In today’s NHL rumors rundown, Don Waddell has stepped down as GM of the Carolina Hurricanes. Is he retiring or is he going somewhere else? There is other news in Carolina, specifically when it comes to Jake Guentzel, Brady Skjei, and Brett Pesce. Meanwhile, both Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi have started contract talks with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Nikita Zadorov comments on how much he should make as a pending UFA.

Waddell Steps Down as Hurricanes GM and President

The Carolina Hurricanes have confirmed that Don Waddell has resigned as GM and President of the Carolina Hurricanes. Eric Tulsky has been named interim General Manager.

Per Pierre LeBrun, “As mentioned last night, Waddell’s contract is expiring and he’s made the decision to move on after 10 years in Carolina. We’ll see what transpires in Columbus where there’s other candidates in play as well. But my sense is Waddell is at peace either way that it was time to move on.” There have been whispers that Waddell is being considered and interviewed for the vacancy with the Blue Jackets.

Still with the Hurricanes, it is assumed that Tulsky is now running point on the Jake Guentzel negotiations. LeBrun noted in an article for The Athletic:

My understanding is that the Hurricanes wasted no time in reaching out to Guentzel’s camp to talk possible extension and that there have already been a number of conversations. The interest is mutual, Guentzel enjoyed his time in Carolina after the trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins. But it’s also the one time in his career he’s gotten a shot at the UFA market. Does eight years at $8 million get it done to keep him in Carolina? Perhaps. But whether the Hurricanes would be willing to go there remains to be seen.

source – ‘Rumblings on Guentzel, Kane, Stamkos, Lindholm, Bertuzzi and more as NHL free-agent market heats up’ – Pierre LeBrun – The Athletic – 05/24/2024

LeBrun also notes that Brady Skjei is Carolina’s top priority on defense to get re-signed. Negotiations have basically been at a standstill regarding Brett Pesce. For the better part of 10 months, not much has progressed between agent Judd Moldaver of Wasserman and Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon.

Maple Leafs in Talks With Bertuzzi and Domi

The Maple Leafs are in talks to retain Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi for long-term contracts. Both are pending UFAs and both have said they would be interested in sticking with the organization. The Maple Leafs are discussing multi-year deals, potentially worth $5 million to $6 million annually, reports LeBrun.

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“It’s early, but it’s out there that the Leafs want to re-sign him,” Bertuzzi’s agent Todd Reynolds explained. If it doesn’t get done in Toronto, Bertuzzi will test the market. “He’s played on the first line with the best players on each of his last three teams. So he would be coveted on the open market.”

Zadorov Talks About Upcoming Free Agency Rumors

Canucks fans are hoping the organization re-signs Nikita Zadorov, but his future with the team is uncertain because he might be too expensive to retain. When asked if his playoff performance priced him out of what the Canucks can afford, he sarcastically responded, “Why? How much do you think I should make.” He then took a shot at reporters for making up numbers that he might be seeking on an extension.

Nikita Zadorov, Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images)

When it comes to where the Canucks are at with negotiations, “We’ll meet with Vancouver soon to discuss his future,” his agent Dan Milstein said Thursday. “He loved his time in Vancouver, the team, management, and coaching staff. We’re not sure about their plans yet, but we’ll take it from there. If not, he’ll explore free agency and other opportunities.”

Milstein emphasized that contract length is a priority for the 29-year-old Zadorov. More term might mean flexibility on salary, potentially earning him $5.5 million to $6 million annually, depending on the contract length.

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