Rumors
Speculation started about Jack Eichel as soon the Canadiens ousted Vegas. With their owner Bill Foley known to be aggressive in pursuing top players, this one was an easy connection to make.
“I’d be surprised if the Golden Knights and the Sabres haven’t had a conversation regarding Eichel,” Dreger said on WGR550 on Friday. “I can’t imagine they won’t explore this.”
While this is pie in the sky fantasy right now, the Golden Knights held their exit interviews yesterday and two notable things came out of it.
One; UFA Alec Martinez played with a broken foot and Peter DeBoer could not stop talking about how important he is. Martinez did note that he hasn’t thought about free agency but will do so in the coming days.
Secondly, DeBoer seemed to hint at the possibility that the Knights may need to break up the tandem of Marc-Andre Fleury and Robin Lehner. “It was obviously a blessing this year,” DeBoer remarked about the condensed schedule. “Next year is a different story. We’re not in those unique circumstances anymore.”