Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – August 23, 2020

by | Aug 23, 2020 | Rumors | 46 comments

The latest Flames speculation plus updates on Taylor Hall, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Alex Pietrangelo in today’s Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis believes Johnny Gaudreau has likely played his final game with the Calgary Flames, pointing to what he called the winger’s “annual disappearance” during the playoffs. He feels Gaudreau’s style of game doesn’t mesh with post-season hockey as teams collapse their defense and intensity ramps up.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images)

Gaudreau has two years left on his contract. Francis feels it won’t be easy to move him now, citing his playoff performances and his $6.75 million annual average value under a flattened salary cap. He suggested center Sean Monahan would have to be included to sweeten the deal. However, he feels general manager Brad Treliving prefers to keep Monahan and finding another winger to play alongside him.

Waiting another year to move Gaudreau when his limited no-trade clause kicks in will only hamper efforts to deal him. Francis feels now is the time.

Francis also thinks Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund are less likely to move, while Sam Bennett’s rising stock should keep him in Calgary.

Luke Fox feels there’s a financial incentive for contenders to pursue Gaudreau. Once the winger collects his $3.5 million bonus check for 2020-21 from the Flames, an acquiring club could get him for two seasons to a total of $10 million in actual salary. That could be a good deal for teams seeking scoring depth under a flattened salary cap.

THE HOCKEY NEWS: Brian Costello suggested Gaudreau could be a difference-maker for clubs trying to reach the playoffs. He listed the New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, Florida Panthers, and Columbus Blue Jackets as possible Eastern options. He also noted there’s speculation Gaudreau would prefer signing with an Eastern club when he becomes a UFA in 2022.

Costello said it’s no big secret the Flames would like to pursue Calgary native Taylor Hall via free agency at season’s end. He feels Gaudreau could fetch the Flames a decent return. He also wondered about Monahan’s fate, noting the chemistry between the two forwards isn’t working anymore. He thinks Gaudreau and Monahan will be former Flames by the end of this year.

CALGARY SUN: Wes Gilbertson noted some observes feel the Philadelphia Flyers would love to land Gaudreau, a native of Carneys Point, NJ. “Really? Last we checked, the Flyers have a pretty good thing going,” said Gilbertson.

TSN: Frank Seravalli acknowledged plenty of fingers are being pointed at Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. This postseason proved the Flames are Matthew Tkachuk’s team now, as they sagged without him after the winger was sidelined early in their first-round series against the Dallas Stars. Rather than blow up the roster, however, Seravalli suggests finding a better supporting cast for Tkachuk to take the heat off Gaudreau and Monahan.

Seravalli believes the Flames’ priority should be improving their goaltending. This could be the summer to make a splash. Washington’s Braden Holtby, Vancouver’s Jacob Markstrom, and Vegas’ Robin Lehner could become free agents, while Pittsburgh’s Matt Murray could also become available.

The fate of their blueline needs to be addressed. T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic are among those slated for UFA status. Seravalli also wondered about the fate of interim head coach Geoff Ward. If general manager Brad Treliving opts to start fresh, it would be his fifth coaching hire in seven years.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It certainly seems likely that Gaudreau could be on the move during the off-season. Despite his postseason struggles, his regular-season production would be attractive to teams seeking scoring punch to reach the playoffs.

The Devils could be the best fit. They have the cap space and need an established winger alongside center Nico Hischier. The Sabres also have cap space but also have Jeff Skinner and Victor Olofsson at left wing and a greater need for a second-line center.

The Panthers have Jonathan Huberdeau as their first-line left-winger. They could reportedly cut costs in the offseason. The Blue Jackets could use Gaudreau but he and demanding head coach John Tortorella are as different as chalk and cheese.

Treliving could move Monahan but finding a suitable first-line center to replace him would be very difficult. If the Flames GM is interested in pursuing Hall, he’ll want Monahan there as his first-line center.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston reports Arizona Coyotes winger Taylor Hall will make finding a stable, winning situation his priority if he hits the open market at season’s end. He feels the 28-year-old Hall would prefer “a winning place to land” over one that could fill up his bank account the most. The winger’s only been in the playoff twice during his 10-year NHL career.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That doesn’t mean Hall won’t be looking for a good contract. He’ll still want to get paid market value or as close to it as possible. Nevertheless, playing for a contender could mean more to him right now.

