Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – July 11, 2021

by | Jul 11, 2021 | Rumors | 47 comments

An update on the Matthew Tkachuk speculation, the Sharks are reportedly open for business, and a look at possible Coyotes trade bait in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


THE ATHLETIC: Hailey Salvian recently weighed in on the trade speculation swirling about Matthew Tkachuk this summer. One rumor linked the Calgary Flames winger was linked to St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko.

Calgary Flames winger Matthew Tkachuk (NHL Images).

The Flames firmly denied Tkachuk wanted out of Calgary and a return to his hometown of St. Louis. Salvian also cited colleague Jeremy Rutherford indicating sources saying the Blues had an interest in Tkachuk but it would take more than Tarasenko to pry him away from the Flames. That’s if Tarasenko would waive his no-trade clause to go to Calgary.

Tkachuk struggled through this season. However, Salvian attributed that performance to a combination of multiple injuries and his inability to train with Gary Roberts in Toronto during the offseason because of the border restrictions related to the pandemic. She anticipates a bounce-back effort by the 23-year-old winger.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Those factors cited by Salvian would certainly account for Tkachuk’s difficulties throughout this season. Given his previous strong performances and his youth, the Flames would be understandably reluctant to part with him.

Tkachuk’s a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. Both sides could be waiting to see how this season shakes out before negotiating a long-term deal. He’s entering the third season of a three-year, $21 million contract. He’ll earn $9 million in actual salary this season, which could be what he’ll seek as an annual average value on his next deal.


THE ATHLETIC: Kevin Kurz reports multiple sources said the San Jose Sharks are ramping up trade talks with other clubs. Kevin Labanc, Radim Simek and Dylan Gambrell are being dangled as the Sharks seek a “hockey trade” in which they get players in return. They’re also hoping to land draft picks. General manager Doug Wilson wants to upgrade his goaltending and add a third-line center.

Labanc would be their best trade chip in this group. Wilson felt he had 60-point potential but he got bumped out of the top six by head coach Bob Boughner. He tallied 28 points in 55 games this season and netted a career-high 56 points in 2018-19. He’s signed through 2023-24 with an annual salary-cap hit of $4.725 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The decline in Lebanc’s production could be tied to the change in the Sharks’ system under Boughner. He tallied six points in 10 games for Team USA at this year’s World Championships. Perhaps playing with a deeper club or one with a more offensive style would be better suited to his type of game. His contract could be an issue with the cap remaining flattened for 2021-22.


NBC SPORTS: James O’Brien recommends teams contact the Arizona Coyotes if they’re seeking a trade or free-agent bargain. He doesn’t anticipate they’ll be in buy mode this summer despite carrying $30 million in cap space due to reported money challenges.

Potential bargains could include restricted free agent winger Conor Garland. A June 23 report by Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli indicated not much communication between Garland’s agent and management after they exchanged contract proposals. Center Christian Dvorak was mentioned by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman as a possible trade target. He’s signed for four more years at an annual cap hit of $4.45 million.

Pending UFA options include goaltender Antti Raanta and defensemen Niklas Hjalmarsson, Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers. O’Brien also recommends teams avoid trading for defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and winger Phil Kessel, citing cap hit and declining performance.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: General manager Bill Armstrong completed his first season on the job. He could be planning some significant changes after evaluating his club’s performance. We know they’re shopping Ekman-Larsson and it’s believed they could be willing to move Kessel. Finding suitable trade partners, however, could be difficult, especially if the Coyotes aren’t willing to retain salary.

Garland, 25, is completing a two-year, $1.55 million contract. Even if he gets a raise to $4 million annually it would be an affordable signing. The question is whether Armstrong sees Garland as a long-term part of the roster or if he’d prefer building up with younger players. The same applies to Dvorak.


  1. The Sharks may be open for business but they aren’t offering very much …

    • Do the Sharks really have much to offer?

      • I don’t think there’s much point in Dorion calling Wilson – the latter would likely have a stroke just seeing Dorion’s name on the call-identifier. But a guy I’ve always liked, right back to his Moosehead/Rouyn-Noranda days, is Timo Meier who appears to be in need of a fresh approach.

    • do the Sharks think that a few small moves will make them contenders again?

    • I’m not sure how Doug Wilson still has a job. Seems to me, that franchise could use fresh blood at the top.

      • This will undoubtedly be his last season.
        Marc Bergevin will most likely replace him next year.

