NHL Morning Headlines and Rumors – August 16, 2021

by | Aug 16, 2021 | News, NHL, Rumors | 13 comments

Updated salary arbitration schedule including the latest on Kevin Fiala, the Sharks sign William Eklund, plus the latest speculation on the Flames and Oilers in today’s NHL morning headlines and rumors.

CAP FRIENDLY: Only five of 20 cases remain in this summer’s NHL arbitration schedule.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala’s hearing is slated for Aug. 17, Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros’ is set for Aug. 18 and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Dennis Gilbert’s is Aug. 21. Philadelphia Flyers blueliner Travis Sanheim and Calgary Flames rearguard Nikita Zadorov are scheduled for Aug. 26.

Minnesota Wild winger Kevin Fiala (NHL Images).

SPORTSNET’s Elliotte Friedman reports Fiala seeks $6.25 million while the Wild are countering with $4 million. THE ATHLETIC’s Michael Russo tweeted Fiala chose a one-year contract. If the arbiter awards him that, he’ll be a restricted free agent again next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: All cases thus far have been settled without going before an arbiter. The remainder could go the same route.

THE DETROIT NEWS: The Red Wings avoided arbitration with Adam Erne, reaching an agreement on a two-year, $4.2 million contract.

PUCKPEDIA.COM: The San Jose Sharks signed William Eklund to a three-year, entry-level contract. The 18-year-old forward was the seventh overall pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with the other 2021 picks signed to entry-level contracts, those deals will slide forward to next season if they play outside the NHL this season. Eklund could get a taste of action with the Sharks if he performs well in training camp. They could also play him in nine NHL games without burning the first year of his contract.

THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Hailey Salvian was asked if other moves could be in store for the Calgary Flames. She feels they still have some obvious holes on the defense, especially on the right side. They could consider going the trade or free-agent route or look within their system to address that issue.

Asked if the Flames could make a big move, Salvian believes they’re not done and there’s plenty of time remaining in the offseason. They’ve been linked to Buffalo’s Jack Eichel and St. Louis’s Vladimir Tarasenko. She also wondered if they might shop Sean Monahan or perhaps attempt to pry Christian Dvorak away from the Arizona Coyotes.

NHL.COM: Tim Campbell believes the Flames need a reliable backup goaltender for Jacob Markstrom. They must also negotiate a contract extension for winger Johnny Gaudreau.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Flames general manager Brad Treliving acknowledged changes had to be made following his club’s disappointing performance over the past two seasons. So far, he’s lost Mark Giordano in the expansion draft, acquired defenseman Nikita Zadorov, winger Tyler Pitlick and goalie Dan Vladar, and signed Blake Coleman to a six-year deal.

I don’t see the Flames winning the Eichel sweepstakes. Treliving shot down speculation of a Tarasenko-for-Matthew Tkachuk swap. Monahan’s 10-team no-trade clause is a stumbling block in any attempt to move him. Meanwhile, the Coyotes seem reluctant to move Dvorak unless a club is willing to overpay for his services.

Treliving could be keen to make another significant move and he still could pull it off. However, he could be finding suitable deals difficult to come by.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins speculates the Oilers could use a professional tryout offer route as training camp approaches to add an experienced No. 4 defenseman with a right-hand shot. He suggested Michael Stone or Sami Vatanen as possible options.


  1. There seems to be endless speculation about lots f teams trying to pry Christian Dvorak out of Arizona. But I agree with Lyle. Not. Gonna. Happen. If it were to be done it would have been done already. He’s a solid second line center and his 4 more contract years at a fairly low AAV provide cost certainty to a team that needs it. A team would have to massively overpay, and no one will.

    • You meen no one will now, it’ll be another thing come TDL!


    • HeeeeeexxxxxxxxxBuuuuurrrrrrkkkkiiiieeee… Wake up

  3. Druuuuury!!!! All these rumors. Strome still 2C
    Saris and Fiala both signed.

    • Also Zadorov arbitration is with Flames not Chicago

      • Zadarov and Sanheim are only 2 left.

  4. Good on Arizona. IMO Dvorak is someone they should be holding onto unless a team overpays. He is far more valuable than his contract, young, and a great piece. If I am a team seeking to take the next step in my development on a forward trajectory, to me anyway, he is the kind of player you overpay for.

    His development path has shown that he SHOULD be a 20+ goal scoring center, who wins faceoffs, and plays in all situations, he plays a physical game, and is about even overall in giveaway/takeaway. His career shooting percentage is floating just below 15% (which is where most 30+ goalscorers sit). He doesn’t rely on the powerplay to score, he gets a lot done at even strength, and can play 18-20 minutes a night.

