Updates on Notable NHL RFAs – August 23, 2016

by | Aug 23, 2016 | Rumors | 51 comments

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is among several notable unsigned restricted free agents.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is among several notable unsigned restricted free agents.

 Latest updates on this summer’s notable unsigned NHL restricted free agents. 

THE SCORE: Ian McLaren recently listed several impact NHL players still on this summer’s unsigned restricted free agent list. The notables include Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov, Anaheim’s Hampus Lindholm and Rickard Rakell, Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba, Buffalo’s Rasmus Ristolainen, Arizona’s Tobias Rieder and Ottawa’s Cody Ceci. 

NHL NETWORK (via TODAY’S SLAPSHOT): Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman speculates it could cost the Calgary Flames more than Sean Monahan’s recently signed seven-year, $44.625 million to re-sign Gaudreau, citing the latter’s strong offensive numbers over the last two seasons. He believes both sides are looking for “term”, meaning the dollars will be high. Gaudreau said he doesn’t want to talk contract during his participation in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey.

Friedman notes things have been very quiet regarding negotiations between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Kucherov’s agent, suggesting the latter understands it’s not a good idea to leak information to the media. Friedman will be curious to see if the Lightning sign Kucherov to a long-term deal, speculating they could do what they did with Steven Stamkos and Victor Hedman,  “They’re going to say, ‘Look, this is where we’re looking at and this is where it’s going to be,” said Friedman

Friedman also said he’s heard for a while now that Lindholm’s negotiations with the Anaheim Ducks could be tricky, in part due to the defenseman recently changing agents. He said there’s a number of variablse here and currently no information suggesting it’s close to getting done. He also said he’s a bit surprised Rakell hasn’t been re-signed yet and admitted he hasn’t heard a lot about his status.

As for Trouba, Friedman said it’s one “we’ve all be kind of waiting to happen.” He notes the blueliner intends to play in the upcoming World Cup of Hockey whether he has a contract or not. Trouba and Gaudreau have purchased extra insurance for the tournament in case they’re still not under contract with their respective clubs. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s really nothing new to report on any of these notable unsigned players. We’re at the stage in the offseason when both sides tend to button up over the status of the contract talks. With the World Cup of Hockey starting soon and NHL training camps also opening in mid-September, I expect the negotiations are starting to intensify.

The teams want to get these players under contract for the upcoming season. The players don’t want to miss training camp as it could adversely affect their play at the start of the season. In recent years, we’ve seen very few lengthy contract holdouts stretch throughout training camp and into the regular season. While some of these players could remain unsigned when training camp opens, I expect all to be signed before the preseason schedule ends.

It’s possible a rival club could attempt to sign away one of those players via offer sheet, but I doubt we’ll see that happen. The best opportunity for that was earlier in the summer when teams had more salary-cap space and a willingness to spend. Offer sheets are rarely used nowadays. 

As for what these players might get, I’m guessing Gaudreau gets a seven-year deal worth close to $7 million annually, Kucherov gets a seven-year deal for around $6 million per and Lindholm receives a seven- or eight-year contract worth over $5 million annually. The rest could receive short-term deals. 


  1. Attn Flames management: Sign Johnny to a 7/7, he’s worth it and still coming into his prime.

  2. Leafs sign Jonny

    • Nice try Oil Fan but the battle of Alberta will unfold with Gaudreau as a big part of it! You guys have McDavid so you should fear nothing other than poor management decisions; oh yeah, you guys got rid of MacT and Lowe so all you have to fear is fear itself!

      As a Leafs fan I could not be happier than to see the revival of the battle of Alberta.

      • Johnny’s gonna have a tough time find ice against edmonton. The Oilers beefed up with some very large bodied players over the summer. I don’t think they are gonna be an easy team to play this year.

      • Actually that’s not true, MacT and Lowe are still very much part of the organization. Lowe is the Vice Chair OEG/Alternate Governor, and Mactavish is Sr. Vice President, Hockey Operations.