      • Couldn’t agree more. He (Wilson) built the team, then he gets to tear it down AND build it back up again? Ownership/President wake up!

      • ……funny but I feel the same about the Maple Leafs Management core too.

  2. Arizona having money problems.. again. Why is the NHL so adamant about keeping a team in the desert and keeping a team out of Quebec City?

    • How does a team in Quebec City grow the game?

      • It doesn’t – for that reason and a myriad of others. Houston would be the logical relocation for the Coyotes – hell, even the nickname applies to that region as well – and that would set up a great rivalry with Dallas.

      • Certainly a good option.

      • Houston?

        The city couldn’t keep a WHA team.

        Couldn’t get into the NHL

        Lots of talk, a wealthy potential owner in Fertitta but hasn’t had any level of pro hockey since 2013 when Houston lost their AHL team to Iowa of all places.

      • They’re much like Toronto and Montreal – won’t support minor league teams for love nor money.

      • It doesn’t grow the game but it sure grows revenue. You are taking a team needing a bunch of league money every year just to stay afloat, to a team that will add revenue to the league each year.

        THAT money can be used to grow the game.

  3. I think that the Flyers will waive Claude Giroux. Flyers brass is tired of his inconsistent play and weak leadership. He will be forgotten about as soon as he is given the boot out the door.

    • Sam Carchidi, is that you?!

    • Suzie,
      If the Flyers are silly enough to waive Giroux, please send him across and up I-95 to Manhatten. As a Ranger fan, I would love to have him.

    • Edmonton is planning to release McDavid and Draisitl in a cost cutting move.

    • Let’s see Suzie – a big C who turns 34 next January and who,, over the past 5 seasons starting in 2016-17, finished 2nd, 1st, 1st, 4th and tied for 1st in team scoring.

      He’d be welcomed with open arms back in his old junior stomping grounds in the Ottawa region, and you can bet if, put on waivers (and the 9 teams in the pecking order ahead of them didn’t take him – highly doubtful), Dorion would be all over him like fleas on a dog.

    • I doubt that’s the case, he’ll be rewarded (generously) for being a good Flyer. That’s how Flyers roll.

  4. OEL, Kessel and Garland are going to Boston, guaranteed.

    Reilly, Coyle, Lazar and 1 yr locker room supply of Samuel Adams going to Arizona.

    Armstrong and Sweeney are bickering over a second year of beer but an announcement is expected.

    • Habsfan30, as a Bruin fan I still wouldn’t make that deal.

      You can have that package in Montreal for Danault, Gallagher, Gustafson and a 24 of molson

      • Caper,

        you’re even more sarcastic than I am

    • Habsfan30…. That deal isn’t good enough to land young Garland and top three defenseman OEL. All good players but Garland is a young star on the rise and OEL while expensive is a top 3 defender.

      I think they would look good in Black and gold just the Penguins Black and Gold.

      To Arizona:
      – Jason Zucker 29, 6 time 20 goal scorer, and only two years left on his $5.5 million deal.
      – Marcus Petersson 25, 4 years left a $4.025 solid third pairing guy can play second pair if needed for a short time
      – plus a second round pick

      To Pittsburgh:
      OEL $8.25 million until 2025
      Garland $800,000 needs to be resigned


      Congrats Montreal had a stellar season well done.

      • blackngold,

        My “offer” was sarcasm re the boston fans who keep offering cast-offs for quality and want Sweeney’s head for not making impossible deals.

        Neither Zucker or OEL are earning their contracts and are on the decline.

        I liked Petersson in the limited time I saw him, I believe I told you about that, but $4 million is a lot to pay for a 3rd pairing D.

        The 2nd round pick is so low that I can’t figure the value..

        The only player in the mix worth chasing is Garland

        I think Pengy would give you a hug.

  5. Labanc does Wilson a solid and signs a one year term friendly deal and now they punt him ? You wonder why players don’t take one for the team

    • SS. Lebanc is currently on a 4 year deal he was rewarded with last year. AAV of $4.750,000

  6. Normally I like the idea of a NY kid playing for Rangers. Labanc is 25 now and Rangers got same production from Blackwell for 4m less of a cap hit. Gambrell is ufa and Simek is borderline nhl dman. Maybe Hertl will be shopped now or at deadline. Last year of his contract.

  7. Is Garland really going to get $4M? That’s quite a substantial raise from his current $775K salary.
    He’s RFA with arbitration rights but only 164 NHL games under his belt.
    Wonder what ARZ is expecting in a trade for him?

