Most of the top free agents have already been grabbed off the market so far this offseason, yet there are a couple of big names that remain. One of them, Jonathan Toews, had one of the more murkier futures than most. After the Chicago Blackhawks announced they would not be re-signing their captain, much of the speculation pointed Toews to two options: the Edmonton Oilers or retirement.
Mark Spector of Sportsnet was asked to answer a question about Toews in his regular Oilers mailbag, and he painted a much clearer image of what Toews’ future will hold. Apparently, when Toews’ agency gave out their annual list of pending free agents to interested parties, “we are told his name was not even on the list”.
This is not a surprising development, as Toews has battled chronic immune response syndrome as well as long-term negative side effects from Covid-19. Both of these illnesses have severely cut into his playing time, as Toews has been unable to suit up for a full year since the 2018-19 season. Realistically, it is more than likely that we have seen the last of Toews in the NHL.
- Right before the free agent market opened on July 1st, it was reported that the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks had recently discussed a trade that would send defenseman Tyler Myers to the Bay Area. During their podcast, ’Canucks Central’, Dan Riccio and Sat Shah confirmed the deal would have been a one-for-one swap for winger Kevin Labanc. It makes sense for both teams, as Myers has fallen out of favor in Vancouver, and the team mostly addressed its defensive core via free agency. From the Sharks’ perspective, the team is widely expected to move defenseman Erik Karlsson before the offseason concludes, and Myers would fill that hole left on their right side.
- One of the major holdups in any Myers deal is the $5MM bonus he is due on September 1st of this year. At the beginning of last season, there were reports that a deal that would have sent Myers to the Ottawa Senators fell through due to the bonus due to Myers. Unfortunately for interested parties, David Quadrelli of Nation HQ reports that the Canucks are unable to pay the bonus early, as the league has deemed it a salary cap circumvention.
- One of the main focal points of the Oilers’ offseason is to sign restricted free agent defenseman Evan Bouchard to a contract extension, but it appears the Oilers are also looking to add to their forward depth. Michael DeRosa of The Hockey News reports that Edmonton has significant interest in Philadelphia Flyers’ forwards Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton. Both players would be a positive addition to the team’s forward core, but with only $5.6MM available in cap space, it is hard to envision the Oilers being able to absorb the $5.5MM owed to Konecny, or the $3MM owed to Laughton.