NHL Free Agents, NHL Rumors

NHL Rumors: Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, and Signing RFAs Early

Penguins carrying nine defensemen

Dan Kingerski of Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins gain some salary cap relief by placing Bryan Rust on the LTIR, but it does drop them to 12 forwards.

The Penguins’ corresponding move was to call up defenseman John Marino, giving them nine defensemen on their roster.

Do the Penguins have a trade brewing? It would seem to make sense if they did.

Earlier this week a player told Pittsburgh Hockey Now said he was surprised at the lack of action on Monday because he was informed to expect something different.

Jets may have to talk Byfuglien out of retirement

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet 590 on the latest he’s hearing on what the Winnipeg Jets are going to do with their blue line, and on suspended defenseman Dustin Byfuglien.

“I still think they are going to wait until he makes his decision. I hate to be negative, but the word is that they have to talk him out of retiring.”

Signing RFAs early a new trend?

TSN: Samuel Girard, Clayton Keller, Thomas Chabot and Alex DeBrincat have already signed contract extensions. Pierre LeBrun on Insider Trading when asked if all these pending RFAs signing extensions early is becoming a trend.

“It is certainly, perhaps, the start of a trend. It’s interesting. When I’m talking to teams around the league, they don’t really want to be involved in what has just transpired on September 29 with all of the drama involving (Brayden) Point and (Mitch) Marner and (Matthew) Tkachuk and (Mikko) Rantanen, etc. And so there are teams trying to be aggressive.”

There still some big names out there like Mathew Brazal who LeBrun says will be the highest paid of the group if he signs a long-term deal.

“Now if you are J.P. Barry, the agent, I think you look at Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews, perhaps, as some contracts that you would like to at least get into the conversation. If you are Lou Lamoriello, I think you prefer the Mikko Rantanen deal. Here’s what I do know. Both sides are open, I think, to start that dialogue in the fall.”

LeBrun has been told that Pierre-Luc Dubois agent, Pat Brisson, is receptive to the idea of talking extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets this fall. believes the Blue Jackets would come early with a big number.

Victor Mete’s agent talked to the Montreal Canadiens on the night before training camp opened but it’s unlikely he’d sign in-season.

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