NHL Rumor Mill – June 23, 2021
Does Matthew Tkachuk want out of Calgary to go home to St. Louis? Could he be swapped for Vladimir Tarasenko? What players are on the Flyers’ offseason shopping list. Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
DOES TKACHUK WANT OUT OF CALGARY?
YAHOO! SPORTS: Steven Psihogias cited Sportsnet 650’s Shane O’Brien floating a rumor about Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk during a recent appearance on SiriusXM NHL Network’s “The Power Play with Steve Kouleas”.
O’Brien claimed he heard the 23-year-old Tkachuk wants out of Calgary to play in his hometown of St. Louis. “I got (Vladimir) Tarasenko going to Calgary for Tkachuk,” he said. “I heard Tkachuk wants out of Calgary, Tarasenko’s time’s up there, I think that’s a trade that could happen.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m not going to disparage O’Brien or question his sources, but this move makes no sense for the Flames. Why trade Tkachuk for a winger who’s six years older and has a recent history of shoulder surgeries? For that matter, why would Tarasenko waive his full no-trade clause to join the Flames?
Sportsnet 960’s Ryan Pinder weighed in on that rumor. “In reaching out to some folks around the (Calgary) organization, they described this rumor in two words. The first one being bull. The second one sounding a lot like shirt.”
True or not, this will only stoke speculation about Tkachuk’s future in Calgary. GM Brad Treliving indicated he’d evaluate all his options after the Flames missed this year’s playoffs. Maybe Tkachuk will be part of any significant changes Treliving has in store. If he does want to return to St. Louis, the Flames will want a good young forward like Jordan Kyrou as part of the return, not a banged-up veteran.
Tarasenko’s name popped up in the rumor mill as some observers pondered the possibility of the Blues leaving him exposed in the expansion draft. There’s been no indication they’re going to approach him about waiving his no-trade clause, but that’s usually not the type of thing a team or player makes public. It will be interesting to see if he appears again in this summer’s offseason trade talk.
FLYERS EYEING DEFENSEMEN AND GOALIES
THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Sam Carchidi reports defensemen and goaltenders are on the offseason shopping list of Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher. He points out they gave up a league-leading 3.52 goals-against per game this season.
Carchidi believes Fletcher has “a long list of defensemen” on his radar. They include Columbus’ Seth Jones, Carolina’s Dougie Hamilton, Nashville’s Ryan Ellis, Minnesota’s Matt Dumba and Edmonton’s Adam Larsson.
He could also be looking at pending free-agent goaltenders such as Buffalo’s Linus Ullmark, Toronto’s Frederik Andersen, Colorado’s Philipp Grubauer, Detroit’s Jonathan Bernier and Tampa Bay’s Anders Nilsson for a potential 1B goalie to 1A Carter Hart.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Flyers have been frequently linked to Jones, Hamilton and Dumba in the rumor mill. I don’t see the Predators trading Ellis unless they get a significant player in return. The Oilers, meanwhile, appear intent on re-signing Larsson.
Grubauer’s a Vezina Trophy Finalist this season. He’s no “1B” and I doubt the Avalanche will let him depart via free agency. Ullmark, Andersen and Bernier would be good options. Nilsson’s been sidelined by concussion issues since last season.