Speaking of the Coyotes, Elliotte Friedman suggested the future of captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson could be worth following in the off-season. The 29-year-old defenseman has seven years remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $8.25 million and a full no-movement clause. However, Friedman suggests it’ll come down to what ownership and new management wants to do going forward.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Right now, we don’t know if the Coyotes intend to trade Ekman-Larsson. He has full control over his fate. If he doesn’t want to waive his NMC, that could be the end of it.

However, if ownership makes the case that they’d like to move on without him, it could be a powerful incentive to waive it. Clubs lacking a top-two, left-side defenseman would be interested, but he’d still determine where he’d go.

Friedman also reported plenty of time remains for the St. Louis Blues and team captain Alex Pietrangelo to hammer out a new contract. There are still seven weeks until the UFA market opens on Nov. 1. It’s believed Pietrangelo wants to stay in St. Louis. Last October, Friedman reported the Blues wanted to sign him to a long-term deal below $9 million annually.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The flattened salary cap could affect how much the Blues can afford to invest in Pietrangelo. Nevertheless, the two sides seem keen to get a deal done. I’ll be surprised if he hits the open market in November.


  1. Buffalo needs to be in on discussions that will improve the club. How about a blockbuster of Reinhart & Ristolanian (or Montour) and Casey Mittelstadt for Monahan and Gaudreau?

    • I agree, Sabres are in a position for a major shake up. Not sure I would give everyone you have stated, but the suggestions are a good start. Enough is enough in BUF.

    • I don’t see the Flames doing a deal with Buffalo. None of those players that you mentioned make any sense.

      I look at that Buffalo roster and the only players I see that would be of interest would be Eichel and Dahlin and I am sure they are not available.

  2. “Monahan as a sweetener”. That’s over 13 million in cap space for both. Not many teams could take on 1 of those contracts, let alone 2. Buffalo has space to build a decent roster. That’ll fill up fast with those 2. Olofsson would need to go other way to free up spot at LW, whole Calgary would probably want a ton more. Cozens, this years 8th pick overall, probably Risto or Montour. Monahan partial ntc starts this year. Devils? Are they going to trade Hughes or Hischier? Maybe Monahan to Buf and Johnny to Devils. Many stories recently Rangers maybe pursuing Monahan.

    • Slick62 – best of the morning chuckles when I saw that “Monahan as a sweetener” reference by Francis. $13 mil combined? No problem! All another GM has to do is find a team to take what he considers expendable to the tune of equal or higher amount, then move out even more cap hits to make room for his RFAs and Bob’s Your Uncle. I think this isolation is affecting the brains of people like Francis.

      • George. I vehemently disagree with you here.

        Eric Francis didn’t need isolation to bring out his ignorance. He whiffs on a daily basis, regardless of topic at hand.

      • LOL. OK. Never get to see/hear him much – but that “suggestion” smacked of a fantasy hockey approach to trades where anything goes and not the observation of someone who looks at all the obstacles.

      • That sort of cavalier approach to the realities of cap limitations – especially now that we may be looking at a flat cap for a couple of seasons to come – reminds me of the various fantasy leagues I was in over the years – for most of them, the dollar limitations were never a part of the rules. We all more or less loved making trades to keep things interesting.

        Then, one year, we brought in a cap limit equal to what it was at the time (can’t recall exactly – somewhere around 64 mil) … and trades virtually ground to a halt simply because, after deciding AB&C would make a great exchange for XY&Z – we couldn’t make the money fact or work.

        And, whether fans like it or not, that remains THE single biggest obstacle to trades in the NHL.

      • Sabres are not trading Cozens – period.

    • The 8th pick could be in play for a 2C center but no way would I see Cozens. The core that seems untouchable for Buffalo is Eichel, Dahlin, Cozens, UPL and maybe Jokiharu. Not that aren’t other good pieces but I don’t see any of those five up to be traded. My guess is that Skinner and Okposo are untradeable in this flat cap market. I would view a mix of Johansson, Olafsson, Kahun, Montour, Ristolainen, McCabe, Miller, Hutton, Mittelstadt, Thompson, a draft pick, and or a lesser prospect to get them a 2C. They also need a 3rd pairing LD, a strong penalty killing 4th liner and an upgrade in goal.