    • Garland is a good young player…..I’m thinking $3 million.

      see my proposed deal between Pittsburgh and Arizona..

      • Steve Kouleous (sp?) on XM said the Connor Garland is a prime candidate for offer sheet.

        Offer is 3.5 million & all it will cost (offer sheet team) is a 2nd round pick. Seems reasonable.

  8. Based on real money not cap money, Arizona might trade Dvorak for Kerfoot, who is owed less cash but has a higher cap level. They might have interest in Marner who is 10.9 million against the cap but 6.2 million cash.

    I have been wrong so far in thinking these type of contracts will become desirable trade objects. Will it change this year?

  9. Who says NO:

    Tarasenko (Blues retain $2mil) + Dunn+ Sanford for Tkachuk + 3 round pick

    • Flames say no! Sorry, Tarasenko just doesnt cut it, maybe 3 years ago Tarasenko but the current one that has played 34 games in the last 2 years, huh…. no thanks. Also a guy the Blues have been dangling trade all last year. Way better offers to be had out there. Sorry Iowa!

    • Iowa,

      I would counter with Tarasenko, Thomas, and Parayko for Tkachuk, Kylington, and a 2nd next year

  10. The Toronto Maple Leafs should be open for Business , Core Four in Particular , as well as Reilly

    The top tier of players of players on this roster is not working , and the Bandaid fix isn’t realistic either .
    You compare Toronto’s core group with any other team in the league , it’s absolutely bizarre !

    Talk of Bertuzzi coming over from Detroit, does one ever think Yzerman is going to part with any potential player,, asset I I would be shocked if he did

    • Ken, Dubas is almost confined to bandaid fixes thanks to the unforeseen long-haul pandemic and the resulting flat cap – neither of which is going anywhere any time soon thanks to the rise of Covid variants that are getting out of control all over the world (now there’s a new virulent one originating in Peru to rival the Delta strain).

      The flat cap, and with the number of teams hamstrung as a result, makes it virtually impossible to move any of the top 3 (Matthews, Tavares and Marner – all $10 mil and up) since most teams taking them on would instantly be put into the position of needing to find takers for the contracts they’d then need to get rid of to make room – and around and around it would go.

      As for those few with plenty of cap – such as Ottawa – they’re all looking at looming RFA negotiations which, when settled, will bring them closer to the limit, making it unlikely they’d saddle themselves with a big one like that.

      That said, Nylander at $6.9 for 3 years and Rielly at $5 mil for 1 year, would find plenty of takers, but you’re not going to get adequate immediate replacements without taking on some money.

      It then becomes a vicious circle of looking for the right “cheap” roster insertions.

      Some in here – Leafs fans included – are ready to dump Dubas now (along with Shanahan), feeling he has failed the test as a bona-fide cap GM … but to this observer his biggest test is represented by the next 2 seasons.

  11. M.Tkachuk trade conversation would have to include and revolve around Kyrou and Thomas. Flames can add if the Blues want to include Tarasenko . Otherwise no thanks.

    • I think more along the lines of the deal would have to start at Parayko, Kyrou & the#16 pick for Tkachuk & a 3rd round. If the Blues want him that bad, that’s the price otherwise would rather keep him anyways.

      • I laugh at the Flames if that’s the ask.

      • I don’t think I’d take Tkachuk for Parayko let alone the Parayko +++ for Tkachuk. One of the most lopsided trades I’ve seen on this site.

      • Van, typically Id agree with you. Id much rather have Parayko too straight up. The one problem is Parayko is a ufa next offseason, so if your Calgary theres no way your trading Tkachuk straight up for CP, only to have him walk away next year for nothing.

        The fact that you’d control Tkachuks rights for a few more years guaranteed, has to be worth something.

    • Here’s what I’m confused about with all this Tkachuk to Stl chatter. The guy lacks any trade protection what-so-ever, so if he truly wants out of Calgary, then the clown will end up wherever the Flames decide to ship him off to, not where he grew up.

      If Stl truly wants him, then they’re going to have to outbid everyone else, end of story.

      • 100%!

  12. I won’t be shocked if DOUG Armstrong reconnects with BILL Armstrong regarding a trade!? It better not involve Kessel!!

  13. Why would STL give anything to get Tkachuk? His qualifiyng offer next year will cost Calgary 9 million then the season after he is a UFA. It’s just a matter of tie before Calgary losses him for nothng.