NHL Rumor Mill – May 20, 2021

by | May 20, 2021 | Rumors | 50 comments

Are big offseason moves in store for the Flames and Kings? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Eric Francis recently looked at some key offseason questions facing the Calgary Flames following a disappointing season. He wondered if Brad Treliving will return as general manager. While Treliving isn’t afraid to make big decisions, the Flames under his watch have proven incapable of winning when it matters most.

Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau (NHL Images).

Francis feels they need an overhaul more than a roster teardown. That could involve winger Johnny Gaudreau, who is a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility. They cannot afford to lose him for next to nothing the way they did when they gave away Jarome Iginla.

The Flames won’t have any limitations on trading Gaudreau until July 28, when his modified no-trade clause kicks in. It won’t be easy trading him in a flat-cap era when his stock has declined.

Francis wondered if the Flames will leave defenseman Mark Giordano exposed in the expansion draft. He also downplayed the possibility of acquiring Jack Eichel from the Buffalo Sabres, pointing out the Flames lack sufficient depth in star players and top prospects to make a competitive pitch.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Changes are coming for the Flames. They have to. They cannot return with the same roster and expect better results.

They could replace Treliving though I suspect if they were thinking of doing so it would’ve happened by now. He’s got two more years left on his contract. They could give him at least one more year to dig his way out of this mess.

Whoever sits in the GM’s chair this summer will have to make one or two moves to shake things up. Moving Gaudreau seems the most obvious move but only if there’s a decent return to be had this summer. Otherwise, it might be best to keep him for next season and see if his trade value improves.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, Flames fans, feel free to offer up your views in the comments section below.


LOS ANGELES TIMES: Helene Elliott believes Kings GM Rob Blake is on the clock to transform his club into a playoff team. He’s under pressure to use his $20 million in salary-cap space and the young talent he’s accumulated and turn the Kings into a Stanley Cup contender.

Team captain Anze Kopitar and defenseman Drew Doughty last week expressed their hope that Blake will add impact players this summer. Elliott feels he has several paths toward doing so, either via free agency, leveraging assets in trades, or targeting cap-strapped clubs looking to shed salary.

Blake acknowledged Doughty’s comments, adding that making the playoffs next season is a must. He also said this season provided a better understanding of where certain holes in the roster may be and the progression of some of their younger players.

THE ATHLETIC: Lisa Dillman believes adding one or two top-six wingers for Kopitar’s line should be among the Kings’ priorities this summer. They should target clubs that risk losing a quality player to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft. Given their prospect depth, Dillman proposed they consider shopping their first-round pick if it remains at eighth overall following the draft lottery.

They could also use some help on the left side of their defense. She suggested checking into the availability of Nashville Predators blueliner Mattias Ekholm or the Carolina Hurricanes’ Jake Bean. Perhaps Vegas Golden Knights pending UFA Alec Martinez might be willing to return to the Kings.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Blake is sitting in a good position to make a couple of significant additions. The Kings GM has five picks in the first three rounds in this year’s draft plus plenty of promising prospects to draw upon for trade bait. He can also put his cap space to good use in the trade and/or free-agent market.

The trade market could include forwards like Buffalo’s Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart, Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau, and Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov and defensemen such as Ekholm, Bean or St. Louis’ Vince Dunn. Free agency could feature Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Boston’s Taylor Hall, Colorado’s Brandon Saad and Tampa Bay’s Blake Coleman.

Finding the right players, however, will be the challenge. The nightmare is wasting assets and valuable long-term cap space on players who fail to move the needle.


  1. The Flames HAVE to make changes. I would do a complete rebuild, a proper one. No one on that roster should be safe. I would trade Gaudreau, Monahan (he’s injured now but will be good by camp) and even Tkachuck. They should be able to get some futures in those deals, I don’t think “hockey trades” make sense for them right now. Teams should be lining up for Gaudreau. Monahan would make an amazing second line C on just about any team so there should be interest there. Tkachuck should draw attention from a lot of teams. Backlund would be a really good 3rd line C on a contending team, if there’s no interest in him I would make him available for the expansion draft. I would keep Gio just to flip him at the deadline, I doubt there would be a lot of interest in him for the whole season. I would retain salary on any trade to maximize the return, I would also take back any bad contracts. There are a few top prospects in the next few years, if they can get any extra first rounders it will help. They need to rebuild. They aren’t good enough. Wright and Bedard are worth the risk.

