NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Gabriel Landeskog, Shea Weber, More

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IJuly 15, 2021

NHL Rumors: Latest Buzz on Gabriel Landeskog, Shea Weber, More

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Although the NHL offseason is young, there's already been plenty of rumors and speculation. Since the Stanley Cup playoffs ended earlier in July, things have heated up.

    Who's going to be traded? Where will free agents be heading? How will the expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken (set for Wednesday) affect roster decisions for the other 31 teams?

    Soon we'll know the answers. But for now, the rumors and speculation will continue. Here's some of the latest buzz from around the NHL.

Landeskog, Avs 'Not Even Close' in Negotiations

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    After winning the Presidents' Trophy with 82 regular-season points during the 2020-21 season, the Colorado Avalanche will look to make a deeper playoff run next year. However, they may have to do so without their captain.

    Gabriel Landeskog has spent his first 10 NHL seasons with the Avalanche, but he's set to hit free agency. And while Colorado can prevent that from happening by negotiating a deal with the 28-year-old forward before July 28, it appears one may not get done in time. According to TSN's Darren Dreger, the two sides "are not even close."

    "The position of the Colorado Avalanche is going to have to change significantly, according to sources, or absolutely, Gabe Landeskog will go to market," Dreger said on TSN's Insider Trading. "Early in the process, there's no doubt about that, but the position from both sides doesn't look very strong right now."

    Landeskog has been a key part of the Avs offense for the past decade as a consistent scoring threat. This past season, he had 20 goals and 32 assists in 54 games. He's also served as Colorado's captain since September 2012, when he was only 19 and had one year of NHL experience.

    If the Avalanche can't work out a deal to bring back Landeskog, there will surely be plenty of interest from other teams when he hits the market.

Uncertainty Surrounding Weber's NHL Future

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Shea Weber, aΒ 16-year NHL veteran and four-time All-Star, has had a successful hockey career. However, after the 35-year-old defenseman helped lead the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup Final, there's now some uncertainty regarding his future.

    According to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, Weber, the Canadiens, the NHL and the NHLPA are "doing their due diligence on the [Montreal] captain's medical situation and future." Weber has dealt with left foot/ankle injuries for several years and missed some time this season because of an injured thumb. And these ailments may be adding up.

    "We don't know the extent of the injury, but it is believed to be significant," Friedman wrote.

    Because Weber may miss all of the 2021-22 seasonβ€”and potentially moreβ€”the Canadiens are planning on leaving him unprotected for the upcoming Seattle expansion draft, per Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports. Would the Kraken consider taking him despite the health concerns? We'll have to wait to see.

    If Weber's career is nearing an end, he can consider it a successful one. After spending his first 11 seasons with the Nashville Predators, he spent the past five in Montreal. Over those 16 years, he has tallied 589 points (224 goals and 365 assists) in 1,038 games.

Could Hyman and Andersen Soon Be Leaving Toronto?

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    Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

    Several key Toronto Maple Leafs players will soon become free agents unless the team works out deals with them before July 28. At least two, though, appear to be heading toward the market.

    First, there's Zach Hyman. The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported that "all signs" are pointing toward Hyman becoming an unrestricted free agent, as he and the Maple Leafs have a "sizable gap" in negotiations. But as LeBrun noted, this was expected, "given his market value and Leafs' cap situation."

    Hyman has spent his first six NHL seasons with the Maple Leafs. He had 15 goals and 18 assists in 43 games during the 2020-21 campaign.

    There's also goaltender Frederik Andersen. According to LeBrun, Andersen and the Maple Leafs have had discussions, but it hasn't led to them giving the 31-year-old a contract offer.

    "Wouldn't make sense to try to sign him before the [expansion] draft anyway," LeBrun tweeted. "But all things being equal, probably more likely Andersen sees what's out there July 28."

    Andersen is an eight-year NHL veteran who has spent the past five seasons in Toronto. He had an .895 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average in 2020-21.