NHL Rumors: Capitals, Penguins, Jets, Wild, Senators, More

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, there is news that Alex Ovechkin is representing himself during new contract talks with the Washington Capitals, while in Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin is going the traditional route to get a new deal done. Talks out of Winnipeg are that the Jets are very serious about trading Patrik Laine and in Minnesota, what is the asking price for defenseman Matt Dumba?

Ovechkin Repping His Own Interests

Pierre LeBrun confirmed during the most recent edition of Insider Trading on TSN that Alex Ovechkin is currently in talks with the Washington Capitals about an extension and the interesting part is that he’s in the room all by himself. He’s getting the deal done without representation.

Alex Ovechkin Washington Capitals
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

A year away from unrestricted free agency, LeBrun notes that Ovechkin doesn’t feel he needs an agent. He says:

“Well, I guess he’s got to do what his buddy Nick Backstrom did. Backstrom, as you may recall, signed his own contract, negotiated and signed his own extension back in January with the Capitals. Well, I’m told that Alex Ovechkin is representing himself. There’s no lawyer that he brought in. There’s no one else in the room. It’s just him – talking to the Caps front office right now. We’ll see if he gets a deal done this off-season. But there have been preliminary discussions about the future, about what a future contract would look like for him. And it’s him handling it by himself.”

Ovechkin is completing a 13-year, $124 million and the speculation is he might be looking at a three or four-year deal.

Related: Prospects News & Rumors: Trenin, Warsofsky & Sourdif

Penguins and Malkin Already Talking Extension

Even though they can’t technically sign a deal, the Pittsburgh Penguins and star Evgeni Malkin are already rumored to be having conversations about an extension. This comes as per sources that tell The Athletic’s Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe there is already mutual interest.

Malkin is still two years away from free agency, but the two sides are eyeing a three-year term, which would keep Malkin in Pittsburgh through the 2024-25 season. They write:

Speaking of next offseason, the Penguins are operating as though talks with Malkin’s camp will begin as soon as allowed by the current collective bargaining agreement, said a source close to ownership and Malkin. Both sides have expressed interest in a contract that would allow Malkin to retire as a Penguin — likely a three-year deal that would run concurrently with the final seasons of Crosby’s current contract.

source – ‘What we’re hearing as Penguins trade talks heat up’ – Rob Rossi and Josh Yohe – The Athletic – 09/22/2020

Related: Winnipeg Jets’ 50-Goal Scorers

Laine Trade Talks Getting “Serious”

When asked how serious the talks were out of Winnipeg that forward Patrik Laine might actually be traded, Darren Dreger responded, “Absolutely they’re serious, I mean Patrik Laine’s name on the trade bait board isn’t just eye candy or speculative.”

Patrik Laine Winnipeg Jets
Patrik Laine, Winnipeg Jets (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Laine has been in the rumor mill of late as the Jets look to improve their defense and fill other holes and talk that he might not fit the team’s long-term plans continue. Dreger notes, “The Winnipeg Jets know what their needs are. They need a No. 2 centrer and they need to bolster the top four on their blueline and Kevin Cheveldayoff the GM can’t solely rely on free agency.”

Interestingly, Dreger added that teams aren’t exactly lining up to take a shot at trading for the winger. While franchises know he can be a game-changer, there’s concern about their own team’s economics and Laine’s price tag now and in the future is worrying for many.

LeBrun said the teams that have shown the most interest are the Columbus Blue Jackets, Carolina Hurricanes and Montreal Canadiens, but neither the Canadiens nor the Hurricanes are willing to pay the price to acquire him.

Wild Willing to Take Less for Dumba?

Dreger also notes that the current asking price for defenseman Matt Dumba out of Minnesota is a higher first-round draft pick and a good, young NHL player. This has come down from the original asking price of a No. 1 center, or at worst a No. 2.

The Wild are believed to be willing to move Dumba, but Dreger notes only if the asking price is met. Otherwise, they’ll hang onto him and deal with moving him closer to the expansion draft if they need to.

Senators Buying Out Bobby Ryan

News broke Friday morning that the Ottawa Senators are buying out the contract of Bobby Ryan. Dreger tweets, “Expect the Ottawa Senators to place Bobby Ryan on waivers for the purpose of a buyout.”

We’ll have more as the news becomes available.

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