Blackhawks, Maple Leafs, Tallon, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is more talk about what the Chicago Blackhawks will do with their limited cap space, including what that means for players like Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik, and Corey Crawford. In Toronto, Frederik Andersen’s agent has commented on trade rumors. And, former GM Dale Tallon denies having made any racially insensitive remarks while the NHL investigates claims of the contrary.

Blackhawks Have a Lot of Work to Do

Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that the Chicago Blackhawks are going to be a busy team with a number of to-do items on their list. Their pending restricted free agent group includes Dylan Strome, Dominik Kubalik, Drake Caggiula, Slater Koekkoek, and Malcolm Subban and the team is scheduled to meet with goaltender Corey Crawford this week.

Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks, Nov. 9, 2017 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

GM Stan Bowman said of the items he needs to tackle:

“We do have some decisions to make. We have some ideas on what we’re going to do. That process is starting right now. Had a couple of meetings since we finished the season, and we’ll have more over the coming weeks. It’s our job to figure out how we’ll have flexibility, as well as making sure we keep the players we need to keep.”

source – ‘Blackhawks offseason preview: NHL draft, Corey Crawford contract top Hawks’ to-do list’ – Ben Pope – Chicago Sun Times – 08/22/2020

The article notes that Kubalik could look at a two-year bridge at around $4 million per season while Strome’s inconsistent play this season could put him in around $3 million.

In respect to Crawford, speculation is that Bowman hopes his goaltender will agree to sign for somewhere between $3 and $4 million and while Crawford himself tells Tracey Myers of NHL.com it’s not necessarily about the money, he wants assurances that he’ll get a ton of playing time and that the team is making winning a priority.

Crawford has admitted that he could change his mind about the length of term he wants but also said he’s open to something short-term. He noted:

“Going into the meeting, that’s the main thing is to win a championship, to play, to be the main guy and play a lot. Salary, that can be discussed. That’s something that is not as important at this time. We’ll see how those discussions go.”

Related: Blackhawks’ Bad Season Still Brings Some Success

Tallon Under Investigation for Racially Insensitive Remarks

As per a report by FloridaHockeyNow.com, the NHL is nvestigating whether or not former Florida Panthers general manager Dale Tallon made racially insensitive comments during his team’s time in the Toronto bubble.

Dale Tallon Florida Panthers
Dale Tallon, Florida Panthers, 2019 NHL Draft (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly did confirm an investigation is under way but Daly did not provide any details of the allegations. It took 24 hours for Tallon to respond but he claims he did not use the language he’s being accused of and said, “I am not racist by any means.” He added,. “I have never said anything of the sort. I am all for peace, am all for this alliance and what everyone is trying to do right now.”

Tallon said he believes the incident in question stems around the emotional speech Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba gave on racial inequalities on Aug. 1, although he did not comment on who the anonymous source was that might have issued the complaint.

Related: The NHL’s Top 100 Prospects – Postseason Rankings

Andersen’s Agents Comments on Trade Rumors

According to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, Claude Lemieux, the agent for Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen said the player has “absolutely not” asked for a trade. Lemieux notes that any trade speculation “comes with the territory” after a team’s early exit from the playoffs but that Andersen has no desire to leave.

Frederik Andersen Toronto Maple Leafs
Frederik Andersen, Toronto Maple Leafs (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Lemieux adds that the team has not spoken to him about a potential trade even if there’s speculation the team might try to move Andersen before the final year of $5 million deal runs out.

There have also been no contract extension talks between the two parties.

Koshan writes:

The Leafs, who have a fine backup in Jack Campbell, have been linked to Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Matt Murray, who is a restricted free agent.

Among the NHL goalies headed for unrestricted free agency are Robin Lehner, Jacob Markstrom and Cam Talbot.

source – ‘Agent for Leafs’ Andersen knows trade speculation part of the deal after early exit’ – Terry Koshan – Toronto Sun – 08/26/2020

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