Leading up to free agency on July 28, TSN.ca keeps you up to date with all the latest rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.

Schmidt on the Move?

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun writes in The Athletic that the Vancouver Canucks "think they’ve got a decent shot of moving defenceman Nate Schmidt over the next week or two."

LeBrun reports that the Canucks are looking to drop salary on their blueline as they look to add two top-nine forwards this summer. He wonders if the Boston Bruins could be a landing spot for Schmidt, who was acquired from the Vegas Golden Knights last fall for a 2022 third-round pick.

Schmidt, 30, had five goals and 15 points in 54 games in his first season with the Canucks. He topped 30 points in each of the previous three seasons with the Golden Knights.

Selected by Vegas in the 2017 Expansion Draft from the Washington Capitals, Schmidt is signed for three more seasons at a cap hit of $5.95 million.

The Canucks currently have $15.2 million in cap space, according to CapFriendly, with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes both in need of new contracts as restricted free agents.

Reunited on Long Island?

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello is looking to bring in both Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. 

The duo were bought out by the Minnesota Wild last week with four years remaining on each of their contracts. 

With both players carrying identical $7.54 million cap hits, the buyouts will save the Wild more than $10 million next season, with the two players counting for just under $5 million. In 2022-23, however, the two players will count for almost $13 million against the cap. In both the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons, the two players will leave the Wild with a cap charge of $14.7 million. 

Starting in 2025-26, the two players will count for just over $1.6 million against the cap for four seasons until 2029.

Parise, 36, tallied 400 points in 558 regular season games with the Wild, scoring seven goals and adding 11 assists in 45 games in 2020-21. After spending the first seven seasons of his career with the New Jersey Devils, Parise has 393 goals and 417 assists in 1,060 regular season games over 16 NHL seasons.

Suter, 36, made the All-Star team in his first season with the Wild and finished second in Norris Trophy voting. He tallied three goals and 16 assists in 56 games in 2020-21 and has 55 goals and 314 assists in 656 career regular season games after spending his first seven years with the Nashville Predators.

Flames adding Pitlick?

Andy Stickland of Bally Sports Midwest reports the Calgary Flames will be acquiring Tyler Pitlick from the Seattle Kraken when the roster freeze ends.

Pitlick, 29, was acquired by the Kraken from the Arizona Coyotes in Wednesday's expansion draft. Strickland reports the Flames will be sending Seattle a draft pick in return.

In 38 games with the Coyotes last season, Pitlick had six goals and 11 points. He's signed through next season at a cap hit of $1.75 million.


Hyman Headed West?

According to Any Stickland of Bally Sports Midwest, the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to both a seven-year and eight-year contract with Zach Hyman and are now working to execute a sign-and-trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reports seven years is the Oilers current target term with an average annual value that could be as high as $5.5 million.

The Maple Leafs and Oilers will need to work out a trade in order for the winger to sign an eight-year deal. Dreger notes that as of Thursday morning there had been no discussion with Toronto on compensation.

The Maple Leafs granted Hyman’s agent, Todd Reynolds permission last week to speak with other NHL clubs to investigate trading his rights.

TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun adds whether or not the Oilers sign Hyman for an eighth year to lower his AAV will come down to whether the asset ask is too high from the Leafs.

The 29-year-old scored 15 goals for 33 points and was a plus-19 in 43 games last season during the regular season. He is coming off a four-year, $9 million deal with the Leafs.

Hyman has 86 goals and 99 assists in 345 games with the Leafs during his six-year NHL career which began in the 2015-16 season. 

Short Stays in Seattle?

While the Seattle Kraken did not make any side deals to not select players from certain teams, it appears the expansion franchise does have deals in place to flip some their picks from Wednesday night.

TSN's Gord Miller believes there are several deals the Kraken will announce once the NHL's roster freeze comes to an end at 1pm ET.

Seattle selected 15 forwards and 12 defencemen in the expansion draft, while leaving themselves with almost $29 million in cap space, per CapFriendly.

The Kraken will also select second overall in Friday's NHL Draft.


Pen to Paper

A flurry of signings could come once the roster freeze ends with teams having been able to continue talks with their own pending free agents over the past five days. 

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported Wednesday the Boston Bruins were putting the final touches on a four-year deal for Taylor Hall with a total value around $24 million.

Hall, who spent the past two seasons playing on an expiring contract, posted eight goals and 14 points in 16 games with the Bruins after being acquired from the Buffalo Sabres ahead of the trade deadline.

The Edmonton Oilers could also have a deal in place with goaltender Mike Smith after TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun reported Wednesday the team was making progress on a new deal for the pending unrestricted free agent.

Smith posted a 21-6-2 record this season with a .923 save percentage and a 2.31 goals against average - his best marks of his career since the 2011-12 season. He had a .912 save percentage and a 2.40 GAA in the playoffs as the Oilers were swept by the Winnipeg Jets in a series that included three overtime losses.

A veteran of 15 NHL seasons, Smith re-signed with the Oilers last year on a one-year, $1.5 million deal after first joining the team on a one-year, $2 million deal as a free agent in 2019.

The Oilers are also re-engaging in contract talks with Tyson Barrie after losing Adam Larsson to the Seattle Kraken, Darren Dreger reported.

Dreger noted that term is a sticking point for Barrie, while the Oilers don't want to do a five-year deal. He wonders if the two sides could agree on a four-year deal with a $5 million cap hit.

Barrie, 29, signed a one-year, $3.75 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers last year and tallied eight goals and 48 points in 56 regular season games. He also had one assist in four playoff games.