      • I think Monahan would interest Buffalo but at what price…I can’t see 8OA going as the Sabres need forward prospect help which this draft will provide. Maybe the 2021 1st as part of the trade but what else could the Sabres offer?

        My question to the board is what kind of contract Reinhart gets? What’s fair? I look at something like Boeser’s contract or maybe a touch more due to years of service.

  3. Good morning all. Asking folks familiar w Calgary is the buzz of being open to moving Monahan and/or Gaudreau legitimate? If so the rumors that CBJ were in deep trade talks w CAL and BUF at the deadline become interesting Calgary fans what is your take on this?

    • DeaconFrost

      I would be certain Gaudreau gets traded this off season.
      I would bet the farm that Monahan stays. Monahan actually raised his game during the playoffs this year, and when I say that he was much more physical and engaged he won over 60% of his face offs.
      I always said in these playoffs, the first line was always playing a man short because of Johnnys lack of engagement along the boards.
      Monahan is signed to a good contract, and centers are very hard to acquire, especially one that wins face offs and is now just learning how to play in the playoffs.

      It will be a very interesting off season as to where Johnny ends up. I suspect it will be NJ

    • Eric Francis has less credibility then Larry Brooks. He often picks a whipping boy on the flames and pushes his opinions as if they were facts. I am sure lots of GMs will line up if these players become available. Monahan as a sweetener is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Both players have much more value then some are giving credit for here. There cap hits for what they bring give them more value not less

      • Agree 100% with your take on Francis, Gaudreau and Monahan. Especially Francis. What a fraud.

  4. I, and others have said it before, Johnny is a good player, but with two years left, a weird upcoming season included, and the playoff disappearance, what GM in their right mind gives juo a decent hall for him. You are better off signing Hall and keeping your other assets, among other options.

  5. I would think that if plan was to replace Johnny G with Hall, they might want to wait on making a trade until they know they are signing Hall. Agree with Lyle that there’s not much center depth there to make Hall want to play there if they trade away Monahan. Maybe if they want to blow it up and trade both, and forget about Hall. As far as Pietreangelo, he didn’t sound like someone that was confident in returning to Blues. Quote somewhere along the lines of “ go home to my family and see where we go next”

  6. In the regular season Johnny is a game changer that will get 70 – 90 points which is not to shabby. He will definitely help a club get into the playoffs, plus he is an exciting player to watch.

    For a team like Florida that could create a little excitement to draw fans for the regular season.

    I would like to see a Gaudreau for Huberdeau trade with Calgary holding 1 million in salary

    • Besides fact nobody knows if there’ll be fans or not, why would Florida trade Huberdeau? He’s not the problem. He has a full nmc.

      • Slick62

        Yeah, just noticed that Huberdeau has the nmc.
        I mentioned Florida because ownership there seems like they are looking to save money and have a history of meddling. If they could get an exciting player like Johnny they might be tempted to make a deal even if Calgary had to hold more salary.

        Unfortunately it makes it real tough to get around the nmc

  7. OEL to Toronto for AM34?🤔 Hmm
    We can dream

    • I like that trade but doubt Leaf fans will. OEL probably won’t help them defensively. Besides AM34 will get a vote once is contract runs out anyway.

      • Monoghan & Jonny Hockey to the Leafs
        Flames get Marner and Nylander

    • OEL was always a part of my Armchair GM trade of Matthews to the Yotes.

      Now? Chayka and Dubas screwed it!

      TML doesn’t have the cap space to take on the proper assets that AZ doesn’t have to offer to make a deal even remotely close.

      2 years ago they were the perfect trade partners.

      Not now.

  8. I like that trade but doubt Leaf fans will. OEL probably won’t help them defensively. Besides AM34 will get a vote once is contract runs out anyway.

  9. There are actually app. 10 weeks, not 7, until November 01 and Free Agency.


    Small thing, but then I’m not really a fan.


  10. A few spitball trade proposals (unrelated to today’s topics) to consider (or not).

    The Ducks trades Rakell, Lindholm and a 4th round pick to the Predators for Johansen, Ekholm and a 2nd round pick.

    The Coyotes trade Raanta to the Hurricanes for Reimer. The Coyotes get a little cap relief and the Hurricanes get a slight upgrade in goalie depth.

