Jim Parsons The Hockey Writers
NHL Rumors: Coyotes, Blues, Maple Leafs, More
In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is talk that after getting penalized by the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes might be a target for some NHL teams. In St. Louis, Alex Pietrangelo says he’d like to stay with the Blues, and the Toronto Maple Leafs are unlikely to quality Evan Rodrigues who they picked up as part of the Kapseri Kapanen trade. Finally, what is the NHL planning to do in regard to potential players protests over social injustice issues?
Coyotes Dinged For Combine Violation, Teams to Target Them in Trade?
The NHL has handed down their punishment to the Arizona Coyotes for violating the league’s combine policy when it comes to testing players. After a hearing in which the Coyotes admitted to illegally testing players, the Coyotes will now have to forfeit a 2nd-round pick this year and 1st next year.
As per CapFriendly, the Coyotes are left without a 1st, 2nd or 3rd RD pick in the 2020 draft. They also do not have a 1st or 3rd in 2021 and if they re-sign Taylor Hall, they will not have a 1st or 2nd in 2021. This could mean they’ll be a target by NHL teams before the NHL Entry Draft as the other clubs know that Arizona will be trying to recoup some picks and may let some players go.
This may also include a team trading for Marrian Hossa’s rights to help alleviate some of the cap pressures that will be felt by teams this season.
Pietrangelo Wants to Re-Sign in St. Louis
According to Lou Korac of NHL.com, St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo is not looking to leave the team in free agency and would like to re-sign with the organization. He said he hasn’t thought about negotiations too much since returning from the NHL bubble but notes that his legacy in St. Louis is still important to him.
Meanwhile, Blues’ GM Doug Armstrong has said the franchise would like to keep their captain. He noted, “I think the first phase is going to be to find out if we can find common ground with Alex, and if we do then go to work to move other pieces.” Armstrong basically said the ball is in Pietrangelo’s court. If the team can’t afford what he’s asking, there’s no point in moving forward to make other plans. Armstrong added:
“It is really an either-or that if we can’t find common ground with Alex, then there’s really no need to do anything. And if we can find common ground with Alex, then there’s a need to do a lot.”
It doesn’t sound like the defenseman is going to come cheap. He hinted that he’s prepared to create a legacy anywhere and that it’s not impossible to make an impact outside of St. Louis.
Related: Blues’ 5 Most Critical Offseason Decisions
Maple Leafs Unlikely to Qualify Rodrigues
Luke Fox of Sportsnet writes that the Toronto Maple Leafs are not likely to qualify newly acquired 27-year old forward Evan Rodrigues after picking him up as part of the Kasperi Kapanen trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
To do so would require a $2 million qualifying offer and the Leafs are looking to clear salary cap space. That said, GM Kyle Dubas does plan on talking to his camp to see if another arrangement can be worked out.
Fox quotes Dubas who said:
Depth is something we really have to be careful about. That’s why it was important for us to have Rodrigues in the deal as well and begin to have a conversation with his representatives about the opportunity that may be here for him.”
NHL To Meet Today Regarding Possible Protests
According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA head Don Fehr are set to continue discussions today regarding any potential delay or postponements if and once players start to protest or walkout of playoff games.
It happened in the NBA on Wednesday when players refused to play games and all of the scheduled match-ups for Wednesday and Thursday were postponed. The NHL did not postpone games and there are some players who are upset about it.
The NHL has said players are free to express themselves in any way they feel they need to over the social injustice issues but that, at this point, they do not see postponing games as part of their league-wide plan. It’s unlikely that will changes seeing as the NBA voted to resume the playoffs after Wednesday’s pause.
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