In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Tyler Bertuzzi will be testing free agency. Meanwhile, is William Nylander asking for more than the Toronto Maple Leafs are willing to pay? Did the Detroit Red Wings want Klim Kostin and take Kailer Yamamoto to get him? Finally, the Winnipeg Jets are planning to buy out Blake Wheeler’s contract. What does that mean moving forward?
Bertuzzi Going to Test UFA Market
It appears that Tyler Bertuzzi, a 28-year-old forward, is set to become a free agent on July 1. The Bruins sent forward Taylor Hall to the Chicago Blackhawks in a move related to salary cap considerations. The hope was that they could sign Bertuzzi with some of the freed-up cap space. It doesn’t look like that plan paid off.
This is not good news for the Bruins who also await decisions on other key players. Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, who have been longstanding franchise staples, don’t know if they’ll be returning. Additionally, Dmitry Orlov, who was acquired near the trade deadline, is also set to become an unrestricted free agent.
During the most recent season, Tyler Bertuzzi managed to record eight goals and 30 points in 50 games, despite missing some time due to a hand injury. There will be plenty of suitors for him and there’s a very good chance his time in Boston was short-lived. He wanted to test free agency prior to joining the Bruins and it looks like his run there hasn’t changed his mind.
Nylander’s Ask Higher Than Maple Leafs Want
According to Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic, there is currently a significant difference in the desired contract ask between William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is reportedly not willing to meet Nylander’s desired price for a potential contract extension and while the two sides continue to try and close the gap, talk of a potential trade has popped up.
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Nylander, who is eligible to sign an extension starting Saturday, also has a 10-team no-trade list that kicks in on the same date. This means that he can specify ten teams to which he cannot be traded without his consent. The 27-year-old forward is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2024. LeBrun says one of the issues for the Maple Leafs is that the trade market has dried up and the big return for a player like Nylander might not be there.
Red Wings to Sign Kostin, Buy Out Yamamoto
According to Mark Spector, “I’m told that the player Yzerman really wanted was Kostin. I assume he’ll sign in the next 24 hours.” He adds, “Then we find out how much Red Wings covet Yamamoto. I really do not know the answer to that at this point. There is every chance both players open season as Red Wings.” It was later learned that the Red Wings were buying out Yamamoto’s contract and he was one of many players placed on waivers Friday.
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The fact is, Edmonton couldn’t compete against the KHL’s offer to Kostin but the Red Wings can. Darren Dreger reports, “Detroit strongly considered keeping him but couldn’t make moves to make it work. Given tight cap, Yamamoto is a good young player hitting the market.”
Jets to Buy Out Blake Wheeler
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Winnipeg Jets are processing Blake Wheeler’s buyout. “He will be on waivers today. There will be a number of teams with interest in signing the veteran as a free agent, including the Dallas Stars,” the insider writes. Wheeler’s buyout of the final year $8.25M Cap Hit & Salary carries the following cap hits: Year 1 $2.75M cap hit ($5.5M savings) Year 2 $2.75M Cap hit/cost.
Wheeler was a former captain of the Jets before being stripped of the “C” ahead of the 2022-23 season. He is a pure playmaking veteran winger who can still pass the puck and produce primary assists at a high rate.