    There isn’t a lot to not like about Dvorak and his two way game would could make him one of the premier 2C Centers in the NHL … particularly with better linemates. He can lead your penalty kill and center your 2nd line powerplay unit.

    I know it won’t happen, but this is why I’d really be okay with Ottawa putting together a good package to pick up Dvorak & Kessel. Yes Kessel, we need a goal scoring winger and help on the powerplay. Dvorak & Kessel together bring that (Kessel is going to give you 15-20 goals even strength and 8-12 on the powerplay and he has really great possession metrics, hate on him all you want).

    Move Colin White & Victor Mete in the deal, along with your 1st, a future 2nd, and some of your prospect pool. (Thomson & Jarventie is where I’d start) to make a deal happen. Ottawa top 9 next year … (assuming PINTO doesn’t make the team),

    Tkatchuk – Norris – Batherson
    Stuetzel – Dvorak – Kessel
    Foremton – Paul – Brown

    To me that is a strong group of forwards with a lot of potential. I also think the move shows Tkatchuk they are serious and helps get the long term deal signed. No real risk, Dvorak is already locked up for the next few years and if Kessel doesn’t perform you let him walk next year and probably by then replace him with Sokolov. If he does … great, you sign him to a 1-2 year extension and still you can shelter Sokolov minutes and suddenly RW depth!

    I want Dvorak in Ottawa far more than either Strome, Henrique, or even Monahan. Dvorak is IMO the best rumoured center available for the way this team plays and he fits in long term. Norris-Dvorak-Pinto gives you some series center depth, with Nick Paul, Tim Stutzle, Kelly Parker, Zack Ostapuck, Logan Brown as options now and in the future.

    • Pengy

      The NYI are looking for a LD. Any chance they would be interested in Matheson or Pettersson? One of them has to be moved because they do not have the luxury of moving Zucker or Rust now after trading McCann and losing Tanev.

      • Hi SjF928

        I would think Matheson contract a bit high for GMLL to bite on. Pettersson not as prominent and Pens would need to eat some of the hit or take equal back in trade…. Not sure who that would be…I think odds of either ending up with Isles is low

        Re “ do not have the luxury of moving Zucker or Rust now after trading McCann and losing Tanev.”….

        the McC guffaw still stings… moronic move IMHO

        Re moving Zucker…. and “not having the luxury”…. to me Zucker is the very person who should be first on the HexBurkie move list

        His Cap hit to return/production is low and he is a complete Gino production killer

        I’m still hoping for a multi asset flip that has , as the key players, Vlad and Zucker, changing places….

        Both have 2 years left

        Both teams to retain 50% …. tonarrow the Cap gap

        Vlad @ 50% for

        Zucker (@ 50%) ; * Laffy and *O’Connor

        When Gino returns…

        Blueger/*ZAR/ Rodriguez or Heinen

        13th / 14th: Zohorna and either Rodriguez or Heinen

        *If Army insists on ZAR instead of Laffy/O’Connor; it would hurt… but I’d do it…



        Note … Gino will be LTIR to start…. expected 6 weeks or more… that adds a bit of LTIR “banked space” for some flex

        I’d still try and call on Duby’s agent…. If he can be had for $1.5 M or less…. sign him up…. Right now…. Any lengthy injury to Jarry… DeSmith starts with Lindbergh or D’Orio as back up… a whopping 11 AHL games total between them…. All D’Orio 😢

    • JJB. Agree there’s really no reason to move Dvorak. Arizona would really need a nice package to do it. Kessel is a name that I think will be discussed more here. He has an 8 team trade list don’t really see him agreeing to waive for Ottawa. Last year of contract. Assuming his 5M bonus was paid already, he’s only got 1m in actual salary owed. Yotes can easily retain 50% to increase value. (500K in pay, 3.4m cap hit). He’ll be moved. If not now, by tdl.

      • That Kessel money owed sounds like something Carolina would be interested in

      • Hi Slick62

        I’d think that the odds of Phil finishing this year in Arz are very slim

        At TDL…. 50% retained….acquiring team gets him for about $1.15 M Cap and a measly ~ $170 K cash (and less 18% in escrow)

        Teams right up tight could push for a to-through…. Arz retains 50%; middle team retains 50% of that again

        Middle team pays less than $70 K (after escrow) for a pick; acquiring team only needs $575 K in available space

        If somehow Phil has a year close to last year…. which was a 29 G (82 game pace) campaign….

        Arz get a first for sure

        Middle team gets a 4th

        Even if he falls off the table in production…. some team will take him if they can get him for only $575 K in Cap hit

        I would not be surprised if at TDL he heads 4 hours NW on highway 93