Blues, Maple Leafs, Wild, Oilers, Plus

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In today’s recap of NHL rumors, Friday was a busy day for discussing Alex Pietrangelo. What’s the latest and are the Toronto Maple Leafs involved? It was also a big day for the Minnesota Wild who have continued to stay busy making plans for next season. A surprising team has potentially shown interest in Edmonton Oilers forward Jesse Puljujarvi and the Tampa Bay Lightning has had some good news on the Steven Stamkos frontline.

Pietrangelo talks with Blues Break Down

On Friday there was news that defender Alex Pietrangelo was ready to take meetings with other teams. This news came from Blues media insider Jeremy Rutherford, who noted that the defender realizes things may be moving more away from an extension in St. Louis than they are getting closer.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo celebrates with center Ryan O’Reilly and left winger Sammy Blais (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Chris Young)

Hours later, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that contract negotiations between the St. Louis Blues and Pietrangelo were officially over. Dreger wrote:

Sources say contract negotiations between St Louis Blues and Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo have been halted. The team advised Pietrangelo to seek unrestricted free agency.

Dreger also added that he had spoken to Pietrangelo personally and that the defender had confirmed that things had taken a negative direction with the Blues and that he believed he would head to free agency on October 9.

The Maple Leafs have interest

The news from Pietrangelo, of course, led to speculation in Toronto that the Maple Leafs could be on the defenseman’s radar in terms of meeting. In fact, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun hinted that there might be a mutual interest between the two parties to see if a deal can be made.

LeBrun said: “I believe there is a mutual interest there if he doesn’t sign again at St. Louis – and that’s a big if because I think the Blues are going to do their best. by October 9. . Of course, once the news is revealed that Pietrangelo is walking away from the negotiating table with the Blues, talks about the Maple Leafs work their way into the table.

In fact, there was so much talk in Toronto, apparently the Cap Friendly Maple Leafs page saw a huge spike in visitors, many of whom were probably trying to figure out how the finances were going to work.

Speculation was that the Leafs were already trying to move pieces to find the cap room.

Related: Maple Leafs News & Rumors: Malhotra, Pietrangelo, Andersen & More

Wild announces Mikko Birch will not be returning

The Minnesota Wild have kept busy when it comes to their off-season moves. On Friday, they publicly announced that they would not be signing Captain Mikko Koivu again. As part of their statement, they wrote: “We thank Mikko for all he has done for our organization and wish him and his family the best for the future.”

Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild (Jess Starr / The Hockey Writers)

Koivu is an unrestricted free agent on hold and it will be interesting to see what he decides to do next. He is well respected in the NHL, but he could go abroad or retire.

Interested in Blue Jackets Puljujarvi?

According to Elliotte Friedman, the Columbus Blue Jackets may be interested in Jesse Puljujarvi of the Edmonton Oilers. While answering a question about moves no one might see coming this offseason, during an interview with Oilers NOW, Friedman noted that the Blue Jackets are “looking to add skills.”

He then said he had asked someone to text him to tell him that “the Columbus Blue Jackets were a team that cared for Jesse Puljujarvi.”

It’s a bit odd considering the Blue Jackets could have recruited him but chose not to.

Lightning could get Stamkos back

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, the Tampa Bay Lightning has some good, potentially good news for the weekend. General manager Julien BriseBois says Steven Stamkos was not ruled out for the Stanley Cup final.

It doesn’t look like he’ll be available for the first game, but the team believe he might be available soon after. It would be a huge boost for the lighting.

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