      • The Oilers aren’t the only big team in the league. Johnny does what he does no matter what size the player is. That guy seems to be able to get down and around everyone down low…fun to watch. Edmonton Calgary series will come down to defense and goal tending. I think Edmonton may have the edge up front but Calgary has em on the back end. Last season it was more of a which team will be the best worst team when they played each other. As long as both teams show up to play should be exciting.

    • johnny is offer sheet exempt. So he actually has zero leverage in his negotiating except to hold out. Than if he still isn’t signed by some time in December i believe he is ineligible to play for the rest of the season.

      • Why offer sheet exempt?

      • He doesn’t have arbitration rights. That doesn’t mean he can’t be offer sheeted.

      • @KevJam-well researched.

      • So, other than holding out ’til Hell freezes over he really has no leverage.

      • Thanks Scott

  3. All will sign. I do not recall a “Hold Out” in recent times that lasted into the regular season. It used to be common years ago with some players sitting 20 games or more….. Agreed with Johnny for 7 but more than Giordano ?

    • @silverseven

      Sean Monahan 7 years $44,625,000

      Mark Giordano 6 years $40,500,000

      Johnny should get 7 years $49,000,000. JMHO

      • I’m not sure he is worth that much more than Monahan…currently I guess it’s hard to argue but going down the road I think Monahan is the more valuable player, not sure I’d give Gaudreau that…likely close to it but not 7×7

      • It has been rumoured that johnny is looking for Tarasenko 7.5mil type money. His numbers are right inline with Tarasenko’s.

      • Ya I read that as well I just think as a team Salary structure I go there with Gaudreau… As I said he is close but with Bennett and some of the other younger guys I would try to leave some wiggle room

      • I still hate that Gio contract, but I agree $7 mill for Johnny is fair for both sides.

      • I agree with Schticky, not the best idea in the world giving a winger that much $$$, especially that much more than your 1 c.

      • @Shticky
        I think that is what the hold up is. Gaudreau’s side is not moving from their 7.5mil and the flames are not moving from their 6.5ish to 7ish. In the end I think the flames will win as Gaudreau really has no leverage here lacking being able to take an offer sheet.

      • Gaudreau can be offer sheeted, but it is highly unlikely. He doesn’t have arbitration rights which has nothing to do with offer sheets.

    • The only holdout I can remember was Torey Krug, a few years back, when he missed both training camp and several weeks into the regular season.

      • Pk

      • Didn’t Turris hold out in Phoenix ?

  4. Gaudreau is the face of the franchise at this point. They have no choice but to pay up! The only other option is the controversial trade route a la Subban/ Weber!

    • And that’s not happening!

  5. I know offer sheets are greasy and as a Flyers fan I know other teams’ fans generally dislike the Flyers anyhow so I’d love to see an offer sheet put in on Johnny G. He’s a local area kid, so slick to see him with G and JV or Wayner. Of course Calgary matches, and the Flyers are hated on(insert Weber offer sheet here) but on the off chance the Flames decide to work out a side bar trade with Philadelphia or take 5 1st rounders, why not give er a go?

    • Like I posted above johnny is offer sheet exempt. It has something to do with the CBA and johnny coming out of the NCAA and the 2 year ELC he signed

      • Ahh, I didn’t realize that. Thanks,

      • Yeah, I was bummed to hear that when I first heard it. As an Oiler fan I would have loved to see an Easter team send over an offer sheet for johnny.

      • A Kucherov offer sheet would make for a nice consolation prize. Unless the Flyers go back to converting Voracek to the left side I will continue to dream of other teams’ LW’s. As for Edmonton, their trending upwards…ish but extending Talbot as the #1 and having barely upgrading the D sounds like another tough season, can’t win every game 7-6.

