NHL Rumor Mill – August 10, 2022
UPDATE ON KADRI
DAILY FACEOFF: Frank Seravalli considers recent reports suggesting Nazem Kadri has a deal locked up with the New York Islanders as “premature to say.” He believes the Isles are among the teams that the Kadri camp continues to engage with in contract talks.
Seravalli thinks the Islanders have put an offer on the table for the 31-year-old free-agent center. He said other teams have told him that they believe that offer to be for seven years at $7 million annually.
While Seravalli feels it’s still possible for Kadri to sign with the Isles, the fact his representatives are still talking to other teams suggests a deal hasn’t been signed. He also pointed out they would have to move money to make it work.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Islanders have over $11 million in cap space for the coming season with restricted free agent defensemen Noah Dobson and Alexander Romanov still to sign. A $7 million annual average value for Kadri wouldn’t leave much for those two.
Both players are coming off entry-level contracts and have little leverage in negotiations with the Isles. However, Dobson’s 51-point breakout performance last season should ensure at least a raise of $3.5 million annually, and that’s paying him well below market value.
I can see Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello offering Kadri $7 million per season. However, he’s taken leave of his senses if he’s pitching a seven-year deal to a center who turns 32 when the season opens in October.
LATEST CANADIENS RUMORS
MONTREAL HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy believes the Canadiens would be able to acquire Jesse Puljujarvi on the cheap if they remain patient. He pointed out the Habs were among the teams talking to the Edmonton Oilers about the 24-year-old right winger around the time of the 2022 NHL Draft on July 7-8.
Murphy cited Edmonton Journal columnist David Staples suggesting Puljujarvi could still become a salary-cap casualty for the Oilers despite signing a one-year, $3 million contract last month. Staples included the Canadiens among his list of potential trade destinations depending on what happens with Habs goalie Carey Price.
If the Canadiens remain interested in Puljujarvi, Murphy believes they should wait until the training camp period to pursue a deal. That’s when Oilers management will start feeling the pressure to become cap compliant, forcing them to accept a draft pick in the third to fifth round range.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens are pressed for cap space unless Price is once again sidelined by his surgically repaired knee. In that case, they could afford to pursue Puljujarvi or another player or two if they wish.
The Oilers’ signing of Puljujarvi suggests they want to give him another season to evaluate his play. That contract could also make him easier to move in the trade market.