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NHL Rumors: Devils, Canadiens, Blues, Maple Leafs, More – The Hockey Writers

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In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that the New Jersey Devils might try to offload a player or two. In St. Louis, is there a way Alex Pietrangelo will accept a bridge deal with the Blues? And, is there an update on Max Domi’s situation in Montreal? Finally, are the Toronto Maple Leafs willing to move Frederik Andersen to land Matt Murray out of Pittsburgh?

Devils to Dump a Contract or Two

In his most recent mailbag, The Athletic’s Corey Masisak (subscription required) writes that the New Jersey Devils would like a number of their prospects to take on bigger roles with the team, thus they may look to unload a player or two during the offseason.

Miles Wood #44, New Jersey Devils – January 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Masisak names players in the system like Jesper Boqvist, Janne Kuokkanen, Joey Anderson, Nicholas Merkley, Nolan Foote and the potential of a 2020 lottery pick being ready for the NHL. That means trade candidates could be players like Miles Wood and Pavel Zacha. He also writes:

It will depend on a few factors. One is what happens with Kyle Palmieri and Nikita Gusev. If either or both sign new contracts for beyond next season, then spots in the top nine are going to be pretty limited.

source – ‘Devils mailbag: Expectations for Jack Hughes, best lines and arena music’ – Corey Masisak – The Athletic – 05/17-2020

Update on Max Domi and Canadiens

We reported the other day that the Montreal Canadiens and Max Domi haven’t talked an extension and that perhaps his desire to play center could create a situation where the Canadiens wonder about the long-term fit with the Habs.

Sportsnet’s Eric Engels acknowledged recent trade rumors but feels there are plenty of reasons why the Montreal Canadiens will retain Domi. Furthermore, Engels said he never heard from anyone that the Canadiens were considering trading him. It sounds like both sides want to get a deal done so it will a matter of waiting until salaries are more certain.

Related: Canadiens’ Retired Jerseys – the Story of a Famed Franchise

Pietrangelo Open to a Bridge Deal?

Alex Pietrangelo will be an expensive re-signing for the St. Louis Blues. With that in mind, some of the buzz around the rumor mill involve ways the Blues might clear up space to make any deal with their captain work.

Assuming Pietrangelo accepts a “hometown discount” of between $7.5 million to $8 million, Jim Thomas of St. Louis Today was asked about the possibility of Pietrangelo accepting a one-year bridge deal. He didn’t think it was likely, based mostly upon the fact that salaries might not rebound in a year’s time and the Blues would be right back to the same problem next summer.

Alex Pietrangelo St. Louis Blues
Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues, January 6, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But, Thomas did say there was one scenario where a bridge deal could be possible:

Even with a flat cap, there are still several teams that are in good enough cap shape for next season to make a run at Petro. Last time I checked CapFriendly, there were 18 teams with less than $70 million committed to the cap next season.

So maybe the agent checks the market, and if the waters are lukewarm at best, then maybe he thinks about a bridge deal.

source – ‘Quick Hits: JT on the Blues’ – Jim Thomas – St. Louis Post-Dispatch – 05/13/2020

Most believe the only way the Blues get out of this without much issue is if the NHL implements compliance buyouts. The belief is that this won’t happen.

Related: Every Stanley Cup Winner Since 1960

Matt Murray for Frederick Andersen Swap?

Luke Fox of Sportsnet suggests not to look too deep into any rumors that include the Maple Leafs trading Frederik Andersen and trying to pick up Matt Murray from Pittsburgh.

While Fox thinks the Penguins could trade Murray, the scribe ins’t convinced Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas sees Murray as a better goaltender and wonders what his future contract will look like. He believes it’s better for the Maple Leafs to push Andersen contract talks past this season and see what happens next summer.

As more news and rumors hit the NHL wire, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors

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Jets’ Blake Wheeler on racism: ‘You can’t be silent anymore’ – Sportsnet.ca

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Blake Wheeler says he regrets not speaking up sooner.

After posting a letter to Twitter over the weekend on the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that followed across the United States, the captain of the Winnipeg Jets said on a Tuesday video conference call with reporters that “you can’t be silent anymore.”

Wheeler said the death of Floyd last week, as well as the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, finally moved him to speak up on the issue of racism.

“I haven’t done a good enough job in the past,” Wheeler said. “I’ve felt this way for a long time.”

The Minnesota native’s weekend post included the phrase “America is not OK” in response to the killing Floyd. The 46-year-old black man died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

A number of other prominent NHL players, including San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, who is black, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who is Latino-American, Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, and Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, have posted similar messages to social media in recent days.

The NHL, NHL Players’ Association, NHL Coaches’ Association, the vast majority of teams, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have also posted to social media on the topic or shared players’ words from their official accounts.

Derek Chauvin, 44, and three other Minneapolis police officers were fired in the wake of Floyd’s death. Chauvin was subsequently charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Two white men were arrested last month for the February shooting death of Arbery, a black jogger, in Georgia, while the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March also attracted national attention in May.

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Wheeler on racism: 'You can't be silent anymore' – TSN

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Blake Wheeler says he regrets not speaking up sooner.

After posting a letter to Twitter over the weekend on the death of George Floyd and the mass protests that followed across the United States, the captain of the Winnipeg Jets said on a Tuesday video conference call with reporters that “you can’t be silent anymore.”

Wheeler said the death of Floyd last week, as well as the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery earlier this year, finally moved him to speak up on the issue of racism.

“I haven’t done a good enough job in the past,” Wheeler said. “I’ve felt this way for a long time.”

The Minnesota native’s weekend post included the phrase “America is not OK” in response to the killing Floyd. The 46-year-old black man died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes, even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

A number of other prominent NHL players, including San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane, who is black, Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, who is Latino-American, Dallas Stars forward Tyler Seguin, and Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos, have posted similar messages to social media in recent days.

The NHL, NHL Players’ Association, NHL Coaches’ Association, the vast majority of teams, Hockey Canada and USA Hockey have also posted to social media on the topic or shared players’ words from their official accounts.

Derek Chauvin, 44, and three other Minneapolis police officers were fired in the wake of Floyd’s death. Chauvin was subsequently charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Two white men were arrested last month for the February shooting death of Arbery, a black jogger, in Georgia, while the Louisville police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in her home in March also attracted national attention in May.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 2, 2020

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Hall of Famer Unseld dead at 74 – TSN

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Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Wes Unseld has died at the age of 74 after a bout of pneumonia, the Washington Wizards announced on Tuesday.

The Louisville native spent all 13 of his NBA seasons with the Baltimore/Washington Bullets franchise.

“He was the rock of our family – an extremely devoted patriarch who reveled in being with his wife, children, friends and teammates,” Unseld’s family said in a statement. “He was our hero and loved playing and working around the game of basketball for the cities of Baltimore and Washington D.C., cities he proudly wore on his chest for so many years.”

Unseld appeared in a Bullets/Wizards franchise record 984 games, averaging 10.8 points and 14.8 rebounds over his career.

Taken with the second pick of the 1968 NBA Draft out of Louisville, Unseld, a five-time All-Star, won both Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in 1969.

“We all admired Wes as the pillar of this franchise for so long, but it was his work off the court that will truly leave an impactful legacy and live on through the many people he touched and influenced throughout his life of basketball and beyond,” Wizards owner Ted Leonsis said in a statement.

Upon his retirement, Unseld joined the organization’s front office, becoming the team’s vice-president in 1981. In 1988, Unseld became the Bullets head coach, resigning in 1994.

He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1988 and to the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

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