As the 2021-22 NHL season quickly approaches, there are always NHL rumors to discuss. Here are just a few we chose to consider.
Chicago Blackhawks – Marc Andre-Fleury
Rumor: There is no doubt that every NHL fan appreciates the contribution that Marc Andre-Fleury has made in his 17-year NHL career. His surprise trade to the Chicago Blackhawks shook the NHL world. At first, Marc-Andre Fleury made it known that he may retire rather than report to the Blackhawks.
He reconsidered and now plans to play in Chicago. Yet, his last year of his three-year $21 million deal is here. Does he plan to retire after this next upcoming season? He’s still unsure if he will continue to play or hang it up.
Analysis: He is a Vezina Trophy winner and if the Blackhawks have him for one more year, that will be a huge plus for the team. His 26-10 record with a .928 save percentage and a stunning 1.98 goals-against-average speaks for itself.
In Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts podcast, Fleury gets interviewed and it’s quite a listen. Fleury will have a decision to make and it may depend on his performance. Even at his soon to be age of 37, he performs; and if he does retire, it will be a loss to all of hockey. Get the latest NHL rumors right here!
Edmonton Oilers – Kailer Yamamoto or Jesse Puljujarvi
Rumor: The Oilers managed to sign both Kailer Yamamoto and Jesse Puljujarvi to $1.175 million one-year deals. So, what happens if they both play well this next season and the decision to re-sign them becomes a choice between the two talented young players? David Staples of the Edmonton Journal pitches in his thoughts.
Analysis: Kailer Yamamoto had a less than inspiring year last season. After showing some amazing numbers the prior year where he added 26 points including 11 goals in just 27 games, last year was not memorable for him. With just 21 points in 52 games, his production suffered dearly.
Even if he does better this upcoming season, the Edmonton Oilers will have little cap space for years to come, what with the flat cap (it may go up $1M next year) and huge long-term contracts for Connor McDavid, Darnell Nurse, Leon Draisaitl, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Zach Hyman. Lots of talent and not enough cap space.
Jesse Puljujarvi signed for the identical amount and term, so will he be the odd man out to grab some treasured cap space? He only gathered 25 points with 15 goals in 55 games. He is a lot bigger than Yamamoto coming in at 6′-4″, 201 pounds. Yamamoto is only 5′-8″, 153 pounds soaking wet.
It seems there will be a battle between these two young players and there may only be room for one of them on the roster. Do you smell a trade about the time the trade deadline rolls around? Watch here for further developments on NHL rumors.
NHL Rumors: Vancouver Canucks – Quinn Hughes, Elias Pettersson
Rumor: As training camp begins in about a week, two of the Vancouver Canucks anchor players remain unsigned. What will general manager Jim Benning do? Benning indicated that “there’s no angry sides” as they continue to talk everyday or so. Vancouver has $10.7 million cap room to potentially sign one of the two to a long-term deal. It seems that short-term contracts for both are the current plan. Benning wants to have both stars signed before training camp starts so agreements will need to be in place soon for that to happen. Stay tuned.
Analysis: There’s no doubt that both of these excellent players deserve long-term deals. Like many teams the Canucks are strapped for cap space. While that may improve next season by a $1 million increase in the cap limit, that’s not enough to get both players signed.
That’s why short-term deals seem to be favored here. Both players have played their hearts out. Quinn Hughes has had 11 goals, and 83 assists in 124 games good for 94 points the last two seasons as a defenseman! It doesn’t get much better than that.
Elias Pettersson had 10 goals and 11 assists in just 26 games due to injuries. His previous season with 66 points and 27 goals in 68 games shows his potential when healthy.
It seems that when Benning traded for Oliver Ekman-Larsson and his big contract of $8.25 million until 2026-27 he neglected how to pay his two rising star players. Add in that Benning awarded newly arrived forward Conor Garland a five-year $24.75 million deal. Of course he did shed himself of $12 million in that OEL/Garland trade.
Something will need to give as to how Benning can sign two players he really needs to keep. A prospective trade or maybe a buyout may be in order. Championship Sports Media will be right here to report any NHL rumors.
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