    The Hurricanes trade Gardiner and Fleury to the Devils for a 3rd round pick and a 4th round pick.

  11. Gaudreau (who by the way had 7 points in 10 playoff games and a long long list with less) to the Devils for Macleod Wood and one of their later firsts.

    • The beat on Johnny but Matt Tzachuck only had 2 points in 6 games. Johnny had 4 goals.

    • Hey Silver,

      I was kind of thinking Gaudreau to NJ
      For Palmieri and NJ first

  12. would CGY accept from NYR a Strome, ADA, Carolina and Lias Anderson for Monahan? Can even toss in Carolina 1st rd pick and take back mid round pick.

    Gives Rangers a 2 C and CGY depth. They have cap room to sign ADA & Strome and still have room for Hall after moving Monahan and letting go of some UFA’s.

    don’t hit too hard….it has been a while.

    • No, as I said before I really can’t see the Flames trading Monahan. I am not sure who or what is ADA is

    • I like this ihatecrosby from both the Flames and the Rangers perspectives. However I don’t understand what you meant by “Carolina”. Honestly think Strome, DeAngelo, Andersson and a 3rd for Monahan and a 1st may work.

    • I can’t see Calgary taking on 2 unknown contracts (both have arbitration rights) and a problem child in Andersson.

      • was also thinking Johnny G also then could be moved for other needs too IF needed.

    • Calgary would become weaker at the center position, Monahan is better as a number one center than Lindholm is, and Strome would be. DeAngelo would be interesting if he could repeat his offensive breakout. In that case, the Flames could trade Brodie and still have a placeholder for Valimaki.

      But the Rangers would win that deal by far, getting the far better centerman and removing a defenceman who would ask for more than they’re willing to pay.

      • That is why i threw in Carolina’s 1st rd pick that the Rangers get this draft to give to CGY to entice the deal

        just food for thought

        Brodie is a UFA so ADA would be more cost effective long term to sign him to a deal. Younger by 6 years and can give him 6 X6 .

        Strome would become their # 2 C and again lets say 5.5 by 5 would be cheaper than Monahan.

        New look for both teams
        and gives CGY room to grab Hall still

        NYR cannot afford those 2 deals there but CGY has the space both both where Rangers only have space for 1 of the 2.

      • @ihatecrosby

        It might work numbers wise, but taking everything into consideration, having Monahan and Backlund as top two centers is better than trusting Lindholm and Strome. The 1st round pick wouldn’t be enticing enough to me anyway to make the team weaker in the short term. The Flames are either re-tooling, in which case the deal doesn’t make sense, or totally re-building, in which case the deal doesn’t make sense lol.

      • The trade simply does not make Calgary better..

  13. DeAngelo is hitting his prime, had 53 points. Tied with Q Hughes for 4th among Dmen. 5 points more than Monahan. Don’t see how that trade doesn’t make Calgary better. Whatever value you think you’re losing in Strome at center than Monahan, you’re more than making up for it with DeAngelo. Calgary doesn’t have a lot of dmen signed for next season. Your team can’t win a playoff. Bar is not set very high. Honestly, as a Ranger fan, I’d love to add Monahan, not there’s no way I’m giving 3 players and a 1st TD pick.

    • 1st round pick

    • I have not watched a lot of Rangers games but the ones I did it looked like ADA is suspect defensively. As a fan of NYR how would you describe his game Slick?

      • Ttutone. It’s true DeAngelo probably not the best defenseman in his own end. He’s definately a dynamic offensive dman, who QB’d the first PP. For Rangers, they have Fox who can pay D and give you offense, plus a kid in Sweden they took in 1st round a couple years back that a lot of fans feel will be same player as DeAngelo. They were one of the worst teams in league at giving up shots. IMO, Calgary has an opening he could fill.
        Augustus: if you feel Monahan is that important to team, then keep him. My comment is on a trade and while you may feel he has enormous value to your team, I’m just saying I don’t see Rangers giving up all those pieces for him.

    • Tyson Barrie also looked great as an Avs defenceman.

    • Also, that looks purely at statistics. So what if ADA had 5 more points than Monahan. Is 5 points more worth weakening arguably the most important position outside of the net?

      • Rat Tua. See above answer