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Off The Record: Dallas Stars Circle Back On Haula, CBJ and Hoffman Match?| NYHN+

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In terms of the NHL Trade market and unrestricted free agent signings, it remains quiet but thanks to injuries, we may also see the Dallas Stars and Columbus Blue Jackets sign some key unrestricted free agents. 

The restricted free agent market has been more active. Some players like New York Rangers forwards Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux as well as Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar avoided arbitration with their respective teams. Other RFA’s like Detroit Red Wings winger Anthony Mantha re-upped long-term. That appears to be the trend for now as an array of cap-strapped teams continue to just take care of their own young talent and wait for the UFA and NHL Trade markets to open up.

“I honestly don’t see that happening until we at least have a tentative start date for the season and teams know the potential calendar they’re dealing with to sort things out,” an NHL executive told Off The Record recently.

Another NHL source with direct knowledge of the planning for the 2021 season believes the players aren’t going to agree to anything before January 15.

“I think it’s February. I don’t think any player is going to vote to do training camp over the [Christmas and New Year] holidays. It might be January 15, but I think it’s more likely somewhere [in early] February.”

Until then, there’s still going to be plenty of chatter amongst NHL league and team executives, scouts, coaches, players, and agents. This is where you can find out what the chatter’s all about. Welcome to another edition of National Hockey Now’s ‘Off The Record’!

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OTR: Bruins, Kings Big-Game Hunting; Teams Called About Price | NYHN+

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NHL Trade

What should we make of Carey Price’s struggles? A rival team executive weighed in on what could be coming down the road for the Montreal Canadiens goalie, the most likely course of action, and if he has any value on the NHL trade market. Also in this week’s OTR, the LA Kings joined the Boston Bruins as teams that are big-game hunting, and how do the Colorado Avalanche figure into both of those scenarios?

It’s been an interesting week Off the Record. The NHL trade whispers have quieted as the Jake Virtanen to Anaheim deal petered out (for now). Penguins GM Ron Hextall said the Penguins would consider adding toughness, and the Seattle Kraken are lurking.

More on all of that in the latest Off The Record:

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Off the Record: Speculation On Pens, Gibson; Vancouver Mess | NYHN+

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nhl trade

The Pittsburgh Penguins’ new management team will be in place soon. With new GM Ron Hextall, Brian Burke will assume the role of President of Hockey Operations as he arrives in town on Sunday. Hockey insiders are already pontificating about the first big Hextall and Burke move on the NHL trade market. Some, including a source close to the Penguins, are already speculating about John Gibson, a native Pittsburgh son, who is in a sinking situation in Burke’s old stomping grounds, Anaheim.

Also, in the Off the Record, did the Vancouver Canucks owner try to put out a fire that he started? And, are the Blackhawks still all-in on the rebuild they warned fans about, or are they suddenly seeing visions of playoffs dance through their heads?

More on that in the latest ‘Off The Record’:

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New York Islanders

Off The Record: Virtanen Chatter, Delays, and Pains in the A** | NYHN+

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NHL trade chatter, Jake Virtanen, New York Islanders

The NHL trade market is getting muddy as teams need immediate help, but quarantine rules stand in the way. The New York Islanders East Division rivals are poking around trade help. Would a Jake Virtanen for Jake DeBrusk trade make sense for the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, or is there a Virtanen sweepstakes in the East Division being held up by the Pittsburgh Penguins GM search?

Teams watched the fallout from the Patrik Laine-Pierre-Luc Dubois trade. The quarantine period for both players surely affected the NHL trade market and how teams proceed. Teams can’t get immediate help. 

What should we make of the rapid COVID outbreaks around the NHL? Is there a snowballs’ chance the league could return to Hub cities?

More on that in the latest ‘Off The Record’:

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