NHL Rumor Mill – November 12, 2021
TSN: Chris Johnston reports goaltender Tuukka Rask has been working out at the Boston Bruins training facility. He remains without a contract as he works toward returning from offseason hip surgery. His agent told Johnston his goal is to get healthy and return to play as soon as possible, perhaps by January.
Rask could be an option for teams seeking help between the pipes. However, Johnston believes the 34-year-old free agent hopes to return with the Bruins.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Johnston said Rask had been a little non-committal about his playing future. Back in August, however, he indicated his willingness to return to the Bruins for less money this season. I believe their game plan is to sign Rask to a cheap, prorated one-year deal. They’ll then send Jeremy Swayman back to their AHL affiliate as he’s waiver-exempt for this season.
THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun speculated about how much it’ll cost the Toronto Maple Leafs to sign Jack Campbell to a contract extension. The 29-year-old goaltender is eligible for unrestricted free agent status next July. He’s earning $1.65 million annually on his current contract.
Contract talks between the two sides have yet to begin. When they do, LeBrun suggested the annual average value could be somewhere between $4 million and $5 million on a four-to-five year deal if he has another solid season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seems about right, though if Campbell were to become a Vezina Trophy finalist that number gets pushed to $6 million annually.
LeBrun also reported contract talks between the Nashville Predators and Filip Forsberg are expected to start soon. The 27-year-old winger is completing a six-year deal with a $6 million AAV. LeBrun speculates the Forsberg camp could seek an eight-year extension and wondered if either side will use the eight-year, $56 million extension signed by Gabriel Landeskog this summer with the Colorado Avalanche as a comparable.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: LeBrun also acknowledged Forsberg and his agent are unlikely to accept anything less than the $8 million AAV currently earned by teammates Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen. However, I don’t think Predators GM David Poile is keen to have a third $8 million forward on the roster. Unless Duchene or Johansen are moved (and I don’t see that happening), Forsberg could end up hitting the open market next summer.