In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Ottawa Senators get Brady Tkachuk locked up to a long-term deal, while the news out of Boston is that the Bruins are on the verge of signing Charlie McAvoy to a massive extension. In New York, Vitali Kravtsov has told other teams what he’s willing to do if they trade for him and in Philadelphia, the Flyers and Claude Giroux are going to wait on talking extension. Finally, the Chicago Blackhawks scratched Dylan Strome, furthering rumors he could be on the move.
Brady Tkachuk Deal is Done
We open today’s rumors post with a little news as Tkachuk has finally come to an agreement with the Ottawa Senators. It’s a seven-year deal worth $57.5 million and it’s a good chunk of change for a player who has yet to eclipse the 50 point marker in a single season.
Tkachuk was the lone remaining RFA who had not signed and while the Senators didn’t get the max eight-year deal they might have liked, they did get him to sign a seven-year extension at a number that isn’t much higher than what his value should be as he rounds out his defensive game and ups his finishing ability.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports: “The Senators brass met with agents Don Meehan and Craig Oster on Tuesday in Belleville…a face to face meeting encouraged by Dorion that helped move the negotiation forward.”
McAvoy on Verge of Signing “Big” Deal
According to Elliotte Friedman, the Bruins’ defenseman is close to inking a very big deal that will keep him in Boston long term. Friedman wasn’t willing to give a definitive number per season, but when asked if it could be double digits, he believed it would be close.
Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty quotes Cam Neely who noted this week that he believed the two sides were close as well and said, “Hopes are we see something here in short order.” He added that he got the impression McAvoy would be open to finishing his career as a member of the Bruins. Those comments suggest an eight-year deal is the most likely.
Kravtsov Attracting Attention Around the NHL
According to Darren Dreger of TSN, there is a lot of interest around the NHL in prospect and disgruntled Rangers’ player Vitali Kravtsov. Dreger tweets, “I’m told he’s willing to play in the AHL with another NHL club and would consider a 1-year agreement around his qualifying offer for next season.” He adds, “However, the NYR are expecting the potential of top 6 talent in return via trade.”
It’s an interesting situation unfolding in New York. One on hand, it appears the Rangers don’t think he’s worth putting in the lineup, but they want top-six talent for him in return, while not having much leverage in any trade since it’s now known league-wide that Kravtsov wants out. On the other hand, this might just be a player upset about being sent to the AHL, yet he’s willing to go to another NHL team’s AHL affiliation?
It almost suggests neither side is being all that understanding here and this is a divorce that just needs to happen.
Still with the Rangers, retired goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has landed a new job close to the organization and will join MSG Network’s Rangers coverage this year. He will be in the studio, joining host John Giannone and analyst Steve Valiquette. While he’ll only be a part of the team for around 20 games, it will be nice to have him contributing a wealth of knowledge to the games and you can bet he might take the title as best-dressed analyst in the game.
Flyers and Giroux to Hold Off on Contract Talks
According to Pierre LeBrun, the Flyers and Giroux have mutually agreed to cease conversations about a contract extension until after the 2021-22 NHL season. This, of course, will lead to trade speculation throughout the season, but how loud that chatter gets may depend on how strong a season both the Flyers have and Giroux personally has.
Somewhat under the radar entering the season but sources say the Flyers and captain Claude Giroux mutually agreed this offseason they would wait until after this season to address his future. He’s UFA July 13. So no extension in the works at this point.
source – “LeBrun: Why the season should start earlier, Dylan Strome trade talks and Johnny Gaudreau’s future’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 10/13/2021
Dylan Strome a Healthy Scratch for Chicago
In the Blackhawks’ opener against the Colorado Avalanche, Strome did not play, furthering rumors that he could be on the move. There’s been talk of Strome being available for trade and that he didn’t make the opening night roster suggests the team either doesn’t have a spot for him or is holding him out to avoid a potential injury.
When asked, both the head coach and GM said that his sitting was simply a matter of where the roster is at and how deep the forward group is. Strome is still very much a part of the team. Ben Pope quotes Stan Bowman who said:
“We’re trying to build not just a purely skilled team. Those guys are very skilled, Gaudette and Strome both. They did well. There’s nothing wrong with the way they played. But where we are tonight, they’re not in the lineup but they’re still with us, they’re still part of the team, and all you can ask them to do is keep being ready whent their opportunity comes.
We certainly have more depth in the middle, so from that perspective, maybe that’s been harder for Dylan just because he’s a natural center. We have Tyler Johnson and Jonathan and Kirby, none of those guys were here last year… So I think it’s probably more circumstantial than anything.”
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.”