    • Scorched earth strategy would be exciting. But while you’re doing it stroke some guys like Valimaki instead of feeding them a steady diet of fear with “you’ll have to work your butt off just to stay in the bigs.” I’m assuming that’s what goes on there. Might be too much justice and not enough mercy. But what do I know?

  2. I wasn’t jumping for joy when the flames signed Markstrom. But what are you going to do? They’ve been juggling goalies since Kiprusoff left. Now they have a #1 locked up for some time. Ok, goalie problem solved, well enough.

    That still leaves the #1 centre position open, which has not been filled maybe since Niewendyk left (can someone correct me?). I can’t think of any teams that have won that didn’t have an impactful centre ice. So they need to solve that. Eichel, a guy with his own warts, seems to be available. Other than that??

    Sutter was right, they didn’t have the guns to compete in the North. Now that is a sly, Sutter motivation tactic, but he uses truth to do those things. So they need some guns.

    Is there something in the old, Al MacNeil culture in Calgary that is not conducive to scoring or “fun?” Something that not even a coach like Glen Gulutzon could change? I think Jay Easter Feaster was starting to change the culture when all of a sudden Burke comes in and fires him over the handling of Baertschi. The Feaster era was the last era of genuine excitement in Calgary until the cheap, dark cloud of Burke came thundering in.

    So what do they do? Blow things up or make some trades and signings to stay competitive? They need more top end talent, especially at centre (or am I undervaluing Lindholm?).

    If they can’t upgrade the centre ice they might have to blow it up. Try to upgrade and see if a full season with Sutter can make a difference. I really thought he would get them in the playoffs. A lot to think about but that’s a start.

    • Arnie, I beg to differ with you about Feaster & why he got the bullitt. The ORielly offer sheet that just about cost us a 1st & 3rd rounder & no player was a pretty serious blunder & could have been a big blow to the organization that had bare cupboards already. As for the scorched earth approach, not a chance we’ll see that. Ownership had a finger in bringing in Sutter to see if he can get the last out of our quickly closing window. We have some good pieces. Core changes will be coming. A few points:

      1/ Gaudreau is finally finding where he fits in a Sutter system. Lindholm Tkachuk & Gaudreau are finally looking like we have a top line. If Gaudreau wont commit to an extension (I have my doubts) he will be shopped. If returns are meh, we’ll just keep him & shop him at next years trade deadline, return should be decent even at that time. But it wont be hard to do a hockey trade, there are a lot of teams that are looking to shake up cores & the $$$ on cap hit can be done, i.e. instead of Eichel, Flames could make a play for Reinhart & Buffalo may like to see Gaudreau & Eichel together instead of getting pennies on Eichel given his medical status impacting trade returns.
      2/ Gio may very well get picked off by the Kracken. Emotionally it will be tough as there are a lot of loyal fans to Gio but the pro side is we gain a valuable 6.75 mill in cap space. That can buy you a nice piece.
      3/ Monahan is still very tradeable if Flames like the return but a healthy Monahan could be a very good #2C. Monahan & Valamaki for 1 year of Seth Jones with Columbus? Could do that with the likes of Backlund in the fold. He’s an over paid but very good 3C but still has the skills to move up to 2C.

      I dont see Sutter coming in for scorched rebuild, Tre wont be the GM for the rebuild either. The next 2 years will be Treliving & Sutter trying to sneak through that quickly closing window.
      Just my humble opinion.

      • They didn’t lose the picks and Colorado’s GM missed it too. I liked Feaster and hiring Burke was a mistake. They were on the up and up at the time, you can’t argue against that. Treliving has been a good GM in my opinion, don’t get me wrong. It’s tough to win, and they definitely have more assets than they did when he was hired. But who cares about the past. I won’t bring that up anymore.

        No, I agree, Sutter is not coming in for a rebuild. And I don’t think I’m in favour of the scorched earth, despite the fact you could justify doing it. If they’re .500 after 40 games next year, then probably. It is also very possible that this Tkachuk for Eichel chatter might be one of Sutter’s motivational ploys. Tkachuk hasn’t done much since last years regular season.

