NHL Rumor Mill – June 16, 2020
Check out the latest on the Canucks and Leafs in today’s NHL rumor mill.
UPDATE ON THE CANUCKS
SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Iain MacIntyre was asked who are the Vancouver Canucks’ priorities to re-sign between Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev, Tyler Toffoli, and Troy Stecher. Markstrom and Toffoli top the list, though not in that order, followed by Tanev.
Regarding the cost of re-signing Toffoli, MacIntyre believes he could’ve received a five-year deal worth an annual average value of around $5 million when the cap was projected to rise to between $84 million and $88 million. He’s not so sure now. MacIntyre believes Toffoli would like to remain a Canuck but he has no established relationship with the club, making him less likely to accept the kind of UFA bridge deal Tanev has alluded to.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s going to be an interesting off-season for Toffoli and his fellow UFAs. He could test the market to see what’s out there but could also be amenable to a reasonable one-year deal and try his luck again next season. Tanev could also do the same.
Asked if Loui Eriksson might retire after this season, MacIntyre tossed cold water on that idea. Eriksson is owed $5 million over the next two seasons plus a $3 million bonus this summer. He thinks the Canucks could see if the two sides can mutually agree to terminate the contract, allowing Eriksson an opportunity to sign elsewhere and finish his career on his own terms.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Assuming Eriksson would accept a contract termination he probably won’t do it until after he’s received his $3-million bonus. There’s some speculation suggesting the Canucks could try shopping him to a budget club looking to reach the salary-cap floor because his full no-trade becomes a 15-team modified no-trade after this season.
MacIntyre also dismissed the notion of the Canucks buying out winger Micheal Ferland, who was sidelined by injuries most of the season. If Ferland can return to action, it’ll be a bonus for the Canucks. If not, he’ll remain on long-term injury reserve.
COULD THE LEAFS BRING BACK BOZAK?
SPORTSNET: In his latest mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked if the Toronto Maple Leafs might bring back Tyler Bozak as their third-line center. The St. Louis Blues are rumored to have the 34-year-old center on the trade block.
Fox acknowledged the Blues need to shed salary to re-sign defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and Vince Dunn following this season. Bozak has a year remaining on his contract with a $5 million salary-cap hit. However, Fox doubts the Leafs will bring Bozak back to Toronto, citing his age, declining production, and cap hit.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $76.9 million (as per Cap Friendly) invested in 16 players next season and a need to bolster their blueline, the Leafs have cap issues of their own. Bringing back Bozak isn’t an option.