NHL Rumor Mill – July 22, 2017
Latest on Johnny Gaudreau plus updates on the Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes in your NHL rumor mill.
CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson reports Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau told a Philadelphia sports radio station Friday that “it would be sweet” to one day play for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Gaudreau, a native of Carneys Point, New Jersey, grew up cheering for the Flyers. However, he was quick to praise the Flames, their fans and the city of Calgary. The 23-year-old has five years remaining on his current contract with the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a trade rumor and it’s obvious that Gaudreau was simply prompted into that response by the interviewer. Still, it could get some folks musing about him getting dealt one day to the Flyers or joining them as a free agent should things go sour with the Flames.
However, a lot can happen over the next five years. Gaudreau could be reluctant to leave Calgary, especially if the Flames become a Cup contenders over that period. The Flyers could develop their own young scoring winger and not have a need for Gaudreau. Or maybe he ends up playing for someone other than the Flames or Flyers.
It’s worth recalling how Bobby Ryan was once thought to be headed to the Flyers as a free agent. He wound up re-signing with the Ottawa Senators.
NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien notes the Detroit Red Wings re-signing winger Tomas Tatar leaves them with little salary cap space for next season even with all-but-retired Johan Franzen going on LTIR. They still have young forward Andreas Athanasiou to re-sign.
One option to shed salary, as suggested by Wings blog Winging It In Motown, could be buying out defenseman Jonathan Ericsson. O’Brien also speculates over other cost-cutting moves, such as trading veteran blueliner Mike Green or swapping one bad contract for another less expensive one.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve summarize O’Briens report but it worth reading his take on the Wings cap situation in its entirety. Bottom line is they’re hampered by some bad contracts. Creating cap room for Athanasiou could cost them a decent player if they’re unable to find another means to free up some dollars.
ARIZONA SPORTS: Craig Morgan reports Arizona Coyotes GM John Chayka isn’t ruling out another offseason trade. “I’m still trying to get one more thing done,” he said. “We’ll see.” Morgan said the Coyotes would like a better balance between right and left shots at forward and on the blueline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week, Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion said he was talking to another team about a possible trade. Maybe he was referring to Chayka? Discuss!