        The s****y thing about the cap is that if you are Calgary the only talent available outside the draft are buyer beware guys like Eichel and Reinhart. Like KevJam said, they lack speed and so Reinhart I wouldn’t want. His commitment was questionable too, he wouldn’t last in Calgary. So that’s a point in favour of the scorched earth again. $**t.

        New report says Gaudreau open to extension. I believe it. I’m definitely not against trading Tkachuck for Eichel, like I said I never bought into this future captain stuff.

    • Arnie, I think the problem with goaltending is Sigalet. The Flames have not developed any of our drafted prospects and every decent goalie they brought in has regressed during his tenure. Yes this past season, Labarberra was made the team’s goalie coach but rather than firing Sigalet, they promoted him to head of goaltenders in the organization. Rittich and Talbot improved while at home working with their own private coaches only to fall back after a short time with Jordan. He must be buddies with Treliving.

      The goalies were much more consistent under Clint Malarchuk, who Sigalet replaced.

  3. IMO the Flames are lacking size with skill, footspeed, and toughness in their top 6. I know Tkachuk has size but he is a second line guy who lacks footspeed to keep up with Lindholm, Monahan, and Gaudreau. Here are some other teams top line players who the Flames were playing against this season. Oilers Draisaitl is 6’2″ 208 lbs, Puljujarvi 6’4″ 200lbs. Toronto Matthews 6’3″ 220 lbs, Hyman 6’3″ 211 lbs. Wheeler 6’5″ 225 lbs Scheifele 6’1″ 207 lbs. All of those players have skill, footspeed, and are also strong on the puck and have the size and toughness to fight for the puck along the boards.
    I think the Flames need to overhaul their bottom 6 forwards and trade two of Gaudreau, Monahan, and Tkachuk. Tkachuk is going to require to be qualified at $9 million after next season. Do you really want to tie up $9 million on a second line forward? Lindholm should be the only untouchable.
    I also just want to point out that I was on here during last years UFA frenzy. I was commenting on how worried I was with all the talk of the Oilers wanting to sign Markstrom. I was so relieved when they didn’t. $6 million for 6 years for a 31 year old goalie with a full NMC for a goalie who had one good seasons followed up by an even better season on a contract year is an overpayment. I still don’t think the Flames are set in goal.

    • KevJam, you know your Flames better than I do but the Flames would need a roster player equal to Tkachuk in a trade in order for the move to make an improvement. That said, yeah, 9 million for him is too much.

      None of you Flames fans have mentioned buying out Lucic, whose speed and productivity do not justify his 5.25 million. Cap friendly notes “retained salary transaction,” suggesting the Flames are paying less than the full pop for him. How much, I wonder?

      • That is kind of an insult LOL. I’m an Oilers fan, not a Flames fan. 😉
        Although I do live in the Calgary area.
        The Oilers retained $750K of Lucic’s cap hit in the Neal trade. It doesn’t make sense to buy out Lucic last 2 seasons of his contract. Because his contract is signing bonus ladened if they buy him out this offseason the Flames would save just under $2 million on their cap next season and just over $400K the following season. Then they would have a cap hit of $510K the following 2 seasons. Unless Lucic retires I think they are stuck with him and his contract for the next 2 seasons.

      • And having to qualify him next year at that amount when he becomes an RFA with arbitration rights is going to be a road-block to any trade possibility. While seeing him join his brother in Ottawa would be nice from that aspect – coupled with the possibility that he regains his form – there’s no way Dorion goes down that road – unless they can come to an prior understanding that their new contracts would need to be “club friendly” to mutual satisfaction. And that would be “tampering” wouldn’t it?

      • Ooops! Sorry Kevjam, an unintentional high stick. Hope it didn’t draw blood and it’s just a minor.

      • It looks like it went uncalled. LOL
        All is good.

