Rumor Roundup: Maple Leafs face cost-cutting selections, whereas Predators, Penguins have decisions to make

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With Mitch Marner due a brand new contract this summer season, the Maple Leafs should transfer cash round to re-sign the restricted free agent winger. In the meantime, early exits for the Predators and Penguins have led to questions of serious roster adjustments.Mitch Marner|Kevin Sousa/NHLI through Getty ImagesTrade hypothesis flourished within the Toronto media within the week following the Maple Leafs playoff elimination. With over $74.2 million invested in 17 gamers for 2019-20, the Leafs have lower than $9 million to work with ought to the wage cap attain the projected $83 million.
Inserting completely sidelined proper wing Nathan Horton on long-term injured reserve initially of the season will present $5.three million of reduction. Nevertheless, it gained’t go away sufficient to re-sign or exchange a number of key free brokers.
Topping the checklist is restricted free agent Mitch Marner. He’s finishing an entry-level contract and in line for a giant elevate following a 94-point efficiency. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston believes each roster choice is on maintain till the 21-year-old winger is re-signed. Johnston notes Leafs common supervisor Kyle Dubas hopes to keep away from one other prolonged contract standoff just like the one he had with William Nylander final yr. Dubas would like getting Marner underneath contract earlier than July 1, when he might obtain a proposal sheet from a rival membership.
Wingers Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson are additionally RFAs finishing entry-level offers. Each will search vital raises although they gained’t get as a lot as Marner.  In the meantime, defensemen Jake Gardiner and Ron Hainsey are as a consequence of turn into unrestricted free brokers on July 1. Whereas the 38-year-old Hainsey may settle for a pay minimize to remain in Toronto, Gardiner might get a long-term deal value $6-million yearly on the open market.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos believes Marner might search a proposal from Dubas corresponding to teammate Auston Matthews’ $11.6-million annual common worth. Even when he accepts lower than that his new contract will push the Leafs over the cap ceiling. If an settlement can’t be reached earlier than July 1, Kypreos’ colleague Elliotte Friedman doesn’t rule out the potential of a commerce. Something’s potential, after all, but it surely’s troublesome to see the Leafs placing their main scorer on the commerce block.
The extra doubtless choice is a few cost-cutting trades. The Toronto Solar’s Terry Koshan proposed dealing heart Nazem Kadri following his second straight playoff suspension. His affordable contract ($four.5-million cap hit via 2021-22) and feisty fashion might draw curiosity within the commerce market. Some pundits recommend shedding the ultimate season ($6.25-million cap hit) of growing old left winger Patrick Marleau’s contract, however that’s simpler mentioned than completed. He’s on a plus-35 deal so that they gained’t get cap reduction from a buyout. He additionally carries a full no-movement clause.
Dubas might think about purchasing Nylander however that might imply breaking his promise to the teenager to not transfer him whereas he was in cost. Contemplating the trouble it took to get Nylander re-signed, it’s uncertain Dubas goes down that street.
One other Summer season Deal in Retailer for Subban?
Three years in the past, the Nashville Predators surprised the hockey world by buying P.Okay. Subban from the Montreal Canadiens. Following the Predators first-round playoff exit final week, there’s hypothesis suggesting Subban may very well be dealing with one other summertime transfer.
Citing Nashville’s restricted salary-cap house and their want so as to add a scoring ahead, Matt Larkin final week proposed transferring Subban. The 29-year-old is the oldest of their top-four blueliners and carries a team-high $9-million annual common worth for 3 extra seasons. The Tennessean’s Paul Skrbina additionally puzzled if the previous Norris Trophy winner could be again, particularly after GM David Poile indicated adjustments will turning into this summer season. Subban, in the meantime, mentioned he desires to be a part of the answer.
Poile might think about purchasing Subban for a scorer. Cap Pleasant signifies the Predators didn’t choose up his no-movement clause following his acquisition from Montreal. Regardless of Subban’s hefty wage and flamboyant character, the all-star defenseman might fetch the Predators a big return.
May the Penguins Store Malkin?
Together with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin is a foundational participant for the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 32-year-old heart is a future Corridor of Famer who helped the Penguins win three Stanley Cups since 2009. Following the Penguins first-round exit by the hands of the New York Islanders, there’s speak of massive adjustments coming to their roster. That’s prompted conjecture over Malkin’s future in Pittsburgh.
The Pittsburgh Put up-Gazette’s Jason Mackey final week reported staff sources mentioned administration was contemplating all choices in need of buying and selling Crosby or goaltender Matt Murray. That might embrace transferring a star like Malkin, winger Phil Kessel or defenseman Kris Letang.
Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Assessment claims the Penguins weren’t pleased with Malkin’s total efficiency, his insubordinate habits towards head coach Mike Sullivan and unwillingness to alter his recreation. Madden acknowledged Malkin has a full no-movement clause and the Penguins won’t get the kind of return wanted for a fast turnaround.
Whereas it’s affordable to lift questions over Malkin’s play and his relationship with Sullivan, going the commerce route could be an excessive response. Extra doubtless commerce candidates are Kessel or defenseman Olli Maatta, who’ve been in Sullivan’s doghouse now and again.
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Tags: nashville predators, pittsburgh penguins, rumor roundup, toronto maple leafsAbout the AuthorLyle RichardsonLyle Richardson is a contributing author to THN. His Rumor Roundup has been a daily characteristic since 2007. He additionally runs the web site spectorshockey.web. A Canadiens fan married to a Leafs fan, Lyle’s Saturday nights throughout hockey season can get fairly entertaining at his dwelling.

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