We’re into the middle of July, but there are plenty of NHL rumours to talk about. Many of the major signings have already happened, but there are still plenty of players available. This is the time of year that the restricted free agents take centre stage. Arbitration hearings could be coming in the next few weeks, but many teams want to avoid that. Also, some new signings may be in play at the trade deadline in 2024. Today’s NHL rumours deals with the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers.
All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.
Rumour: The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta took a look at where teams are in RFA negotiations. We look at where new acquisition Alex Newhook and where talks are at with him.
Checking in on some of the RFAs out there, a few very loose updates: Talks are “positive” and progressing between #FueledByPhilly & Morgan Frost; #TexasHockey & Ty Dellandrea have just started discussions; and the #GoHabsGo & newcomer Alex Newhook haven’t begun yet.
— David Pagnotta (@TheFourthPeriod) July 3, 2023
Analysis: Pagnotta reports that talks between Habs management and Newhook have yet to start. However, don’t immediately assume the worst about Newhook and the Canadiens reaching an agreement. The St. John’s, Newfoundland native was acquired from the Colorado Avalanche before the start of the free agent period.
Newhook is not arbitration eligible until the next season, so Montreal and general manager Kent Hughes seemingly have the upper-hand. The 21-year-old is the only restricted free agent left for the team to sign. Newhook made over $908,000 on his entry-level contract and might be looking for a little more. Montreal will have $10.5 million of space if Carey Price gets put back onto long-term injured reserved.
The Canadiens have an exciting group of young players like Nick Suzuki and Cole Caufield. Adding Newhook gives head coach Martin St. Louis another young weapon to make into a great player. Newhook scored 14 goals last season, but may be in line for improvement if he clicks with his new coach.
Rumour: NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman said new signing Marc Staal could be available at the trade deadline if the Flyers struggle.
Briere said there’s no trade protection for Staal in contract: “If he feels that he has enough in the tank and we’re not making the playoffs, he would like to go somewhere else to make another Cup run, we will try to accommodate him.”
— Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) July 3, 2023
Analysis: Staal recently signed a one-year deal worth $1.1 million for the next season. The veteran blueliner said that he feels he can help a Stanley Cup contender no matter who it is. Flyers general manager Daniel Briere is starting to put his stamp on the club, and getting Staal is worth a shot. However, the Flyers might be a couple of years away from contending for a post-season spot.
Another predicted slow season could give Briere a chance to deal Staal to a contending team. Staal could be a cheap rental with his $1.1 million price tag. Briere may not fetch a gigantic return, but he could get a draft pick or something back. Gathering assets may still be the mindset for Briere for the next couple of seasons. Dealing Staal would be a good idea if Philadelphia falls by the wayside this season.
Main photo by: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
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