In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the New Jersey Devils signed Travis Zajac to allow him the chance to retire in a Devils’ jersey He’s not entirely done with the NHL as he’ll join the team in an executive role. Tyler Ennis has signed a PTO with the Ottawa Senators. Does he have a shot at making their roster? The Boston Bruins might have to slow-play Charlie Coyle’s move to the second-line center position and are the Toronto Maple Leafs thinking about making a trade with so many forwards competing for roster spots?
Zajac Retires From NHL, Will Join Devils as Consultant
He was the last player of the group of New York Islanders players that needed to sign a new contract, but with the expectation Zajac might remain with New York, he’s instead headed back to New Jersey where he’s signed a one-day contract so that he can retire from the NHL as a member of the Devils’ organization.
Zajac won’t be leaving the NHL for good. The Devils announced that he will remain with the organization in an on/off-ice player development and consulting role, while also working to grow the club’s youth hockey initiatives.
Zajac finishes his playing career with an impressive 1037 games played. He amassed a total of 203 goals and 552 points.
Senators Sign Tyler Ennis to PTO
The Ottawa Senators are bringing back a former player as Tyler Ennis has signed a PTO this offseason. The Edmonton, AB native was skating with his former Oilers teammates but a deal was not offered by GM Ken Holland. As a result, Ennis will go back to the Senators and try to make a roster that he’s quite familiar with.
Ennis spent 61 games during the 2019-20 campaign with the team and as per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, “the club likes what he brings to the table.” Garrioch adds:
It’s worth it for the club to take a chance on Ennis in camp. Dorion and coach D.J. Smith along with the rest of the staff all liked him during his short stint here and it’s fair to say he’s a low-maintenance player. Ennis is the type of guy who can play anywhere from the first line if there’s injuries to the fourth line.
source – ‘GARRIOCH: Tyler Ennis will return to familiar territory to try to earn a contract with the Ottawa Senators’ – Burce Garrioch – Ottawa Sun – 09/19/2021
Coyle Dealing with Injury for Bruins
According to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, Coyle jumping into the second-line center role in the absence of David Krejci might be easier said than done. Apparently, he could be limited at the start of training camp thanks to an injury that has carried over from last season.
Coyle underwent knee surgery in July but will be asked to play a more pivotal role alongside Taylor Hall this season. The Bruins are relying on him to step up and if he’s not 100%, it could pose issues for them offensively.
Maple Leafs to Make a Proactive Trade?
While discussing the arrival of Nikita Gusev and just how many bubble forwards have one-way deals for the Maple Leafs, James Mirtle of The Athletic writes, “The Leafs are obviously not going to carry 15 forwards this season — nor can they. The 23-man roster above is $1.4 million over the salary cap.” He notes to expect roster changes in the coming days or perhaps a trade.
Mirtle writes the roster is jammed up and instead of potentially losing a player via waivers, the Leafs try to be proactive. He notes:
Maybe that’s fine if you lose someone to Buffalo or Arizona on waivers. Maybe you can afford to sacrifice a Pierre Engvall for nothing if you have to, freeing up nearly enough salary to accommodate two league minimum payroll players. … It would probably make more sense to deal him in a trade rather than using waivers, assuming some of the NHL’s bottom feeders have interest in the 6-foot-5 skating giraffe.
source – ‘Mirtle: Will the Maple Leafs have to think trade to ease their cap and roster logjam?’ James Mirtle – The Athletic – 09/20/2021
If a trade is not made, the most likely candidates are forward Kurtis Gabriel and center Adam Brooks.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”