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NHL Rumors: Wild, Sabres Islanders and the Maple Leafs

On the Minneota Wild …
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Michael Russo of the Star Tribune: (mailbag) Multiple sources have said on different occasions that the Minnesota Wild and the Buffalo Sabres spoke about winger Evander Kane. Given Kane’s $5.25 million salary, and even if the Sabres retained some salary, it would be a “hockey trade.”

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The Wild signed Eric Staal to a three deal this offseason at $3.5 million per year. GM Chuck Fletcher did talk to David Backes, but the Wild couldn’t go as high as the five-year, $30 million deal that the Bruins gave him.

Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter will be restricted free agents after the season and will be looking for long-term deals. Question is if the Wild can afford or want to re-sign both of them?

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On John Tavares, the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs …

Damien Cox of the Toronto Star:  The NY Islanders were unable to re-sign three free agents this offseason, their early first round drafting from 2012 to 2014 haven’t worked out, they are not close to a Cup, the ice at the Barclays Center is terrible with no solution in the near future.

John Tavares will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2017-18, with the Islanders being able to sign him to a contract extension after July 1st of 2017.

Cox wonders if Tavares will won’t to stay. He did say this offseason that he did. It would be a nightmare if he didn’t want to remain the organization.

Cox notes that the Maple Leafs will have more than $16 million of dead money off the books by the time Tavares is a free agent – Joffrey Lupul, Stephane Robidas, Brooks Laich, Colin Greening and Milan Michalek. Tyler Bozak and his $4.2 million per season deal will also be done.

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