NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Top Unrestricted Free Agents
The NHL rumor mill isn't exactly pumping out juicy steaks of information on a regular basis in the dog days of summer, but that doesn't mean there aren't some tidbits for your consumption.
Though most of the big personnel moves have already been made, there are some quality players left on the free-agent market. Some of them have been generating a fair amount of interest throughout the league.
Which players are generating the most buzz, and where might they land?
We've got you covered with the latest rumors floating around the web.
Brenden Morrow May Have Carolina on his Mind
A savvy veteran with plenty left to offer, Morrow, a 34-year-old winger, will be a boon to the team that lands him this summer. Playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Dallas Stars last year, Morrow scored 12 goals and dished 13 assists.
Brad Devine, Morrow's agent, recently revealed that he'd been in contact with the Carolina Hurricanes and "expects to talk to them again" about potentially hammering out a deal, as noted by Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer.
DeCock's colleague, Chip Alexander, recently confirmed the team's interest in Morrow, citing a conversation he had with team general manager Jim Rutherford:
Rutherford said Canes are close to signing Zac Dalpe. Confirmed Canes have talked to agent of UFA Brenden Morrow.— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) July 19, 2013
Adding a veteran all-around player like Morrow would be a terrific move for this young team, as his leadership and production would be an invaluable addition going forward.
Mikhail Grabovski Isn't Chomping at the Bit to Sign with New Team
At this point, nobody knows where Grabovski will land for the 2013-14 season.
What we do know is that he won't be signing with the KHL (Kontinental Hockey League), as noted by Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo! Sports:
Mikhail Grabovski says he is not even considering the KHL, only the NHL. Had only 1 offer from KHL because clubs know he wants to be in NA.— Dmitry Chesnokov (@dchesnokov) July 18, 2013
Despite the fact that Grabovski was bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs after he suffered through a sub-par season, the forward will be a valuable addition to his new team this season.
Through his agent, Gary Greenstin, Grabovski claims the Maple Leafs misused him last season, during which he only scored nine goals and added seven assists, as noted by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star. Such a claim might ring hollow were it not for his stellar showing (52 goals and 57 assists) in his two previous seasons with the club.
The latest news from Greenstin is that Grabovski has generated interest from three teams, but he's not in a hurry to sign, as noted by Craig Custance of ESPN The Magazine:
Spoke w/Gary Greenstin, agent for Mikhail Grabovski. Said three teams "very interested" in UFA center. Not expecting decision until August.— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) July 22, 2013
Grabovski wants to go to a team that has a chance of winning the Stanley Cup, as does every player on the market, and he seems content to patiently weigh his options at this time.
Mason Raymond Just Needs a Little Time
A productive player throughout his NHL career, Raymond's value isn't what it once was.
After suffering a devastating back injury in the 2011 Stanley Cup, he hasn't matched his outstanding 2009-10 campaign, during which he scored 25 goals and made 28 assists.
Raymond and his agent J.P. Barry believe he'll receive plenty of interest from teams looking for speedy goal scorers, as noted by Jim Jamieson of The Province: “I think I’ll have some good discussions about Mason,” said Barry. “He’s got a lot of speed and he had a good season. Also, the UFA market is not a deep one this year.”
TSN's Darren Dreger reported earlier this month that Raymond was receiving plenty of interest from "multiple teams," but that the Calgary Flames were not one of those:
Multiple teams interested in M.Raymond, contrary to reports, his agent J.P. Barry says he has had no discussions with Calgary to date, none.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 8, 2013
To this point, however, Barry has yet to receive an offer for the slightly built forward, and Barry says it will take some time to get Raymond signed, as noted by News 1130 Sports in Vancouver:
The agent for former #Canucks forward Mason Raymond says it will take time fior his client to sign on NHL free agent market.— News1130 Sports (@News1130Sports) July 22, 2013
With roughly three months until the beginning of the regular season, there is plenty of time to get a deal done, and you can be sure Raymond will land a new team soon enough.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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