NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Red Wings, Predators, Rangers

The Hockey Writers

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Toronto Maple Leafs are believed to be the frontrunners for the services of Ryan Reaves. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes are expected to be big players. The Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators are up to something and the New York Rangers are expected to sign goaltender Jonathan Quick when free agency opens on Saturday morning.

Maple Leafs To Sign Ryan Reaves, Plus Other Buzz

David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period tweets, “Expecting a multi-year deal for Reaves and the Maple Leafs tomorrow.” Meanwhile, Elliotte Friedman wrote in a late-night post-prediction piece: “With Ryan Reaves turning down Minnesota, all eyes are on Toronto.” Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted, “No question he’s high on their list. We discussed this on Wednesday on TSN. Big personality and obvious toughness.”

Ryan Reaves Minnesota Wild
Ryan Reaves, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

In other Maple Leafs’ news, Friedman writes:

They are believed to be ready to pitch Bertuzzi (a very hot commodity) and at least one defenceman, although all of this will take some gymnastics. Auston Matthews won’t be signed by July 1, but every expectation is he will by the start of the season. The number is going to look big when it’s signed, but will shrink as the cap grows. William Nylander won’t be done Saturday either, but everyone is trying to remain calm and not overreact. 

Carolina Hurricanes: An Eye on the Future and Potential Player Moves

Friedman also noted that the Hurricanes are a team to keep a close watch on. With plans for big moves in the works, including a contract extension for Sebastian Aho, talks of an eight-year, $9.5 million deal for Aho are circulating. While Aho’s extension is a priority, the Hurricanes also have other key decisions to make.

Related: 2023 NHL Free Agency Tracker

Their goaltending situation needs to be sorted out, and the future of defenseman Brett Pesce remains uncertain. Although negotiations can be unpredictable, recent rumors suggest that Pesce may opt to play out his final contracted season and assess his options from there. Friedman notes it wouldn’t come as a surprise if names like Tyler Bertuzzi, Vladimir Tarasenko, Dmitry Orlov, or even Blake Wheeler, who has previous experience playing for Hurricanes GM Don Waddell in Atlanta, were on their radar.

Click to read all of The Hockey Writers’ 2023 NHL Free Agency coverage

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The Hurricanes possess the flexibility and ingenuity to make enticing offers. They can leverage their cap space to provide higher short-term contracts, such as a hypothetical two-year, $6.5 million deal for Orlov.

Red Wings Linked to O’Reilly and Compher, But Not DeBrincat

Friedman thinks the Red Wings are up to something. Ryan O’Reilly’s future has generated significant interest from multiple teams, Detroit among them. The Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, and Vancouver Canucks have also been linked to the talented center. JT Compher has attracted interest from teams such as Detroit and Nashville.

There’s also the news that Steve Yzerman chose to buy out Kailer Yamamoto, which seemed a bit odd considering their abundance of cap room. This has sparked speculation about their plans, including the possibility of pursuing Alex Killorn.

Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings General Manager
Steve Yzerman, Detroit Red Wings General Manager (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

One player it sounds like the team is no longer in the running for is Alex DeBrincat. Talks have hit a roadblock, leaving the status of the talented winger uncertain.

Predators Must Be Planning Something

With the buyout of Matt Duchene, Friedman wonders if Barry Trotz and the Nashville Predators are up to something. He notes in his latest 32 Thoughts podcast: “I’m really curious to see what Nashville is going to do down the middle, I think they have some interest potentially in a guy like Compher too. I think Nashville is going to get centers, whether it’s trade or free agency, I think they’re going to do something.”

Jonathan Quick to Sign with the Rangers

According to a report by Kevin Weekes, goaltender Jonathan Quick is expected to join the New York Rangers as the free agency period opens. While Quick may not be the dominant netminder he once was, he brings a wealth of experience and could serve as a reliable backup to the Rangers’ superstar goaltender, Igor Shesterkin.

Quick’s arrival would fill the void left by Jaroslav Halak, who is set to become a free agent after a one-year stint with the team. Although there were initial discussions about a potential contract extension between the Rangers and Halak, it appears that negotiations have faltered. As a result, the Rangers turned their attention to Quick, recognizing the value he can bring to their young and talented roster.

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