In today’s NHL rumors, expect roster changes for the Vegas Golden Knights over the course of the summer. Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers face more salary cap issues for next season, and the Ottawa Senators have let certain players know they won’t be returning.
Patrik Laine believes a long-term deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets will materialize and that there should be a commercial interest in the Montreal Canadiens’ Jeff Petry.
Golden Knights don’t just blame injuries
While most insiders believe the Vegas Golden Knights would have been a playoff team this season without a string of injuries, GM Kelly McCrimmon doesn’t accept injuries as an excuse. His recent comments suggest he look at the roster and possibly make changes.
He noted that for the first time in franchise history, it wasn’t cut:
I’m very disappointed that we didn’t make the playoffs. I firmly believe that we could and should have it. As realistic as I am about the impact of injuries on our season, I think we had it within our grasp to be a playoff team. We lost a few games to teams we shouldn’t lose to.
The problem for McCrimmon is the salary cap, which is set at $82.5 million for next season. Vegas currently has 18 players under NHL contracts totaling $83 million against the cap. The only way to make real change is to disembark the players. This means trades are likely.
One hoping to stay is coach Pete DeBoer. He said he knew changes could happen, but Make clear he hopes to stay with the team.
Performance bonuses don’t help oilers
Thanks to $896,000 performance bonuses due for defenseman Evan Bouchard and forward Ryan McLeod, the Oilers will have to work even harder to find a way to sign all of their outstanding free agents.
The Oilers ended the season in LTIR, so their bonuses will count towards the next season’s cap and negate most of the additional $1 million cap increase. The Oilers have about $12 million in cap space left (which sounds like a fair amount) but need to find deals for upcoming UFAs: Kris Russell, Brett Kulak and Evander Kane. The team also needs to consider deals for upcoming RFAs in Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto – both of whom can increase their value with a strong playoff performance.
A few senators are not returning
acc TSN1200: Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion has previously told forwards Chris Tierney and Tyler Ennis they will not be re-signed by the organization later this summer. They have also told upcoming RFA defender Victor Mete that he will not qualify and will become UFA.
Related: Canadiens look radically different in 2022-23 with or without a prize
The senators are rumored to be pursuing some bigger names to speed up their rebuild and the organization believes they are closer to the competition.
Laine wants to stay in Columbus
BlueJackets.com’s Jeff Svoboda writes that Patrik Laine scored 26 goals and 56 points in 56 games last season, despite injuries and serious personal matters that could have been, and likely were, a distraction. He’s a pending RFA and will need a new deal with the Blue Jackets, which he doesn’t see as a problem.
“They expressed that they want me here, I said the same thing. So you know the feeling is mutual. Just figure out the term and the money and all that and I think we should be fine. Laine spoke about how he loves things about Columbus that he really connects with the players on the team.
Canadians almost traded Petry
Montreal Hockey Now’s Marco D’Amico reports that Canadiens GM Kent Hughes claims he was in talks with multiple teams to trade defenseman Jeff Petry ahead of this latest NHL trade date. Hughes indicated he was close to moving Petry, but a deal never materialized. With his improved game late in the season, interest in the veteran defenseman should pick up in the offseason, allowing the Canadians to move him without including a draft pick or prospect in the deal.
Jim Parsons is a senior freelance THW writer, part-time journalist, and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps, and breathes NHL news and rumor while also writing features about the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source at The Hockey Writers for more than five years, but beyond that, his mission is to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL gossip and tech talk. Jim is a daily must-read for readers who want to be “in the loop.”
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