In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Vancouver Canucks are working on an extension for Andrei Kuzmenko and it is believed he’ll sign a two-year bridge deal. That could lead to the Canucks giving up on signing Bo Horvat as one insider says they likely can’t sign both players.
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Meanwhile, the Buffalo Sabres are among the teams that have reached out to the San Jose Sharks about Timo Meier, Max Domi is going to get some attention ahead of the trade deadline and the Ottawa Senators are looking to trade for a defenseman with term.
Canucks Close on Kuzmenko, Won’t Give Teams Permission to Talk to Horvat
A few reports, including one from Kevin Weekes suggests the Canucks and Andrei Kuzmenko might be nearing terms on a contract extension. Weekes tweeted on Wednesday, “I’m told per Van F Kuzmenko’s Camp, they’ve had discussions on Contract Extension, no urgency, but on a potential bridge deal it could land on 2Yr 5-6M AAV.”
Meanwhile, the situation remains fluid between the Canucks and Horvat. Rick Dhaliwal is reporting that the team will take one more shot at signing him and that management wants to see how things work between Horvat and new head coach Rick Tocchet. Tocchet is 1-1, with a blowout each way. Dhaliwal suggests the Canucks can only afford to sign one of Horvat or Kuzmenko.
“Can they send one final offer Horvat’s way?” asked Dhaliwal, who said the two sides took another crack at speaking this weekend. The organization won’t give other teams permission to speak with Horvat about an extension until they know for certain he’s not coming back.
The Sharks Haven’t Offered Meier a Contract Extension Yet
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun notes that more than a few teams are not sure how to deal with the $10 million qualifying offer due to Timo Meier and that without being able to talk to him about a long-term extension, it’s tough to get too deep into trade conversations with the San Jose Sharks. Interested teams are hoping to be able to talk to Meier’s agent Claude Lemieux and that could be around the corner, likely after the Sharks send Meier an extension offer, which LeBrun reports the Sharks have not yet done.
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As for which teams are interested, LeBrun explains:
“Obviously, the contenders would make sense, Toronto would make sense, Carolina has some interest because again they see Meier as a long-term fit, but also a team like the Buffalo Sabres has reached out to San Jose, this could be the type of player that has interest from teams that are not even sitting in a playoff spot so it’s kind of a unique case here with Timo Meier. ”
The Sabres are one of the few teams to the Sharks already.
Teams Will Call About Max Domi
Chris Johnston noted that teams who are looking for a capable forward on a reasonable contract could target Max Domi of the Chicago Blackhawks. Jonhston says, “It’s gone so well in Chicago. I think Max Domi would be happy to stay there and think about a contract extension but with where the Blackhawks are they have to gauge the market and will likely move on from him.”
Domi has 33 points in 46 games for the Blackhawks this season. He’s a pending UFA making $3 million.
Senators Looking for a Defenseman With Term
TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports that the Senators are in the market for a defenceman and notes that acquiring a player with term would be the best scenario. He’s open to talking about a rental, but GM Pierre Dorion is focused on a player that will be on the team for the next couple of seasons or more. He’s open to the idea of adding a pending UFA and then signing that player.
Dreger explained that Dorion is out west at the CHL prospects game but also scouted the Blackhawks vs. Canucks game. Dreger said, “Maybe there’s an opportunity to sign that player, or if he gets them early enough, maybe trade that player leading up to the March 3 trade deadline.”
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”