NHL Rumor Mill – August 19, 2023
Should the Jets pursue Jonathan Toews? Are there potential trade targets at center for the Oilers? What’s the latest on Shane Pinto’s contract talks? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
SHOULD THE JETS PURSUE JONATHAN TOEWS?
WINNIPEG SUN: Paul Friesen pointed out the Jets are a question mark at center after trading Pierre-Luc Dubois to the Los Angeles Kings in June. He mused over whether they should consider attempting to sign Jonathan Toews.
An unrestricted free agent who spent his entire 15-season NHL career with the Chicago Blackhawks, the 35-year-old Toews is taking some time away from hockey for health reasons. If he regains his health and can play again, Friesen wondered if the Jets could convince the Winnipeg native to return home to finish his career.
Friesen acknowledged the odds are long and that Toews’ best years are behind him. Nevertheless, he thinks the future Hall-of-Famer could still fill a role.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Jets need more immediate help at center. They could look into it if Toews decides to stage a comeback but they could have their issues at center addressed by then.
POTENTIAL TRADE DEADLINE TARGETS FOR THE OILERS
THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently looked at possible targets at the trade deadline for the Edmonton Oilers to bolster their depth at center as they continue playing Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl together.
Anaheim Ducks center Adam Henrique is close to an ideal candidate. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and carries a cap hit of $5.825 million. That cap hit could be problematic but not insurmountable. He has strong puck possession numbers against all opponents.
Mitchell believes the Calgary Flames’ Elias Lindholm would be the perfect fit. However, the intense rivalry between the Oilers and Flames makes that move impossible.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: We don’t know how things will pan out at center for the Oilers this season. If the issue remains a problem by the trade deadline they could go shopping for help.
The Oilers could have competition for Henrique in the trade market as he’s still a well-known commodity. They could have better luck with someone such as Dickinson.
LATEST ON PINTO’S CONTRACT
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Earlier this week, Steve Warne examined the complicated contract situation of Shane Pinto. The 22-year-old Ottawa Senators center is a restricted free agent having completed his entry-level contract.
Warne noted the Senators have limited cap space following the additions of Vladimir Tarasenko, Joonas Korpisalo and Zack MacEwen and the re-signing of Travis Hamonic. Management must get creative and shed salary to free up cap space to re-sign Pinto.
How much salary to shed depends on a number of factors, including Pinto’s worth to the Senators now and over the next three years, as well as how much he wants and for how long.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators have around $772K in cap space to work with. Pinto’s base salary on his previous contract was $925K. Last season was his true NHL rookie campaign, scoring 20 goals and 35 points in 82 games.
Pinto’s in line for a substantial raise. If the Senators were to ink him to a short-term deal worth around $2.5 million, they would have to shed that much in order to sign him and be cap compliant when the regular season starts in October.