Welcome to another edition of Full Press Hockey’s NHL Rumors! The NHL Draft is history, and every team has high hopes for the prospects they added. Now, with free agency moves mostly done, rumors are still around. Clubs are always working to improve their rosters for next season. Some teams are having difficulty creating enough cap space to make moves. Others are experiencing severe injuries to star players. In this Wednesday edition of NHL Rumors, we will take a look at the San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens, and the Washington Capitals.
San Jose Sharks – James Reimer
Rumor: Per – Sheng Peng – nbcsports.com. With Kaapo Kahkonen expected to become their starter in the coming season, James Reimer or Adin Hill could be the odd man out.
Reimer, 34 had a decent 2021-22 season with the Sharks. He went 19-17-10 with a .911 save percentage and a 2.90 goals-against-average. He would make a good backup either for the Vegas Golden Knights, who lost starter Robin Lehner for the season, or the Arizona Coyotes who still need a backup for Karel Vejmelka.
Reimer has a contract through the 2022-23 season good for $2.25 million with a five-team no-trade list. The word is it will merely take a second-round pick to secure Reimer’s services. The advantage here has to be with the Coyotes who hold three second-rounders in 2024, and one in 2023. The Golden Knights traded their 2023 second-rounder in the Jack Eichel deal. Will Reimer be headed to the desert? Stay with Full Press Hockey’s NHL rumors to find out.
Montreal Canadiens – Evgenii Dadonov
Rumor: Per – Marco D’Amico – montrealhockeynow.com. Canadiens have an opportunity to turn Dadonov valuable trade chip.
After trading Shea Weber for Dadonov, general manager Kent Hughes did not rule out possibly flipping the Russian winger if the right offer was presented to him. Hughes has stated that he wants to work on alleviating the Habs salary cap issues. They presently sit with just $248,334 in cap space, and something needs to be done to fix that. Dadonov has a $5 million cap hit and that could help Hughes if he were able to move Dadonov’s contract.
If he were to stay a while, he could line up well with Cole Caufield and Nick Suzuki and give the youngsters some veteran guidance for the Canadiens. If he does play well, that will give Hughes some motivation to move him before the trade deadline for additional picks.
What is interesting with Dadonov is that, after the Golden Knights failed to trade him to the Anaheim Ducks in what was a very public oversight on their part, Dadonov’s offensive numbers took off in a very impressive way. In the 15 games he played from the trade deadline on March 21 up until the end of the season, Dadonov put up five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in just 15 games. That kind of production is hard to trade away, so we will need to see what Hughes decides to do with Dadonov. Keep him, or trade him? Tough choice.
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Washington Capitals – Lars Eller
Rumor: Per – Sammy Silber – washingtonhockeynow.com. Despite center surplus, Capitals should hold on to Eller — for now.
Eller has one year left on his $3.5 million contract and managed just 31 points last season. It may be that inconsistency that gets him traded. Another factor could be the oncoming progression of third-line candidate Connor McMichael. Salary cap wise the Caps will be facing what to do when Nicklas Backstrom ($9.2M) and Tom Wilson ($5.167M) come off long-term injury reserve later this season.
Silber, however, believes the Capitals should be patient, cautioning against trading Eller too soon. He remains an experienced defensive forward, especially on the penalty kill, a role McMichael has yet to take on in the NHL. It seems that will be the best option at this point with so many unknowns. Will McMichael challenge Eller for that third-line spot? He only has a $863,333 contract outlay and that saves the team some cap space it will sorely need later on. Plus, McMichael’s stats compared to Eller is something to consider. His expected goals-for percentage of 56.45 led all skaters with at least 40 games played, while Eller ranked fourth-to-last among forwards (48.49).
The more experienced Eller can be effective on the backcheck and can also engage physically, and he finished last season with 95 hits, whereas McMichael struggled at times getting back, winning battles, and finishing checks.
Let the battle begin!
That concludes this edition of NHL rumors. Be sure to check out our next article, and thanks for reading!
The post NHL Rumors: San Jose Sharks, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Capitals appeared first on Full Press Hockey.
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