NHL Rumors: Latest on David Krejci, New York Islanders and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2021

NHL Rumors: Latest on David Krejci, New York Islanders and More

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    Derik Hamilton/Associated Press

    Former Boston Bruins center David Krejci may have announced his intentions of returning to the Czech Republic to continue his playing career, but that did not stop other teams from reaching out regarding his plans.

    The latest on Boston's now-former alternate captain headlines a collection of NHL rumors that also highlights the Ottawa Senators' free-agency plans and the New York Islanders apparently hiding their signings.

Teams Interested in David Krejci Despite Czech Republic, Retirement Reports

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    Alex Brandon/Associated Press

    Krejci released a statement Friday announcing that, "at this point in my career and life, I need to return to the Czech Republic and play in front of my family who sacrificed so much to help me achieve my NHL dreams."

    While there is no reason to believe what the alternate captain said in that statement is anything but truthful, that does not mean other teams have not checked in with him regarding his interest in playing elsewhere in the league.

    Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now reported the Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and the 2021 Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning all looked into the possibility of acquiring Krejci before he announced his decision.

    "From what I was told, as I'm sure you were too, it's either Bruins or the Czech Republic or he retires," Murphy quoted a source in the report.

    A great passer with a knack for winning faceoffs, the creative Krejci's contributions will be missed in Boston. Even as his numbers deteriorated from their peak, he was still a valued member of the organization as a leader.

Ottawa Senators Looking to Add Center, Winger in Offseason

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    The Ottawa Senators may have already acquired former Anaheim Duck Andrew Agozzino and former Columbus Blue Jacket Michael Del Zotto, but the team is still looking for a center and/or winger, according to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.

    Coach D.J. Smith re-signed and winger Evgenii Dadonov was shipped off to Las Vegas, but the team is still not finished plugging holes.

    Per Garrioch's report, they remain in the hunt for the New York Rangers' Ryan Strome, but his availability may be linked to New York's ability to trade for Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel. The Senators contemplated adding Eichel, but a hefty price tag made that unfeasible.

    Add to it hesitancy on the part of the Sabres to have Eichel play for anyone in the Eastern Conference, and that is a domino that may never fall.

    After adding winger Pontus Aberg, defender Dillon Heatherington and forward Kole Sherwood, the team still finds itself with a considerable amount of money left over after trading Dadonov—CapFriendly reports the Sens have a little under $30 million in cap space. 

    Money that general manager Pierre Dorian assured reporters would be spent: "Whether it's through trades or free agency we'll make sure we spend money wisely."

    The team is still looking to re-sign restricted free-agent winger Brady Tkachuk, which would help alleviate the immediate need at the position.

    After a sixth-place finish in the North Division in the 2020-21 season, Ottawa will have to spend wisely to take the next step in its rebuild but also recognize its need for talent.

    Even then, it might be difficult to make an immediate impact given the talent in the Atlantic Division.

Zach Parise Among Signings New York Islanders Are Keeping Quiet

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    Craig Lassig/Associated Press

    Arthur Staple of The Athletic recently reported the silence from the New York Islanders thus far in free agency may be a purposeful tactic on the part of president of hockey operations Lou Lamoriello.

    "Lamoriello does not want anyone in the league to know where the Islanders are with their salary-cap space right now, so he's not announcing any deals that are already agreed upon or even filing them with the league, which would quickly leak them out to the world," Staple wrote.

    Staple believes, as of now, that the team has come to terms with left winger Zach Parise, right winger Kyle Palmieri, center Casey Cizikas and center Travis Zajac. But still, no one outside of the Lamoriello and Islanders management knows exactly what is going on.

    Even the team's social media accounts have been quiet, with this adorable Guard Dog Foundation tweet one of the only posts in recent days.

    Whether the gamesmanship on the part of Lamoriello pays off or is just an overly complicated way of bucking the system remains to be seen. For the Islanders faithful, the stress of watching other teams make moves while theirs stays silent will not garner goodwill.

    Eventually, the team will have to announce its signings.

    And then play the games.

    When the puck drops, all of the front-office secrecy surrounding salary-cap positioning will not matter and the Islanders will look to return to the postseason in search of their first Stanley Cup since 1983.