    • if they can entice Seattle to take Lucic they should make a play for Hyman from TML and Coleman from TB. Two solid competitors that play hard and a 200ft game.

      then offer maybe Gaudreau & prospect & pick to Philly for Konecy & Patrick

      Coleman, Hyman, & Konecy will add scoring and toughness from players who can skate and play a 200ft game

      • There will be a lot of teams looking to sign Hyman and Coleman. One of those teams I suspect will be the Oilers who should be in the bidding for Coleman. Especially if they are unable to get Nuge resigned.
        The Oilers also have more cap space to play with than the Flames do. The Oilers have 17 players under contract for next season with $22 million in cap space. The Flames have 14 players under contract for next season with just $13.7 million in cap space. Plus the Oilers have the option to buy out Neal to free up more cap space.

      • @Kev
        could CGY talk to seattle and ask them to take lucic and they’ll trade them Giordano for next to nothing for taking Lucic to free up cap?

      • That would be a $12 million cap hit in 2 old and slow players. I think that Calgary would have to add picks and prospects to that deal to make it work that they won’t want to part with.
        I see Calgary losing Kylington in the expansion draft. He’s 24 years old and will be a RFA who will probably be signed for a little over a million next season. With not seeing much game time this past season, I see him being motivated and coming into training camp in really good shape and ready to go to prove himself.

      • The reason this never happen is quite simple: Konecny has 4 years at 5.5 mill per remaining on his deal, whereas Gaudreau has 1 at 6.75 mill and will almost certainly be looking for more as an UFA in 2022. Gaudreau probably has (or at least did have) more scoring upside, but Konecny hasn’t peaked and offers far more sandpaper (along with some really dumb penalties). Also, picks and prospects are not what Philly needs right now unless they decide to go full rebuild–which won’t happen unless 2021-2022 is similarly disastrous to the current season.

        A additional factor is that Philly will have two UFAs named Couturier and Giroux in 2022, right when Gaudreau is as well. Couturier will get a massive deal. Giroux’s fate probably depends on how next season turns out and whether he’ll accept a discount.

      • I hate Crosby Lucic has been a good story in Calgary. I would take him over James Neal any day of the week & twice on Sunday. He fits the bottom 6, he waived his NMC to be exposed at the expansion draft & I would have no problem keeping Lucic on our roster next year. None whatsoever. I have watched him all year now & he still has that intimidation factor on the ice. If he regresses too much next year, then a buyout of his last year is not such a big deal.

        Not opposed to that trade idea of Gaudreau & pick or prospect for Patrick & Konecky. Not like those guys lead the Flyers to the playoffs & I would think Flyers are looking to do some significant changes as well. I can see them letting Giroux walk & use his money to re-up Gaudreau.

    • Hey Kevjam, I think the Rangers would be interested in Tkachuk just to address their “size” up front based on recent ownership comments. Could get a decent package for him from them.
      Monahan and Gaudreau, Plenty of teams interested in a center so I think Monahan could be moved for a nice return. I do not see many teams paying much for Gaudreau for a one year rental and who seems to disappear in the playoffs – unless other team can negotiate an extension.

      • I like the idea of Tkachuk in NY, but I can’t see that happening. Logjam of wingers as it is, and 7-9 million for him seems impossible to fit in the cap. With Panarin, Kreider Trouba etc. and needing to re-sign Zibanejad, Fox, Shesterkin over the next two years.

        Ny will probably add size, but doubtful they’ll add sizable contracts. And more than likely will add size to the bottom 6, not the top.

      • After next season the Rangers will need to resign RFA’s Kakko, Georgiev, and Fox who won’t come cheap. Plus Zibanejad becomes a UFA after next season. I really don’t think the Rangers would want to add Tkachuk and his $9 million qualifying offer to that list.

      • Also last week, or the week before, there were a few Ranger fans on here who were not wanting to add Eichel and his $10 million cap hit. If they don’t want Eichel at $10 million than Tkachuk at $9 million would be a big HECK NO.

    • Unfortunately he’s been there best player some nights. He’s more of an energy guy than Tkachuk is. The cap savings would be roughly 2.5mil next year and 1.1mil the next year. Be tough to find a guy that can score the odd important goal, provide elite toughness and energy at that price. Better to wait.

    • KevJam, first Draisaitl is a marshmellow, not tough at all. The Flames haven’t been at the bottom of the barrel like the Oilers for almost 14 yrs . Their highest pick in the team’s history is 4th overall, and he was mishandled.
      The Oilers drafted 1st overall 4 times, including the generational McDavid during that period and numerous others in the top 10 and still sucked. So I don’t think I want the Flames to follow their plan. Changes are needed, and I would consider trading anyone as long as it makes the team better. Gaudreau should only be traded if it is equitable and not because Eric Francis thinks it is a good idea. Tkackuk will rebound next year.

