Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The 2022-23 regular season is just about done and players will be evaluated. Now, with the trade deadline past, the focus shifts toward deals that may go down this summer. What about free agency?
Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. Trade rumors/signings are over for now, but teams will be gearing up for the playoffs. In this Sunday edition of NHL Rumors, we will look at the Ottawa Senators, Arizona Coyotes, and Nashville Predators.
Ottawa Senators – Alex DeBrincat
Rumor: Per – Shawn Simpson – TSN. DeBrincat is a restricted free agent this summer with arbitration rights who’s also a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. His actual salary this season is $9 million, which is what it’ll cost the Senators to qualify his rights.
The Senators traded away three draft picks (including their 2022 first-rounder) to acquire DeBrincat last summer. General manager Pierre Dorion said last month that they’ll see how things go over the remainder of the season. In other words, he’s stalling. Teams called about DeBrincat before the March 3rd trade deadline, but Dorion had no interest in moving the 25-year-old left winger.
Although DeBrincat has tallied 0.82 points per game this season compared to 0.95 last season, he’s still a valuable commodity that they don’t want to lose. With him being a year away from unrestricted free agency, it would make sense for Dorian to sign him for a one-year deal and then look at a longer-term deal. With only 10 games left in the Sens season, DeBrincat only has 23 goals compared to 41 tallies last season.
Senators’ management may want to wait until the new owner is in place before opening contract negotiations with DeBrincat. Dorion wants to re-sign him before the June 30th deadline for qualifying offers. But his hands are tied until the new owner takes control. If that hasn’t happened before that deadline, Dorion might not have much choice but to qualify DeBrincat for next season and work on an extension beyond 2023-24. We’ll keep a close watch in our NHL rumors for developing news.
Arizona Coyotes – Trades on the Horizon?
Rumor: Per – Craig Morgan – GOPHNX.com. After the Jakob Chychrun trade request, will more core players want to move on?
Let’s face it, young developing players like Clayton Keller, Nick Schmaltz, Lawson Crouse, and Karel Vejmelka may be thinking of following suit like Chychrun. They really don’t like wasting their prime years with a team in a rebuild. You really can’t blame them. Take Keller for instance… he’s having a record year and is just one point from tying Keith Tkachuk‘s team record for points with 80. He now has an 11-game point streak and has eight goals in his last seven games. He’s just 24 years old and has a great future in the NHL. Don’t you think he’d love to be on a contender where he has a shot at winning a Cup? Of course.
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The same goes for Schmaltz who had been rumored to be moved before the trade deadline, but with his contract teams nixed the idea. During the offseason, more money will be available to clubs allowing them more freedom to work a deal. Schmaltz at 27, will be in his 30s when the Yotes get out of their rebuild. He is a good scorer when he can stay healthy. Schmaltz has collected 51 points in 54 games this season. He and Keller have been a great one-two punch on the offense.
Crouse is a big, physical forward who teams may also covet. He has totaled 22 goals, and 39 points this season and could be on other teams’ radar if they want to give GM Bill Armstrong what he wishes in return.
Vejmelka was also rumored to be moved, but it didn’t happen. With the recent emergence of Ivan Prosvetov, it could make Vejmelka available for teams looking for a reliable netminder. Prosvetov has a 3-0 record with a .952 save percentage and a 1.67 goals-against-average after being recalled from the Tucson Roadrunners of the AHL.
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Nashville Predators – 3 Players Who Could Be Moved This Summer
Rumor: Michael DeRosa – nhltraderumors.me. Incoming new GM Barry Trotz may already be making some changes to the Preds roster. Here are 3 players who could be gone.
- Matt Duchene – With his $8 million cap hit through 2025-26, he becomes a good candidate to be traded. He’s still a good top-six forward who has tallied 21 goals and 33 assists in 69 games this season. If Barry is intending to do a re-tool, he may start by seeing what he could get for the 32-year-old Duchene. He was made available before the trade deadline, but the team decided to keep him for now.
- Ryan Johansen – He too was on the trade block, but a season-ending injury changed those plans. If he can come back strong for next season, perhaps a team interested in him will retain some of his $8 million AAV through the 2024-25 season. He hasn’t had an especially good year with just 28 points in 55 games.
- Tyson Barrie – He earns $4.5 million through next season, and defensemen are always in demand. He is 31 years old and may not be in the long-term plans of the Nashville club. He has five points in 12 games since coming to the Predators in the Mattias Ekholm trade with the Edmonton Oilers.
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to catch our next article, and thanks for reading!
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