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TSN Hockey Insiders have the latest on Guentzel, Leafs' UFAs and more


Jake Guentzel might be the hottest commodity heading into NHL free agency on Monday. The TSN Hockey Insiders have the latest on Guentzel's future, Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi in Toronto and much more.

What is the latest on a deal for pending unrestricted free agent, Jake Guentzel?

Jake Guentzel Carolina HurricanesPierre LeBrun: Well, first of all, the team that still has his rights for a few more days, the Carolina Hurricanes, keep pushing hard. They’re the only team that can offer the eight-year max and that offer has gone up. It’s given Jake Guentzel a lot to think about but there’s been no decision yet.

In the meantime, there is a list of teams that want to get in on Guentzel keeps growing and some teams might surprise you. They would have to move some pieces around to get after it but they’re willing to do it if he gets there Monday.

Darren Dreger: I think Vancouver would be one of those teams, right? Guentzel is a hot commodity. The issue that [general manager] Patrik Alvin and the Canucks have is cap space, and how do you create that?

They’re looking at their own UFAs. I look at Elias Lindholm, who we know is going to the open market. Could he be a good fit with the Boston Bruins

You look on defence, Chris Tanev, if he gets to the open market and doesn’t re-sign in Dallas he could be an option for a number of teams including the Canucks. A lot going on there.

Kevin Cheveldayoff, general manager for the Winnipeg Jets, has also been very busy. Lots of speculation around prospect Rutger McGroarty and he’s taking calls there. They’re interested in making a move there for a draft pick, maybe a prospect or a young player. Winnipeg is still in it to win it. They’re also getting calls on Nikolaj Ehlers but there’s no rush on either of those players. In the meantime, Cheveldayoff is still working with [Sean] Monahan cap, potentially standing there. 


What’s the latest on pending Toronto Maple Leafs free agents Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi?

Tyler Bertuzzi Max Domi Toronto Maple LeafsChris Johnston: Two forwards I think, all things being equal, would like to remain in Toronto. In some ways, I’m a bit surprised that Max Domi has ended up in this spot, on the doorstep of potential free agency without a new deal because the Leafs and his camp have had a dialogue and it doesn’t seem like the gap is too massive. I think that they both see the value in each other. They’re hammering away right now with that July 1 deadline hanging over their heads. It wouldn’t surprise me if they found a way to get that done but right now it’s a difficult stage of those talks. 

Some have thought Tyler Bertuzzi is out the door in Toronto but that’s not so. It sounds like Bertuzzi is very willing to work with the Leafs when it comes to the length of the contract. Even the money, I don’t think that this is a case of ‘pay me this or I’m out the door’. I don’t think any hard lines are being drawn. All things being equal, Bertuzzi would like to remain in Toronto but both Bertuzzi and Domi are waiting to see if the money will be there and if they’re a priority for the Leafs as they look to shore up their blueline.

Dreger: The money is going to the blueline for the most part. When you look at the list of right-shot defencemen that Brad Treliving is targeting, it’s a long one. It starts with Chris Tanev, then Brandon Montour. What about Matt Roy if he leaves the Los Angeles Kings and hits the open market? You’ve got Brett Pesce going to open market, leaving Carolina and Alexandre Carrier would be another, along with Sean Walker. So there are a lot of options Treliving is kicking the tires on.


Are the Philadelphia Flyers setting up to be big movers ahead of tomorrow’s NHL Draft?

LeBrun: It’s always an interesting time of year leading right into the first round of the draft on Friday. What we’re being told is that the Flyers made a pretty aggressive pitch to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday, offering a swap of first-round picks, a roster player, and perhaps next year’s first-round pick as part of a package to try and get the fourth overall pick. I believe the answer was no but it doesn’t mean they can’t try again.


How tough will it be for the Oilers to find a replacement for Ken Holland at this time of year?

Ken HollandJohnston: Most people working in other front offices, the prime candidates, are working as part of the drafting process so that will be something to maneuver. I think what’s interesting to me is that [Oilers CEO] Jeff Jackson was unequivocal, he does not want to be the GM of the team. Obviously, he is going to oversee the hockey operations department and some of the decisions they have to make here in the next few days.

But as we get into July and the Leon Draisaitl talks pick up, Jackson also made it clear that he’d like to have the next GM in place by that time. There aren’t firm timelines involved but obviously the Oilers have to act quickly and they have to navigate around what other teams are going to allow them to do.