Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers, Filip Gustavsson, Logan Cooley, Matt Murray, Minnesota Wild, NHL Rumors, Ryan McLeod, Toronto Maple Leafs

NHL Rumors: Coyotes, Oilers, Wild, Maple Leafs

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Arizona Coyotes are getting potentially good news as prospect Logan Cooley sounds set to sign an entry-level deal with the team. Meanwhile, one insider offered an update on the contract status of the Edmonton Oilers’ Ryan McLeod. Where is the Minnesota Wild at with some of their pending contracts? Finally, is there any concern that moving Matt Murray to LTIR is cap circumvention?

Logan Cooley Likely to Sign ELC with the Coyotes

Reports out of Minnesota are that Logan Cooley may be on the verge of signing an entry-level contract with the Arizona Coyotes, as he is apparently not returning to college. Sources, including Craig Morgan, suggest there is momentum building towards Cooley’s transition to the professional ranks.

Logan Cooley University of Minnesota
Logan Cooley, University of Minnesota (University of Minnesota Athletics)

Initially, Cooley had stated his intention to continue playing for Minnesota in his sophomore season, but he also kept the possibility of going pro open. If this indeed materializes, it would be a significant development for the Coyotes, securing their top prospect.

Related: NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs, Bruins, Kings, Flyers

A strong indication of an imminent deal came from the Coyotes’ Twitter PR team, teasing the fans with, “It’s sunny with a chance of 92 today. Don’t you love when it starts cooling down ‘here?’” Elliotte Friedman added that while nothing is finalized yet, it’s trending in that direction, and it would be surprising if Cooley does not sign with the Coyotes within the next 24-48 hours.

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In the last season, Cooley demonstrated his prowess with an impressive 22 goals and 60 points in just 38 games. Moreover, at the World Junior Championships, he showcased his skills further, tallying seven goals and 14 points across seven games.

More on Oilers Ryan McLeod Contract Negotiations

Frank Seravalli from Daily Faceoff recently suggested during the most recent DFO Rundown podcast that the Edmonton Oilers might be the most significant losers following the arbitration award given to Philipp Kurashev. As mentioned in our news and rumors post a couple of days ago, the Chicago forward secured a $2.25 million per season deal and that’s a real comparable for McLeod.

Ryan McLeod Edmonton Oilers
Ryan McLeod, Edmonton Oilers (Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Seravalli speculates that the Oilers were likely aiming to sign McLeod for slightly under $2 million, but that might be challenging now given Kurashev’s higher contract. The Oilers have maintained that they think they can get this deal done, but it looks more and more like this might be headed toward a hearing. Jason Gregor said, “I had heard that McLeod negotiations were pretty close.” Seravalli responded, “I don’t think that’s accurate.”

Gustavsson Wants Short-Term Deal, Team Firm on Offer for Calen Addison

As mentioned a couple of days ago, according to The Athletic’s Joe Smith and Shayna Goldman, the Minnesota Wild are likely to see Filip Gustavsson to go his arbitration hearing on August 4. GM Bill Guerin doesn’t foresee that being an issue in terms of the long-term relationship that will exist between the player and the team.

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The article notes that the Wild have been trying to get Gustavsson re-signed all summer, and hoped for a deal around $3.1 million per season. But, it doesn’t seem that the sides are close and Gustavsson may be pushing for something short-term. The article writes:

If Gustavsson did want to go long-term, he would be selling himself short on salary, especially with the current cap situation. Instead, the move is probably to bet on himself with a shorter contract that allows him to show consistent results ahead of his next payday. Still, his ask on a short-term deal is clearly in a different range than the team’s offer.

source – ‘Filip Gustavsson’s arbitration with Wild: Breaking down the comparables and each side’s case’ – Joe Smith and Shayna Goldman – The Athletic – 07/26/2023

Meanwhile, Guerin is also trying to get defenseman Calen Addison’s contract locked in at somewhere slightly above the league minimum. The team extended a qualifying offer of $787,500, and it seems they are sticking to that offer at present. With approximately $5.93 million in cap room per CapFriendly, a significant portion has to be reserved for Gustavsson.

Any Cap Circumvention Concerns Regarding Matt Murray?

Following news that Matt Murray was going to be put on LTIR, there were some outside of the Toronto area crying foul as it wasn’t long ago Murray had told the media he was healthy and ready to play in the postseason if called upon. He never was, but his willingness to play raised questions about how a player can be healthy in the playoffs, but all of a sudden, be too unhealthy to play at all in 2023/24 without playing another NHL game.

It’s not likely the league looks into this. Reports suggest the Leafs were prepared to buy out Matt Murray within the Ilya Samsonov arbitration hearing window, but the organization was informed by Murray’s reps that he would be unable to play. This left the Leafs with other options and the decision to go the LTIR route was by the NHL before this decision was ever made.

Remember too, the NHL set a precedent of not really looking that deep into these things when Tampa By brought Nikita Kucherov back to start the playoffs. And, recently Mark Stone came out of an apparent “season-ending” injury to help the Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup.

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