NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Avalanche, Penguins, Wild

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas says he’s cleared up enough cap space to chase a goaltender. Meanwhile, goalies are front-page news on day two of the NHL Entry Draft. Could the Montreal Canadiens move Jake Allen? Have the Avalanche made Darcy Kuemper’s rights available?

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The Pittsburgh Penguins are still stuck on term with Evgeni Malkin and the Minnesota Wild spoke to Cam Talbot about signing Fleury and there might be trouble in paradise.

Dubas Making a Play for a Goalie

After clearing cap space with the Petr Mrazek trade to Chicago, Dubas told the media that he will look at both the UFA market and trade options. He didn’t rule out revisiting a conversation about an extension with Jack Campbell. He plans to meet with Campbell in the next couple of days.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov)

What he said was important was having the cap flexibility to take a run at any goaltender he wanted. The only issue now for Dubas is that goaltenders moved around a lot on Friday morning. Vitek Vanecek was traded to the New Jersey Devils and Ville Husso was traded to Detroit and then immediately signed to a three-year contract extension worth $4.75 million per season. There is really only Campbell and Darcy Kuemper left available and speculation is Joe Sakic has made Kuemper’s rights available in a trade today.

Are Canadiens Trying to Trade Jake Allen?

One goalie the Maple Leafs might want to consider is Jake Allen from the Montreal Canadiens. Reports suggest the veteran is drawing significant interest in the market. Kevin Weekes is reporting that the Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres are interested.

Related: Canucks News & Rumors: Miller, Horvat, Myers & More

TSN’s Darren Dreger is reporting, “Always leave room for possibilities, however, Canadiens source says it’s unlikely they move Jake Allen with Carey Price uncertainty. Also suggests, that while Montreal wants to move money, a better deal for [Jeff] Petry may happen after the Draft.”

Avalanche and Nichushkin Close

As per Andy Strickland: “The Colorado Avalanche and Valeri Nichushkin are closing in on an extension. Still some work to get down before deal is completed.” Nichushkin was a priority for the Avs and they were clearly ready to free up some money to reward him for a strong season.

Malkin and Penguins Stuck on Term

After signing defenseman Kris Letang to a six-year extension, the big item on Ron Hextall’s to-do list in Pittsburgh is to get Evgeni Malkin signed to a deal as well. He’s told media they are still working towards something but reports are the two sides are stuck on term. Malkin wants more than three years and the Penguins don’t seem willing to go there.

Evgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins
Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Earlier this week sources said the Penguins offered Malk two years at $6 million per. Malkin may be okay with the $6 million but sources say for a four-year deal. Rob Rossi of The Athletic writes:

The Penguins’ offer to Malkin before talks Tuesday was for two years at a $6 million annual salary, multiple league sources and a team source said. Malkin could be willing to take such a drastic salary reduction, but only if the Penguins sign him for four years, a league source and a team source said.

source – ‘The latest on Letang, Malkin contracts: What Ron Hextall said about Penguins’ stars’ – Rob Rossi – The Athletic – 07/06/2022

When Letang was asked about Malkin’s situation, he said, “he texted me today – he was really happy. I kind of just said, ‘I hope you get this done soon so we keep it all together.’”

Cam Talbot May Want Out of Minnesota

After signing Marc-Andre Fleury, GM Bill Guerin said he figured Cam Talbot would be happy sharing the net and that he would talk to his goalie the next day. According to Talbot’s agent George Bazos, the two sides met during the third round here. Bazos said, “We both stated our positions.” He added, “Billy has a lot to think about.”

If the Wild didn’t check to see how Talbot would feel about Fleury being pegged an important piece, it’s possible he may not feel what the organization does about splitting the duties. Michael Russo of The Athletic tweeted, “As I reported, Cam Talbot said after the season he doesn’t want to be traded. But there clearly were hurt feelings and this thing is coming to a head.”