      • Last years Oilers defence looked like this
        Sekera, Fayne, Davidson, Nurse, Oesterle, Reinhart, and Gryba.
        This years looks like this
        Sekera, Fayne, Davidson, Nurse, Larson, and Klefbom. It will be between Reinhart and Oesterle who the seventh d-man will be.
        Last year Klefbom got a staph infection and missed the majority of the year and was arguably the best on the blue line when he went down. With the addition of Larson and Nurse and Davidson both have a full season under their belts they SHOULD be improved. Still missing that one shiney Doughty type d-man that most teams in the NHL are missing. Also with Talbot his save percentage was in the top five after December, so he should be alright. The Oilers defence just needs to improve on getting the puck up to the forwards and out of the zone and the goals against should decline greatly.
        Now the key word in my post is “should” we will only see once the season starts.

      • Talbot was very good with New York. Last season D left him out to dry. Hopefully they’ve done enough to change that for him but he can get the job done if the D does their job. he proved that in New York.

      • @hockey83, the Rangers offered a much more balanced D, likely pumping up Talbot’s numbers. Edmonton won’t commit to defense in the same way, they don’t have the personnel and are clearly banking on a run and gun, attack approach. I think Cam’s a good goalie, I was just surprised that they extended him after a mediocre season. And trust me, not a bash other teams guy, just my honest opinion.

      • Kenn I think the season for Talbot was mediocre just strictly due to what I said. Edmonton’s crap D. Yes New York’s D was way better. I said put a good defensive core in front of Talbot and I believe he can get the job done. Throw the best goalie in the league behind the worst D in the league and you’re gonna have a bad season. Hopefully with adding Larsson and a healthy Klefbom and hopefully Nurse will have a better season than his disapointing first…Talbot can get it done if they do their job.

  6. Gaudreau will get 7, Kucherov 6, and Lindholm 5? Lindholm is the best player of the 3, a top 10 dman in the league, and a true number 1 dman. If any of them is worth 7 it’s Lindholm. No wonder he hasnt signed yet if he’s that undervalued. The Ducks have the best defense in the league but he’s still the best dman they have. They are going to be burned by the expansion draft more than any other team unless they make a trade.

    • Agreed. I don’t know why Gaudreau would make that much more than Kucherov either. Kucherov is a better defensive player and scores almost as much.

    • The mention of overpaying a LW such as JG, take a look at an overpaid LW in Zach Parise.

      • Parish is still pretty awesome and much much older than gaufreau.

    • Nah I think the team likely to be burned the worst could likely be the bluejackets way too many NMC on crap players Hartmell Dubinsky Clarkson.Foligno Bobrovski with Saad Wennberg Jenner Attkinson Jones Johnson Savard Murray left available they are going to lose.a very good young player

      • Sounds like a “draft this pos and I’ll give you a 1st round pick in next year’s draft” in the making. There might well be a few of those.

    • Given his age I’m not sure you’re off the mark abit with Lindholm considering Hamilton 5.75 Barrie 5.5 Muzzin 4 Josi 4 Ellis 2.5 Rielly 5 OEL 5.5….I understand you may consider him highly but I really can’t see him being anywhere close to valued at 7 mill yet short of winning a Norris I can’t see many 22 or 23 year old D making that kinda money Deeeee

  7. Guess what? GAUDREAU IS OFFER SHEET EXEMPT!! Who knew?

  8. Real nice piece of business for the Sens and Ceci 2 years 5.6 good bridge deal for both player and team I think

    • THAT’S exactly what I was hoping for. Now Dorion knows how much more of Melnyk’s money he can spend this year on a 1-year deal from among the remaining UFAs.

      • I’m not certain it may not be better at this point to wai it out and pluck some one up off waivers judging by what’s left… Quincey as we spoke before may be worth a look but I am starting to wonder if it’s not at an ultra cheap price of a PTO if he makes it league minimum deal otherwise the waiver wire maybe the way to go for teams like the Sens that really not need depth pieces on D

  9. Only need•

  10. Gaudreau wants 7.5 mil here in Calgary, but the Flames do not want anyone paid higher than the Captain Giordano (6.5 mil). Monahan got 6.375 mil so I think they get Gaudreau locked up around 6.5-6.7 mil. The Flames franchise has always kind of said that the Captain should be the highest paid…

  11. ***Giordano makes 6.75, had a typo^^^^^