Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 9, 2017
Latest on the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues & Vegas Golden Knights in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
NEW YORK POST: If the addition of Patrick Marleau forces the Toronto Maple Leafs to solicit offers for center Tyler Bozak, Larry Brooks believes the New York Rangers could be among the suitors. He speculates the Rangers would open the bidding by pitching defenseman Nick Holden.
Brooks believes Bozak will have to go if the Leafs decide to get into a potential John Tavares trade sweepstakes. However, the addition of Marleau makes it more difficult for Toronto to add Tavares.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming the Leafs want to give up a big trade package to the New York Islander to acquire Tavares, or that they’re willing to pony up the $10 million annually he’ll command as a potential unrestricted free agent next July. With the Leafs already set with Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri in the top-two center positions, not to mention the huge price they’ll pay to re-sign Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander, I don’t believe Tavares is a fit in Toronto.
Like Tavares, Bozak is eligible next summer for UFA status. Given his solid performance last season, however, I wonder if the Leafs might consider re-signing him to an affordable three-year deal for around $4.5 million annually. Sure, Bozak could seek better offers elsewhere, but with the Leafs showing significant improvement, maybe he’d like to stick around and be part of the club’s resurgence.
STLTODAY.COM: Jeremy Rutherford recently took part in a Q&A with his readers regarding the St. Louis Blues offseason plans. He believes they’re done making UFA signings, though he wouldn’t be surprised if they opt to bring back checking-line forward Scottie Upshall. He doesn’t see the Blues signing Jaromir Jagr. He does have praise for former Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan.
Rutherford said center Paul Stastny enjoys playing in St. Louis. He has a year left on his contract but Rutherford isn’t sure if he’ll be re-signed. If he is, he’ll have to accept less than his current $7 million annual cap hit. He also believes the Blues and Colton Parayko will hammer out a new contract before his upcoming arbitration hearing.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t see the Blues signing Jagr or Doan. They’re going more with younger players. If Stastny’s willing to accept a three-year deal for around $5 million, perhaps the two sides can agree to that. Given his injury history, however, perhaps the Blues will consider younger, healthy and more affordable options. I agree with Rutherford that the Blues and Parayko will work out a deal before his arbitration hearing.
MLIVE.COM: In a recent mailbag segment, Ansar Khan said he doesn’t see the Detroit Red Wings trading speedy forward Andreas Anthanasiou. “They would only consider moving him in a package for a sure-fire top-pair defenseman. I don’t believe there is such a deal to be had.” If winger Tomas Tatar ends up getting a one-year arbiter-awarded contract, Khan speculates he could be moved by the trade deadline if the Wings are out of the playoff picture by then.
TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reports that, by his count, the Vegas Golden Knights “will have to move at least four NHL defenceman, maybe five, between now and the start of their first season. That’s a lot of dealing to do and a not a lot of time for GM George McPhee.”