NHL Rumor Mill – October 20, 2020
The latest on Kyle Palmieri, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Erik Haula in today’s NHL rumor mill.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun reports the New Jersey Devils haven’t been shopping winger Kyle Palmieri, who’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His agent said there have only been preliminary contact discussions.
LeBrun believes Palmieri wants to sign a contract extension. He’s entering the final season of a four-year deal with a $4.65-million cap hit. Brendan Gallagher’s new contract with the Montreal Canadiens (six years, $6.5 million AAV) could be of interest.
If an extension cannot be worked out, LeBrun speculates Palmieri could be moved by next season’s trade deadline.
Corey Masisak speculates Palmieri might’ve expected to receive a deal comparable to Philadelphia’s James van Riemsdyk (five years, $35 million) before the pandemic. That seems less likely now, as Masisak pointed to Evgenii Dadonov getting a three-year, $15 million deal with the Ottawa Senators and Tyler Toffoli inking a four-year, $17 million contract with the Canadiens.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Palmieri wants to stay with the Devils and I believe they want to keep him. They could offer up a four-year deal worth around $5.5 million per season. He might prefer a shorter-term in hopes of a more lucrative deal in a year or two with the market being what it is, or perhaps a long-term term at around $5 million annually.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins recently reported there are “lots of indications” the Oilers are pursuing a contract extension for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. He believes they have plenty of room to do this properly even if the cap doesn’t go up for 2021-22.
Leavins also suggests the Oilers consider signing former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Madison Bowey to add a veteran right-side rearguard to their blue line. He argues the Oilers could find sufficient cap space to sign Bowey and re-sign Ethan Bear by placing Oscar Klefbom on long-term injury reserve.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers have $51.9 million invested in 11 players for 2021-22. Re-signing Nugent-Hopkins could cost $7.5 million annually. Given the ongoing economic uncertainty, perhaps they could convince him to accept a slight raise over his current $6 million per season (say, $6.5 million?) for the security of a long-term extension.
THE ATHLETIC: LeBrun reported agent Jay Grossman, who represents free-agent center Erik Haula, said he’s spoken with 10-12 teams that have a legitimate interest in his client. Haula’s coming off a three-year deal worth $2.75 million annually. He also has an injury history but Grossman said he’s fully healthy now.
LeBrun believes it’s probably best for Haula to be patient and see if those interested clubs that currently can’t sign him perhaps make a trade that frees up some cap space. He wondered if the Vegas Golden Knights might be willing to reach out to Haula if they can clear some cap room.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Haula will need to be very patient. It appears most teams now are hoping to out-wait players like him in hope of signing them to bargain contracts.