      • Sparky, regarding the Flames not wanting to follow the Oilers plan is fair as they were poorly managed for a decade until Holland came to town. Hard to be worse, although BUF appears to be giving it a go.

        The Oil likely won’t win the cup this year, but they get some space this off season and Hollands hands won’t be tied.
        IMO opinion they will contend for one for the foreseeable future. Or at least as long as they have McDavid.

        My only point is you don’t win cups without high end talent. Almost never. 1 team has won the cup without a top 3 pick in the last 25+ years. Carolina in 06.
        So sucking and drafting high doesn’t guarantee a cup, but not drafting high almost guarantees you won’t.

        Unless simply making the playoffs is the goal, the Flames need to go big game hunting or start over and trade everyone over 25 and suck for a while.

      • You look at Draisaitl and then compare him to Lindholm, Monahan, and Gaudreau, Draisaitl is no marshmellow. However your opinion on Draisaitl is your opinion and nothing I say will probably change that.
        Nothing I said had to do with the Oilers and their past rebuild failures. Which is well known to be bad management and not being able to building around those high draft picks. How has Treiliving done building around his core of players? With Treliving the Flames haven’t improved from being the bubble team they always have been. Miss the playoffs here, make the playoff there as a low seated team.
        Draisaitl is the only one out of the 5 players I mentioned of the type I think the Flames need. From those other 5 players do you see any current Flames player that compare to their size, skill, and skating ability combined?
        If Tkachuk does bounce back next season, what is he bouncing back from? This season he averaged .77 points per game. His career average points per game is .800. He was pretty much on his career pace. Is that production worth tieing up $9 million on a second line player?

      • Ray Carolina had Eric Stall on 06 who was a top 3 pick. There are going to be to major drafts in 22 and 23 with 2 potential generational talents. All these mid level teams like Calgary, Montreal, Dallas, Minnesota ect… should be going all in on a rebuild and get as many 1st round picks as possible for those drafts. They won’t as I find there is a stubbornness of never wanting to admit that you’re just not good enough and the teams think they can rebuild on the fly. St Louis and Boston are the only 2 teams in resent history that I can think of who’ve won the cup without a complete scorched earth rebuild. Tampa, Washington, Pittsburgh, Chicago ect… are all examples of teams who have had total rebuilds. Most of those teams won the cup more than once. The biggest issue Edmonton had was the timing of there tanking. They didn’t get anyone significant till McDavid. Middling teams should have the 22 and 23 drafts in mind.

      • Dammit Roger! You’re right.
        I don’t know which team it is then, even the 08 DET team had Stuart.
        Pretty sure there is one that didn’t but I couldn’t find.
        Same basic point though.
        I think the reason they don’t is that sucking is bad for biz sometimes and is no guarantee that it will work.

  4. I think the very first item for business is fire Treliving.
    Changes are required and this management team have proven they cannot be trusted to make the changes that are required to move the team forward. Conroy who is very personal but is a terrible assistant GM. Pascal is not much better.

    All successful pro sports teams usually are successful because they have a strong management team. Unfortunately I have come to the conclusion the flames management team is not very good.

    • KevJam, ” With Treliving the Flames haven’t improved from being the bubble team they always have been. Miss the playoffs here, make the playoff there as a low seated team.” Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? It never ceases to amaze me that fans of a team that is only in the playoffs for the second time in 14 years can be so quick to forget what a horrible team they cheer for.

      If the Flames had Connor we would have certainly had a lot better shot at Lord Stanley. We don’t because we have never been that bad. Draisaitl is also an excellent player who has greatly improved his skating since day one, toughness is not in his calling card, 6’2 208 but he runs from guys that are under 6 ft. At least Puljujarvi is back in the NHL, his 25 pts are better than nothing, Mangiapane has more fight in him.

      Calling Tkachuk a second liner is like calling Draisaitl a second liner. They didn;t want too left wingers on the same line until Sutter changed him to rt. wing down the stretch. Tkachuk is the type of player every team in the NHL hates, but would love to have on their team, he will be qualified for sure unless he is in a blockbuster trade.

