We’re another day closer to NHL free agency, which means another day of reports flying around the hockey world.
Here’s a roundup of signing season chatter as we head into Canada’s favourite long weekend (of rumours).
Talbot Alberta-bound (again)?
Cam Talbot is one of several goaltenders expected to be on the move soon and it looks like he could be Alberta-bound once again. According to reporter Andy Strickland, Talbot is expected to sign a one-year deal with the Calgary Flames.
Talbot made it clear he wants to be a starter again, and considering the current state of the Flyers’ crease — Carter Hart is coming off an impressive rookie campaign and veteran Brian Elliott just re-signed for another year — his future isn’t in Philly.
If Mike Smith’s tenure with the Flames comes to an end, a one-year deal with Talbot could make sense. It gives Talbot an opportunity to play well behind a strong defence in an attempt to revive his career, and the Flames get a low-risk veteran to split starts with David Rittich while promising prospect Jon Gillies continues to develop.
Another Flames note:
Are Pavelski and Dallas a match?
San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, whose age-defying stats are earning him plenty of interest, visited the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning this week. The Athletic‘s Craig Custance is reporting that the Stars “came off really well” during the meeting. The Stars need help in the scoring department, and with 38 goals in 2018-19, Pavelski is a prime candidate.
Rangers won’t participate in bidding war
Artemi Panarin has been linked to the New York Rangers for quite some time now. With so much demand for the talented winger, Panarin will likely prompt a bidding war among teams (the Rangers, New York Islanders and Florida Panthers remain the most obvious contenders for his services). If a bidding war does indeed take place, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported on Friday that the Rangers won’t be part of it.
“…we are told that if the Blueshirts extend Panarin an offer of seven years in the range of $11-11.25 million, they would not then increase their offer to match/exceed higher bids,” wrote Brooks.
Kessel situation in Pittsburgh sounds messy
According to The Athletic‘s Rob Rossi, who published an extensive report on the fraying (but fascinating) relationship between Phil Kessel and the Penguins, the team is “interested in dealing Kessel, preferably before the start of the free-agent period July 1.”
Rossi reports that previous attempts to trade the winger failed, and points out that Kessel holds plenty of power: He’s got a list of eight teams he’s willing to be dealt to, and can otherwise nix any deal proposed.
Phaneuf ready for fresh start
The 2018-19 season wasn’t too kind to Dion Phaneuf — then again, considering how poorly Los Angeles’ campaign went, it wasn’t exactly kind to many Kings players. His time out west was cut short earlier this month when he was bought out by the Kings and, at 34, he finds himself on the open market.
He told Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston that he won’t be defined by “one bad year.”
“I’m a bigger defenceman and I still think you see value in that,” he said. “Look at the team that won this year. They had a lot of big guys back there.”
Case in point:
Maroon garnering plenty of interest
Hometown hero Pat Maroon was one of the best stories of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with the St. Louis native coming up big in even bigger moments and playing an important role in helping the franchise win its first-ever Stanley Cup.
With the league leaning into a smaller, faster game, Maroon proved there’s still plenty of value in playing a heavier game — his upcoming contract should prove that, too.
Leafs want to keep Hainsey
Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas just signed RFAs Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson and still has his hands full trying to ink Mitch Marner to an extension. He’s now also trying to sort out the club’s plan on the blue line. Dubas said he wants to keep veteran Ron Hainsey, who spent the past two seasons in Toronto: