Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – October 6, 2019
Are the Ottawa Senators about to be sold? What’s the latest on Dustin Byfuglien, Alex Pietrangelo, Patrick Marleau, and Joshua Ho-Sang? Check out the latest in the NHL rumor mill.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM SPORTSNET’S “SATURDAY HEADLINES”.
Chris Johnston reports there’s no truth to a rumored sale of the Ottawa Senators to Robert Kraft, owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots. The speculation was based on a cryptic Snapchat post by Kraft’s granddaughter showing the Senators’ rink with emojis that seemed to indicate the club was being sold. Elliotte Friedman suggested perhaps the Kraft group may have been looking at real estate around the arena.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If someone as well-known as Kraft was attempting to buy an NHL franchise it wouldn’t have been announced in this way. Considering how long it takes to complete the sale of a franchise it would’ve been revealed to the media long before any agreement would be in place. News like that is too big to fly under the radar.
Friedman also talked about Dustin Byfuglien’s ongoing leave of absence from the Winnipeg Jets. He’d recently said there was talk the Jets were trying to talk the defenseman out of retiring. Byfuglien’s agent said not to jump to conclusions and this situation could take time to resolve.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets will give Byfuglien all the time and space he needs to reach a decision. It could take weeks.
Friedman also provided an update on the contract negotiations between the St. Louis Blues and captain Alex Pietrangelo. The Blues are heading to Toronto soon for a game with the Maple Leafs. Pietrangelo’s agents are based in Toronto and Blues general manager Doug Armstrong intends to meet with them. Friedman said the Blues hope to get Pietrangelo signed to something comparable to Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s eight-year deal ($8.25 million annually) with the Arizona Coyotes.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Pietrangelo’s earning $6.5 million annually on his current deal. Unless he’s willing to accept a hometown discount he could earn much more via next summer’s UFA market. The Blues’ re-signing of Brayden Schenn last week leaves them with over $73 million invested in 17 players. They also acquired Justin Faulk last month from the Carolina Hurricanes in a move some consider insurance in case Pietrangelo departs next summer.
Johnston reports free-agent winger Patrick Marleau remains confident he’ll land with another NHL club this season. His preference is to play for a team close to his family in San Jose.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Marleau could be waiting a while. The Sharks won’t bring him back, while clubs near San Jose (Los Angeles, Anaheim, Arizona) don’t appear interested.
Friedman reports New York Islanders winger Joshua Ho-Sang is letting teams know he’ll do whatever it takes to get a fresh start after requesting a trade last week. That includes starting in the AHL if that’s what a team wants him to do.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang cleared waivers last week so he doesn’t have to pass through them again if acquired by another club. It remains to be seen if someone will take a chance on the former first-round pick.