      In the BOA this year, Lucic and Ritchie were nuclear deterrents to Kassian, Khaira, and Nurse so that our players had no fear playing your team.

      I welcome change coming to the Flames this year whether we blow things up like Toronto , Ottawa, and NYR did or whether we make equitable trades to change the identity of the team. Time will tell whether Treliving is the man to do it. I would also look at all of the team’s management and coaching staff.

  5. Don’t forget we are back to normal division alignment next year. This season of 56 is not what you should build your team around.

    Would Flames have made the playoffs otherwise ? I say yes, Aside form VGK / Edm. they would have finished 3/4 in an 82 games schedule .

    Having said that if they could land Eichel on a cleared medical they should do it. They are not moving Tkachuk or Lindholm. Maybe a Monahan with picks and prospects package could do it. Injured for injured.

    • Yeah, if this was a regular season in the Pacific division the Flames would have been fighting with LA and Arizona for the 3rd in the division. However, would the fourth place team in the pacific have more points than fifth in the Central for one of those wildcard spots? That would be Colorado, St. Louis, Nashville, Winnipeg, Minnesota, and Dallas, Chicago won’t be a factor for another few seasons.
      Next season I believe that Arizona will be moving over to the Central and Seattle will be the new team in the Pacific. That will somehow throw a wrinkle into things.

  6. As for Blake & LA

    to PHI: Quick & good prospect (not top tier)

    to LAK: Voracek & Elliot (UFA sign & trade)

    Quick better mentor to Hart than Elliot

    Voracek top 6 Kings can make Kop & Drew happy with obtaining

  7. Would like to hear other Flames fans opinion on the possibility of leaving Backlund exposed in the expansion draft?
    The more I think about the more I have convinced myself that is the route to go.
    I like Backlund but unfortunately he is a 3rd line center making over 5m for 3 more years

    • Trade him to Buffalo for Mittlestadt plus pick

      • Doubt the Sabres would take that trade, Granato had Mitts moving in the right direction so I think he stays a Sabre.

    • I’m not a Flames fan, but here’s my opinion.
      Which other forward would the Flames look at protecting? Using Cap Friendly Expansion Draft Simulator I see the Flames protecting 7 forwards – Monahan, Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Dube, Lindholm, Mangiapane, and Backlund. 3 d-men – Tanave, Hanifin, and Andersson. Goalie Markstrom (NMC). I would think that the Kraken would select Kylington. IMO Gio is to old and too expensive for the Kraken. Backlund maybe a little overpaid, but his cap hit isn’t hindering. The Flames could also trade Backlund at the trade deadline. Teams are always looking for a player like Backlund for a playoff push.

      • I see GIo as an option to teach their younger D along with whomever else is selected. The guy competes and knows how to play. Yes slow and all but 3rd pairing and mentor to many guys is a good move to build a franchise.

        Not like he was a slow footed horrendous D man that should not have been paid like he was.

    • Flamesfan, Backlund is the one of the best 2 way centres on the team. He is the go to guy to check the opposing team’s best players. He has been quite consistent over the last 5 yrs. Lindholm is also a pretty fair two way guy and can replace him, but I prefer to match him against other team’s 2nd and 3rd lines where he has a better chance to create offence.

  8. Reading through this morning and realize many Flames fans are upset and frustrated. More than half the teams in the league would happily have a Lindholm, Monahan, Backlund top 3 C’s. Add in wingers Tkachuk, Gaudreau, Magiapane and Dube, the latter off to the World Champs. What is missing? Clearly a high end right shot RW. And Trev will make that push this summer. Gaudreau is not McJesus, however too many forwards on this team see to wait for him to create the offense. Maybe it is time to make a Gaudreau big move for a high end RW and get the group more accountable. I like the idea above for a Konecny/Patrick deal, and Gaudreau goes to hometown. How about a deal for Jones/Columbus? Maybe Andersson in a package? A Jones/Hanifin/Tanev/Valimaki/Mackey backend sounds like a nice transition from Gio. Tkachuk is the most exciting and fearless player Flames have had since Fleury, and 31 teams would love him. Our future captain has had a “learning” year, watch for him to dominate the offense and be a more mature pest next year, before taking the reigns from Gio the year after. This roster needs some tweaks and a year under Sutter, watch out for a bunch of sour guys committed to winning in 21/22.

