Welcome to another edition of NHL Rumours! The buzz continues to grow and get larger with each day. Given the festivities at the All-Star game, it gives managers more time to plan and get ready for the second half of the season. Today’s rumours swirl around the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators.
New York Rangers
It feels not long ago that Rangers fans were cheering when the team selected Kaapo Kakko with the second overall pick. The core group was in place and adding a calibre player to that unit is huge. However, things have not gone as well for Kakko and he has not lived up to that second overall selection. During the 2022-23 season, he had a career year (18 goals, 40 points), but this season has not gone well.
Kakko has been injured for part of the season, so it is no fault of his own. However, in 28 games he has five goals and six points. That’s simply not good enough and the team needs more out of him for extra depth scoring. Furthermore, losing centre Filip Chytil is a crushing blow to the lineup, creating an extra hole on the roster. Dreger now knows that the Rangers have been taking calls on Kakko and could see him being moved.
General Manager Chris Drury gave Kakko a two year bridge deal and now is looking to part ways. He is still a young player and has potential to be a good player for another team. While his production is not there, Kakko is a defensive minded winger and does a good job in the high danger areas.
The Rangers currently have $5.237 million in salary cap space and Kakko can help lure in a big fish to bolster the roster. With the division race coming down to the wire, Drury will look to make a splash once again.
The next set of NHL Rumours takes us to the Atlantic division. One team that everyone will be calling on for assets is the Calgary Flames. His market should heat up once things get closer. However, Dreger does make note of one team that has shown extra interest and that is the Ottawa Senators.
It has been a whirlwind of a season for the Senators. From the ownership change, to the Shane Pinto gambling incident, to firing the head coach it has been festive to say the least. The club is out of the playoff race and likely to miss this season. Although, adding pieces and building towards next season appears to be the motive with adding Tanev.
Tanev is a stellar two way defenceman and would be a huge boost to the Senators blue line. Defenceman Jake Sanderson and Thomas Chabot are locked up long term and adding Tanev gives them another building block.
The key thing Dreger lays out is what is Tanev looking for. Does he want to win a Stanley Cup? Or is he looking for where he wants his future to be? Tanev is due a hefty raise, as he makes $4.5 million. He does have a modified no trade clause in his deal, so that matters as well.
The Senators being a potential fit while shopping Jakob Chychrun was not on my bingo card. However, if they managed to land him over their Canadian rival Toronto Maple Leafs would be something.
Main Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports