Updates on Steven Stamkos, Anze Kopitar and Niklas Backstrom, plus the latest on the Calgary Flames, in your NHL Rumor Mill.
“Stamkos to Calgary” rumor fizzling out.
TSN 1040 VANCOUVER ( via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Pierre LeBrun believes Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving is working the phones seeking a deal to help his club, but claims he’s found no evidence Treliving spoke with Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman. LeBrun claims people in both organizations flatly denied last week’s speculation Treliving was interested in Steven Stamkos. He also doubts Stamkos will will his no-movement clause and believes Yzerman remains committed to re-signing his captain.
LeBrun also believes if the Flames make a deal, it’ll involve one of their defensemen. That being said, he feels Treliving won’t make a move if it doesn’t feel right to him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The notion of Stamkos waiving his no-movement clause to leave a Stanley Cup contender to join a rebuilding team that’s currently struggling in the standings was absurd. As for the Flames, while I don’t doubt Treliving’s looking for help, he’s probably finding the offers less than enticing. In today’s salary-cap world, it’s difficult to swing an early-season trade, especially with nearly two-thirds of the league carrying less than $6 million in cap space, and with many of the others under lower self-imposed cap ceilings.
Highlights from Cox’s “Weekend Takeaways.”
SPORTSNET: Damien Cox believes there’s a “definite sense” contract negotiations between the Los Angeles Kings and pending UFA center Anze Kopitar have stalled. It was originally though the Kings had to first sort out their situations with Slava Voynov and Mike Richards, but they’re now resolved and Kopitar remains unsigned. Cox claims a lot of folks are puzzled over this one
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s nothing to be puzzled about. Kopitar is seeking an eight-year deal and his asking price could be around $10 million annually. They’re currently carrying over $49 million in payroll for 2016-17 (that’s with Voynov off the books and including Richards’ salary-cap recapture penalty) and must also consider re-signing left wing Milan Lucic, who could also seek a hefty new contract. Management must decide if they can afford carrying an expensive new deal for Kopitar over the long term and still have enough to re-sign Lucic and fill out the rest of their lineup.
The Minnesota Wild are now the only team carrying three goalies, with Niklas Backstrom the odd man out behind Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper. Cox claims the Wild would trade Backstrom and he would like to move, but given their goaltending woes in recent years, they’ll likely keep him as insurance.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Wild have little choice. There’s no market this early in the season for a 37-year-old goalie with a long history of injury woes carrying a cap hit of $3.416 million who’s earning $4 million in actual salary.