    • Absolutely, I expect Tkachuk to come out & have a great year in a contract year. He has 1 bad year & the pitchforks come out. This was a strange year where even Management decisions were restrictive. I have no problem Treliving trading key core pieces, trades havent been an issue. His coach hiring sucked & his UFA signings were crap but I am ok with Markstrom & Tanev has been a pleasant surprise.
      I think Calgary & Columbus are a good trade match & yes I would love to see us make a play for Jones even more than Eichel. I would still go after Reinhart too.

      • LOL that would add another layer to the BOA. Seth Jones in Calgary vs. little brother Caleb Jones in Edmonton. LOL

  9. Anyone think Valimaki is enough of a sweetener to convince Ron Francis to take Lucic in the expansion draft?

    • Mrs. Valimaki?

    • Why would we ever do that? Lucic played a great role on the team this year. He’ll be exposed & if Kracken want him, they can take him. Gio will probably be exposed too & I would hate to lose him after all these years, if Kracken want him they could probably pick him off too. I would imagine Kyllington will be the target for the Kracken. That would suck as many think he hasnt been given the chance he should have gotten on the Flames. Tons of skill & speed just not given much of a chance to show it, kind of like the Bennett situation. My $$$ is Kracken take him. But Flames dont need to give any sweetners to Kracken.

      • How is it that Lucic played a great role on the team, Kevin? He scored 10 goals this year, and had one of the worst plus/minus ratings on the Flames. The comments from his team mates were that he was a great voice in the dressing room: damned by faint praise.

        Lucic’s production had declined dramatically since 2017. He is ponderously slow. His best attribute now is that he can still fight, a diminishing need in today’s NHL. I struggle to imagine what team he could add value to at this stage in his career, as his best before date is well past. What more needs to be said that the Flames approached him about waiving his NMC for the Kraken draft?

      • LJ again if Kracken take him oh well. If they dont, he still gets in on the forecheck pretty good & the Dman skating back to retrieve the puck is looking behind. Not sure how many Flame games you watched, I doubt more than me. When he crunches players, the other team is aware of his presence. You dont think Rangers didnt wish they had Lucic for that game against Washington?

        Is he overpaid, heck yes. Oilers are paying $750K & if you look at actual salary he’s paid $4250,000 next year, Oilers paying $750K & last year is $3,250,000.. with Oilers paying $750K. The biggest trash we got when we did the trade was we were going to have to protect him, guess not. To buy him out after next year in real $$$ is way less than if they were having to buyout Neal. As a bottom 6 player, Lucic wasnt the reason Flames never made the playoffs this year. No reason to give up assets to have Kracken take him. Nor Gio for that matter. Again, Im betting Kracken take Kyllington.

      • Hey Kevin, I think you are mistaken on Lucic’s numbers. A player is bought out at 2/3 of their base salary. In Lucic’s last season of his contract his base salary is $1 million plus $3 million signing bonus which is paid out in full and calculated in the buyout in full. So if the Flames buyout Lucic in his last season, all they would be saving is around $300K in cap space.
        As per Cap Friendly, if the Flames bought out Lucic this off season their cap savings would be $1.9 million. So Lucic’s cap drop from $5.25 to $3.35 and the Oilers cap hit would be $500k. The following season the Flames cap savings would be $400k. So the Flames cap hit would be $4.885 and the Oilers part would be $700k. In the 2 final years the Flames would have a cap hit carryover of $510k and the Oilers would have $73k
        As for the Oilers and James Neal, his cap hit is all base salary. So if the Oilers buyout Neal, the saving would be $3.8 million with a cap hit of $1.9 million each for the next 4 seasons.

      • Kevjam, I am not looking at the cap implication but actual real $$$$ which in this Covid world & the low revenues in the league has a larger importance to owners. In reality, I wouldnt buyout Lucic just because of the minimal Cap savings but he would be very tradeable with a reasonable sweetener. Lucic is still a monster from a physical point of view that a team would consider.

      • Kevin, you surely watched more Flames games than I. If you see value in Lucic then fair enough.